Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati announced on Monday that two-time USL All-League First Team selection Harrison Delbridge had signed with the Hyundai A-League’s Melbourne City FC as the Australian center back returned to his native country after four stellar seasons in the USL.
A finalist for the USL’s Defender of the Year this past season, the 25-year-old Delbridge helped Sacramento Republic FC claim the USL Cup in the 2014 season before spending a season with the Portland Timbers 2 the following year. The 25-year old came into his own in Cincinnati, however, earning league-wide plaudits as one of the top defensive performers in the league. Delbridge will now get a chance to compete in Australia’s top flight, and potentially stake a claim to be in Australia’s squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“We worked hard over the last year to re-sign Harrison for the 2018 season, but ultimately the opportunity to return home to play in the first division and potentially his national team was too great to pass up given his professional ambitions,” said FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding. “We respect his decision and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his professional career.”
Delbridge made 60 appearances in the USL for FC Cincinnati, and 94 in the league overall. This past season he recorded 123 interceptions and 147 clearances, while also contributing three goals and three assists offensively.
“We are excited for Harrison that he has received this opportunity to return home,” said FCC Head Coach Alan Koch. “We are supportive of his move and are delighted that he will be able to put himself in the shop window for the Australian national team on a weekly basis.”