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First Three Players Sign with Cincinnati Dutch Lions

Photo Credit: Fred Rotgans (

The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC is proud to announce the first three signings for the club’s inaugural season in the Premier Development League (PDL). Veteran forward Rowin van Zaanen is joined by midfielder Raphael Ramos Basso and forward Cleyson Dos Santos to represent the first three players in club history, a milestone for the newly formed expansion club.

Van Zaanen brings a wealth of experience to the PDL side, having played in the Dutch Eredivisie and Jupiler League for clubs like FC Volendam, Willem II, Fortuna Sittard, and Almere City. The Amsterdam, Netherlands native is known for a tremendous strike rate, tallying 47 goals in 187 career appearances.

The addition of van Zaanen is a major signing in the region as noted by Cincinnati Dutch Lions assistant coach Alan Grothaus.

Photo Credit: Fred Rotgans (

“Rowin will be a huge asset to our team because he will bring the most professional experience to our training sessions and games. He will be a player to watch for our new Cincinnati fans.”

Bassos is another playmaker, one that brings considerable credentials from the Brazilian leagues. His experience includes time with the Avai Futebol Clube, Sao Carlos F.C., Coritiba Football Club, and Esporte Clube Laranja Mecanica.

“Raphael Ramos Basso will add youth, skill, and international flavor from Brazil to our team,” Grothaus added. “He is a future professional that Cincinnati will get to see develop in his early years.”

Fellow Brazilian Dos Santos also has experience with Avai Futebol Clube and Esporte Clube Laranja Mecanica.

“Cleyson is an up and coming young player that will add to our skill level and youthful energy,” Grothaus concluded.

Dutch Lions FC previously announced that international soccer legend Ruud Gullit will attend the home opener for the Cincinnati Dutch Lions as they face the River City Rovers on Friday, May 9th. All PDL matches will take place at Xavier University’s Corcoran Field.