Photo courtesy FC Cincinnati
2016 USL Most Valuable Player Sean Okoli announced via social media on Saturday that he would not return to FC Cincinnati for the club’s second season. Okoli, who claimed the league’s Golden Boot with 16 goals in the regular season, said it was a move he needed to make to reach his personal goals.
Man.. idk where to start. This last year with Cincinnati left me with nothing but good memories. It's a place i really got to grow as a player and person while meeting great people along the way. I always felt the support from the club, the city, and the fans so i want to say thank u. I had to make a tough decision of not coming back for the 2017 season but i know this is a step i have to take to reach my personal goals. So i want to thank FC Cincinnati, the city, the fans, and my teammates for everything. I'll always have the orange and blue in me!
A former Homegrown signing by Seattle Sounders FC, Okoli joined Cincinnati this past preseason after a stint with the New England Revolution. The 23-year-old made an immediate splash, scoring the first home goal in club history with a volleyed finish that landed at the No. 4 spot on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Okoli continued to find the net consistently throughout the regular season as Cincinnati finished third in the USL’s Eastern Conference to earn a place in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. He was named to the USL All-League First Team, which was followed by USL Most Valuable Player honors last month.
Cincinnati has already announced the return of several key pieces from its 2016 squad, including USL Goalkeeper of the Year Mitch Hildebrandt and All-League First Team defender Harrison Delbridge.