On Saturday FC Cincinnati announced that IU alumnus Andrew Gutman has joined the club on loan from Scottish giant Celtic FC. The left-back has spent much of his first season as a professional on loan with USL side Charlotte Independence, where he made 14 appearances, scoring a trio of goals and assisting on another. He also revealed that he has extended his contract with Celtic ahead of the loan on Twitter:
Delighted to extend my contract with @CelticFC and complete a loan move to @fccincinnati Special thanks to my guy @RichardMotzkin for always having my back and making this happen. I’m excited to get started and looking forward to meeting everyone! https://t.co/gAkrZwu1rJ— Andrew Gutman™️ (@_andrewgutman) August 3, 2019
The move gives Gutman a chance to play and develop at a level higher than the USL. He should slide into the starting XI for Cincinnati as the club has lacked a natural left-back since Greg Garza suffered an injury in May. He could also be a big boost for the club as the Orange and Blue has struggled in its first season in MLS, currently sitting in the cellar of the Eastern Conference with 16 losses, just 17 points and a league-worst goal differential of -31 through 23 games. Cincinnati currently sits seven points behind Chicago Fire in 11th place and 22 points behind the conference leader, Philadelphia Union. Cincinnati will certainly also be a proving ground for Gutman as he tries to break into Celtic’s first team. The move also comes just two days after Cincinnati acquired Gutman’s homegrown rights from Chicago Fire.
This summer the 22-year-old also made the provisionary 40-man roster for the United State Men’s National Team ahead of the Gold Cup. Though he didn’t make the squad for any of the matches in the tournament, he was the first active USL player to make the provisional team.
During his time at IU Gutman evolved into one of the best players in the nation. He went from being an All-Big Ten player to an All-American player to the MAC Hermann Trophy winner in his four years as a Hoosier. Despite being a defender he was a handful for opposing defenses, scoring 18 goals in his final two seasons (and 20 total). He also tallied 13 assists between his junior and senior seasons, finishing with 17 for his career. Seven of his goals as a senior were game-winners as he led the Hoosiers to the Big Ten double on the way to a College Cup appearance.
MLS is currently in season. Gutman should make his debut with Cincinnati in the next week or two.