Cody Cropper could have the smoothest transition among new arrivals for Cincinnati FC this off-season.
The 27-year-old Cropper was hired by the FCC as a free-agent goalkeeper in December and has a wealth of national and international experience.
On paper, Cropper looks good for the group of goalkeeping coach Jack Stern, which will likely include starters Przemysław Tytoń, Ben Lundt and the young Beckham Sunderland. The Minnesota native should go well with what FC Cincinnati aims to achieve in games and training, and has the mentality that he came to the FCC to push everyone around him.
Look at Cropper’s experience.
He began his professional career overseas in 2012 with Southampton FC, who was playing in the English Premier League at the time. Cropper made 30 appearances for the club’s U21 selection before moving to MK Dons, where he made nine appearances in one season.
While in England, Cropper worked with the Southampton goalkeepers Fraser Forster and David Watson, the goalkeeping coach of Southampton and the England team.
“I was there (England) with the dream of playing in the Premier League and the championship,” said Cropper. “Two of the top 10 leagues in the world and unfortunately I had some injury issues and an unfortunate series of events that played out and I returned to the US.”
Cropper played for Houston Dynamo FC last season even though he wasn’t there. That was after four seasons with the New England Revolution, in which he played 36 games, including 28 games in 2017.
The sum of these experiences is a career that should allow Cropper to advance Tytoń for minutes while supporting the development of Lundt and Sunderland.
“It’s definitely an opportunity that represents a greater opportunity for me that I looked at and decided it was the one I wanted to strive for because I think there is a purpose that goes in that I might play and could play. ” You may get consistent minutes back, “Cropper told The Enquirer.” I can measure myself against a goalkeeper who has experience and a good reputation in the league, as well as a goalkeeping coach who has extensive experience and a good reputation in the league League and helping the next generation of younger goalkeepers at the club. “
“One goalkeeper is playing and the other two are learning to take the # 1 jersey. It is an opportunity that came up that I thought was beneficial to myself and my career, but I think it will be good for everyone because I want to compete. I want to make everyone around me better. “
At least in part, Cropper will fill the void that’s left of Spencer Richey, who left Cincinnati FC at the end of the 2020 season.
One reason for Richey’s departure was that he didn’t suit the goalkeeper very well for the possession-oriented style the club are looking to play.
Tytoń and Richey have essentially split time online for the club’s first two seasons in Major League Soccer due to injury issues, so Cropper must be ready to step in should those issues persist.
Cropper said his understanding is that FCC head coach Jaap Stam was looking for die-hard players as well as front runners this off-season.
Cropper said he believes he has these traits and sees himself well suited to the ownership-based style too.
“I think the style of play will play from behind, if it goes, if we can and if we are comfortable with it,” said Cropper. “Obviously (Stam) brings a very European style of play … I think that’s the style of play he’s going to ask of us and I think that’s what he wants and I think I can help with that. When I talk to him, and when they talked to Jack, they both mentioned that they will put a focus on the position and I can help build from behind.