Aaron Boupendza signs for MLS leaders FC Cincinnati
Chris Albright’s side will go into the Leagues Cup break as the Supporters’ Shield leaders and have just added a proven goal scorer to their squad.
Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Cincinnati have strengthened their squad with the arrival of Aaron Boupendza as a Designated Player signing.
Despite leading the Eastern Conference at the halfway stage, Cincinnati have struggled in front of goal at times and the team’s striking options have underwhelmed so far.
“We could’ve added a youth DP,” general manager Chris Albright said of the team’s first big move in the Secondary Transfer Window.
“But we thought someone with a little bit more of a proven record would give our team, our fans, a chance to, you know, maybe take a shot at something a little bit sooner.”
Since joining MLS in 2019 FC Cincinnati haven’t won any major honours and last season’s fifth-place finish with a run to the playoff quarter-finals was their best showing. There is a real confidence around the club that this year could bring greater success for Cincinnati.
Aaraon Boupendza stats show huge potential
The 26-year-old Gabon international arrives from Saudi Pro League side Al-Shabab FC but has extensive experience in Europe. He played in France and Portugal before making the move to Turkish side Hatayspor in 2020. In his one season in the Turkish Super Lig he scored 22 goals in 36 league appearances.
In the Saudi Pro League he has scored 19 goals in 34 appearances for two clubs.
Cincinnati boss Albright said of Boupendza: “He’s a player… that’s shown the ability to score goals everywhere he’s gone. And scoring goals in our game is the most important thing, it’s the hardest thing to do.”
Cincinnati search for goal scoring DP
Boupendza joins a Cincinnati team who have been the best in MLS through the first half of the season, but with one slight weakness. They are seven points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference but their goal scoring record is only the fifth-best in the East.
So far this season Yuya Kubo, the team’s only Designated Player striker, has not scored in 14 appearances. Their top goalscorer is MVP candidate attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta with ten goals in 20 MLS games. Acosta aside, no one has scored more than four goals.
Boupendza’s arrival should ease the burden on Acosta and the chance to play alongside the 29-year-old seems to have been a significant appeal for the new signing.
“He’s an amazing player. I trained with him today,” Boupendza said of the Argentinian playmaker. “I think with this player we can score a lot of goals.”