USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Sunday, January 31, 2016
CINCINNATI, Ohio – When FC Cincinnati kicks off its inaugural season this spring, it will have in its ranks someone who’s very familiar with the club’s home of Nippert Stadium.
Former University of Cincinnati standout Omar Cummings was one of seven new signings introduced to the media on Friday afternoon, as the 33-year-old forward returned to the city where he had made his name as a top young prospect.
“This, for him, is a big homecoming,” Cincinnati Head Coach John Harkes told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Patrick Brennan. "When you get a player of his experience to come, he knows how the day-in and day-out, and what the professional level is supposed to be. He sets the tone.
“The smile on his face just tells you the pride he has. He's happy to be back.”
- RELATED: Cummings Highlights Cincinnati’s New Signings
Cummings’ college career began at Cincinnati State, where he was named a Junior College All-American. He transferred to UC ahead of his junior season, where the goals continued to arrive in droves. Cummings recorded 13 goals and 16 assists for the Bearcats, earning back-to-back unanimous selections to the Big East All-Conference First Team, and NSCAA All-American First Team honors in his senior season.
“Back in the day, there were a lot of trips to Chipotle,” Cummings told Brennan with a smile. “We'd sit by the Nippert Stadium steps – it was all a great hangout area.”
A third-round selection in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, Cummings went on to claim MLS Cup in 2010 with the Colorado Rapids, and represent Jamaica 35 times, scoring seven goals for the Reggae Boyz. Now he returns to the city where it all began, where he’ll be a veteran presence for what on paper appears to be a strong squad. One of his new teammates is former MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry, who himself watched Cummings play when he was an up-and-coming player in Cincinnati.
- RELATED: Berry Excited to Join Hometown Club FC Cincinnati
“I remember sitting in the stands, watching Omar play at UC when I was a kid,” said Berry. “You knew his name from his time at Cincinnati State. He was a special player to watch.”
After a solid season in 2015 for the San Antonio Scorpions with 10 goals in 29 appearances, Cummings is eager to get onto the field with Berry and the rest of his new teammates.“I think there's a lot of very talented guys. Young, hungry guys,” Cummings told Brennan. “There's definitely a lot of excitement. It's a dream to play here.”