CDL FC 2014 season recap

Successful first season Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC finishing 2nd in South Atlantic Division


Cincinnati, OH, October 1, 2014- The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC (6-4-3 22 points) finished their season just short of the South Atlantic Division Championship title. Coming in with 22 points, CDL FC tied Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors (6-4-4 22 points) for second place in the Premier Development League. Topping the leader board was West Virginia Chaos, claiming the title with a 7-3-4 record finishing the season with 25 points, just a three-point separation from second place. The Lions beat the Chaos at home the first game between the tow teams and perhaps played their best match of the season in their 2nd encounter but the ball just would not go in and three counter attacks (1-3 score) gave the Chaos a, what later seemed to be, three “championship” points.



Expanding their third franchise to Cincinnati, the Dutch Lions FC were very excited to compete in the 2014 PDL season. “We wanted to bring family friendly (soccer) entertainment to the Cincinnati market,” said Koen Driessen, Vice President of Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC. “Our goal for the first year was to create a personal relationship with the Cincinnati soccer market. As CDL FC continues to grow we hope that soccer fans, families and the people of Cincinnati will have a desire to watch high quality soccer in their own back yards. Not only through the games but also watching stars like Ruud Gullit – two times voted “FIFA Best Player in the World” – coming to Cincinnati for the opening game and do a clinic with kids. We averaged between 300 and 550 fans at our home games and the feedback from the people attending was very positive. We invited a lot of youth teams from the local soccer clubs to walk up the field with the players and also take part in pre game matches and after game pictures with signing autographs on the field with the team. And of course Leo the Lion was very popular with all the kids. One of the highlights for sure was the “kick-the-crossbar-contest” with Ruud Gullit, Kevin Huber (punter for the Cincinnati Bengals) and Cincinnati graduates Matt Williams (Dayton Dutch Lions FC) and Matt Walker (Columbus Crew/Dayton Dutch Lions FC).”




With the first season in Cincinnati successfully under their belt, Driessen is confident that the soccer market for the CDL FC team will grow: “This season was important for us to develop a fan base and build a connection with the city of Cincinnati. The large crowds downtown at the viewing parties of the USA World Cup games proves that Cincinnati is a great market for high-level soccer. Besides our games we also brought the team to several community events and organized after game events downtown in partnership with Obscura and Mynt Martini. For a lot of players this was new, but it was very much appreciated by the players, staff, community and also local businesses. It also gave the team good exposure. Building off this season’s good feedback and growing the fan base is the main objective for this team next year”, said Driessen.


The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC organization was very happy with the way the team performed on the field and their results. CEO Mike Mossel commented on the performance of Terry Nicholl and Alan Grothaus: “Back in November of 2013 I said to Jack Hermans I was looking for the best coaches in the Cincinnati market to coach our PDL team. Jack immediately came with Terry and Alan. And I have to say he was right. Both of them are first class. On and off the pitch. Alan has done a fantastic job organizing everything for the team, so Terry could fully focus on coaching the team. Besides his knowledge of the game he brings spirit, professionalism and also a great sense a humor. I believe the players not only had a great time this season and learned a lot as players and a team, I also believe that Alan and Terry developed them as individuals. Besides the staff and players I would also like to thank the families and friends of all the players, who came every game and were always very supportive and created a great atmosphere. And also Xavier University, Seven Hills High School (our partner for our tryouts and training sessions), our sponsors and our Board members (Jeff Berding, Wim Huijs and Suresh Gupta). Overall it was a good first year but we are all very hungry for more. I believe the Cincinnati market as well as our own organization is ready for that.”


When asked about his thought of the first season, Head Coach Terry Nicholl had this to say: “After putting this team together quickly, we were very pleased with how well they blended. They complemented one another very well”. Starting the season with great momentum CDLFC won and tied their first seven games of the season, racking in 15 of their 22 total points. Midway through the season the team suffered multiple injuries that hurt the team’s starting line up. Along with injuries, the team had a 12-day game break that coach Nicholl said was the changing factor in their season. “The team lost all the energy they had at the beginning of the season”, said coach Nicholl. Finishing the season, CDL FC went on to lose four of their last seven games, winning two more and tying their last game, finishing just three points shy of the Southern Atlantic Division title. Overall, Nicholl was very satisfied with his team and their season: “We had a great group of kids who had an excellent season, many of which were first time PDL players. Jake Stovall, Jeff McClure and Eric Oswald were three stand out players this season, they played almost every minute of every game”. Stovall and McClure were also named Eastern All-Conference team. Nicholl went on to say, “What held this team together was international forward and starting captain Rowin Van Zaanen. Rowin was the glue to this team. He was a great leader, very calm and was well respected by the rest of his team.”




Netherlands native Van Zaanen was happy with his first soccer season here in the United States. After playing professional soccer overseas for 13 years, coming to America was a change on and off the field for him. “I’m glad I got to experience the American lifestyle. Personally, injuries set my season back but I was able to bounce back and finish the season strong. I had great teammates and an excellent coaching staff. I am grateful to be able to have this experience,” said Van Zaanen. Van Zaanen finished the season with 4 goals and 2 assistants, leading his first year team to second place in the Southern Atlantic Division.



Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC would like to thank their fans and supporters for such a successful season. They would also like to thank Holland Roofing, Joseph Auto Group, Beacon Orthopedics, Holiday Inn, Papa Johns, Xavier University and Seven Hills School for their partnership this season, as well as all the volunteers and staff.


For more information regarding Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC you can visit

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