Alan Koch

FC Cincinnati fired head coach Alan Koch on Tuesday following a disappointing start to the club’s debut season in Major League Soccer.

The expansion side, who have taken just eight points from 11 games this year, said assistant Yoann Damet would act as interim head coach as the search for a permanent replacement got underway.

Koch’s departure comes with Cincinnati languishing joint bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, having failed to score in their last five matches and with a league-low eight goals.

“After a series of recent issues and a team culture that had deteriorated, we determined that it’s time to make a change to return a club-centred focus to the team,” Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said in a statement.

“This decision is not driven by recent game results themselves, but rather the underpinnings that have led to those results.

“We have not come close to maximizing the talent we have in the dressing room this year, nor have we seen a foundation being built that will set us up for success this year and into next year.”

The statement is a rebuke to Koch’s comments last week that the team needed additional players to succeed.

Berding meanwhile said he was confident Damet, 29, was capable of steadying the ship while club officials hunted for a new head coach.

“I am confident that Yoann will immediately infuse the locker room and soccer staff with a positive energy and team approach,” Berding said.

“He is respected and trusted and will lead the hard work that gets the best out of our players.”

Koch is the second MLS coach to be fired this season, following Anthony Hudson’s departure from the Colorado Rapids last week.

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