WASHINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Although Major League Soccer (MLS) side FC Cincinnati's players have yet to meet their new head coach Jaap Stam, they are ready to welcome the former Netherlands star in person.
Former Manchester United and Netherlands defender Stam was named the new FC Cincinnati manager last week, but he remains in the Netherlands due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the players met the coach over a conference call earlier this week, with many saying they are already looking forward to working under a coach that they watched growing up.
"Well, a little bit strange to meet him through video calls," Cincinnati center back Kendall Waston said. "Obviously it's the first time this type of thing has happened. Now, we just welcome him. We as players are just waiting to have the head coach back to Cincinnati."
"He's going to bring obviously a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience because he played in top teams," he added. "I remember when I was small and I got used to watch AC Milan and obviously he was there, so he's gonna bring all of that experience that he had in his career."
47-year-old Stam took over from fellow Dutchman Ron Jans, who stepped down in preseason after just six months with Cincinnati in the wake of an investigation accusing Jans of making "extremely inappropriate comments."
Fellow Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund said that having the club's head coaching situation resolved will be an exciting development for the team's future plans.
"It's nice having a new coach," Hagglund said. "This is an opportunity. This quarantine's been a bit crazy and not really knowing what's going on, but to come out on the opposite side of this with a direction, with an idea, an identity for this club, I think is awesome so I think everyone is really excited for him to get here."
"He's not here yet, so we're waiting for that, we're excited for when he gets here and hopefully we hit the ground running."
Stam, who also played for PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Milan and Ajax in a storied playing career, will arrive in Cincinnati after a short coaching stint at Feyenoord that ended with his resignation last October.
"For myself, to get the opportunity to work in America and to work in the MLS for a club like FC Cincinnati, it's a dream," Stam said last week. "I've always liked the country and I've always liked the mentality of the people in the United States as well."