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Chris Albright departs hometown club to become FC Cincinnati general manager

Philadelphia native will get a chance to reshape the third-year MLS team

Matt Ralph

Chris Albright won’t have to wait long to face his now former team.

FC Cincinnati made it official Monday that the Philadelphia native has been hired as their new general manager ahead of a visit from the Philadelphia Union to Cincinnati on Saturday.

Albright leaves his hometown club after serving as technical director for more than seven years. The former U.S. international made 10 appearances for the Philadelphia Union in his final two seasons in MLS in 2012 and 2013 and moved into a front office role shortly after hanging up his boots.

“I want to thank Chris for the ambition and passion he has brought to his role these past seven years,” Philadelphia Union Principal Owner Jay Sugarman stated in a news release. “Chris was a leader in our locker room as a player and continued that leadership as a member of our technical staff. His ability to recruit and develop players has helped drive our success and positioned the Union among the top clubs in the league. He has our appreciation and good wishes as he takes this next step in his career.”

Albright initially joined the Union front office as assistant technical director in January 2014 but was promoted to technical director that June after the firing of assistant coach and technical director Rob Vartughian.

“Chris has been extremely focused and efficient in accomplishing the club’s goals and has set the standard high when it comes to securing players and managing the salary cap,” Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner stated. “He has an incredible grasp of the MLS roster rules and regulations that he introduced me to when I first arrived. I’m grateful for our collaboration over the last couple of seasons and wish him the best in Cincinnati.”

Albright played high school soccer for Penn Charter before playing for the University of Virginia, where he earned All-American honors. Following his two-year collegiate career, Albright signed with D.C. United and helped D.C win its third MLS cup. He went on to play for five clubs over 14 seasons in MLS, making 235 appearances and scoring 11 goals and adding 22 assists in regular season play. He won three MLS Cup titles, was a three-time MLS All-Star, a two-time winner of the Supporters’ Shield, won a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, and earned a spot on the MLS Best XI in 2005. He earned 22 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and was part of the 2006 World Cup squad but not feature in the tournament.

“To the Philly fans, thank you for letting us hear the good and the bad and always keeping us honest,” Albright said in the Union news release. “It was the ultimate dream to bring a trophy back to a city that has always been my home. While I look forward to this new chapter with great excitement, the Union will always be a part of me.”