FC Cincinnati’s Brenner Will Join Udinese in July

Following an emphatic three seasons competing in the MLS, FC Cincinnati Brazilian youngster Brenner Souza will shift his talents to Europe as Serie A side Udinese has acquired his services.

The sale, plus add-ons, has broken Major League Soccer transfer records with a price tag of $10. However, the incentives and sell-on-fees attached could significantly raise this total higher, but either way, he’s now one of the top 10 largest transfer fees in MLS history.

We’re extremely happy for Brenner that he’s able to make this move and play in one of the biggest leagues in Europe,” FC Cincinnati general manager Chris Albright commented.

Our ultimate goal at FC Cincinnati is to win games for our incredible fans, and we understand that developing players is central to attracting the best talent.”

The Orange and Blues’ fans needn’t worry just yet, though, as Brenner won’t depart from the North American team until the official European transfer window opens in July. His final MLS game in the Eastern Conference will be on July 1, when Cincy hosts New England Revolution at the TQL Stadium.

Brenner has been one-third of an incredibly talented strike force at FC Cincinnati, and after three seasons, he’s netted 27 goals from 72 appearances in all competitions.

This is a significant transfer for our club and is a testament to everything our staff has done in the past year and a half. Our ownership will continue to give us the resources to compete, and this transfer only adds to that commitment,” Albright added.

Where Does This Leave Cincinnati?

The 2022 MLS season saw Cincinnati shine in the final third, as the likes of Brenner, Brandon Vazquez, and Luciano Acosta delivered a world-class level of soccer and guided the team into the playoffs for the first time in the club’s short history.

But now that Brenner is heading to Italy, can Cincinnati keep the momentum? And will any more players follow the path of their former teammates?

Several teams have shown an interest in Cincy’s offensive talents, specifically in superstar forward Vazquez. That said, Brenner’s exit could complicate the potential transfer of any remaining strikers.

With Brenner out of the squad, the team will heavily rely on Vazquez and Acosta, as there isn’t much depth elsewhere. If Vazquez did follow Brenner out of the league, Pat Noonan would be required to make a huge signing to fill the empty boots and keep the team atop of the Eastern Conference.

Vazquez was initially tipped as the first to move across the Atlantic, with interest stemming from the English Premier League and the Bundesliga. Brenner is, however, the man who’s solidified his move to the old continent, and he’ll sport a Udinese jersey after EPL’s Nottingham Forest and Holland’s PSV Eindhoven fell short in the bidding.

Cincinnati are in first position in the MLS Eastern Conference with 14 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss. They’re en route to topping last season’s efforts, and bettors would be foolish to doubt this squad’s MLS Cup-winning potential.

Who Is Brenner Souza?

A 23-year-old Sao Paulo youth academy product born and raised in Cuiaba, Brazil. After four years of displaying his talents on Sao Paulo’s first team, he only managed to secure 13 goals from 38 appearances. He finally shined when arriving in the MLS in 2021, bagging a 12th-minute goal versus Nashville SC in his debut. And now, with three MLS seasons and 69 Cincinnati appearances, he’s bagged 27 league goals.

In 2022, for undisclosed reasons, Brenner was disgruntled with Cincy and requested a transfer. The request was denied, but instead of underperforming, he did the opposite. Remaining with FCC for the 2022-23 season, he led the team with 18 goals and three hat-tricks and was a crucial aspect in the clubs’ first ever-playoff berth. Unfortunately, he still wanted out, and his request has now been fulfilled with the aforementioned record $10 million sum to Udinese.

Aged just 23, this youngster’s future is bright, and with a 5-year contract sealed at Udinese on one of the biggest stages in European football, the sky’s the limit.