FC Cincinnati have signed midfielder Gerardo ‘Dado’ Valenzuela as a Homegrown Player, the club announced today. Valenzuela signs a contract through the 2026 season, with a two-year option for 2027 and 2028.
Valenzuela, 18, becomes the seventh former FC Cincinnati Academy player to join the Orange and Blue on a first team deal and the fifth Homegrown Player on FC Cincinnati’s current roster (Stiven Jimenez, Arquimides Ordoñez, Harrison Robledo, Paul Walters).
“Dado is an exciting young player who has worked incredibly hard for this opportunity,” said Chris Albright, FC Cincinnati General Manager. “He has an innate ability on the ball and continues to improve his defensive understanding of the game. His growth from our Academy through MLS NEXT Pro has been a testament to all the work that’s been done in our player pathway and we look forward to his continued development with the first team.”
Valenzuela joined the FC Cincinnati Academy in August of 2020, playing for the U-17 and U-19 teams. In 2022, Valenzuela spent much of the year with FC Cincinnati 2 in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season. Valenzuela made 14 starts in 16 total appearances for FCC 2, scoring one goal and adding two assists.
"I'm excited to sign my first professional contract with FC Cincinnati," said Valenzuela. "It's been my dream to be a professional ever since I was little, and it feels even better to have achieved this with the support of this great team, my family, and my coaches."
In six appearances for FCC 2 this season, Valenzuela has netted once, a match-winning goal against Toronto FC II on the opening day of the season and picked up one assist.
TRANSACTION: FC Cincinnati sign midfielder Gerardo Valenzuela as a Homegrown Player. Valenzuela signs a contract through the 2026 season, with a two-year option for 2027 and 2028.
#58 GERARDO ‘DADO’ VALENZUELA
Height: 6’ 0”
Birthdate: September 28, 2004 (18)
Birthplace: Boca Raton, Fla.