The Cheetah is ready to run all over 2021

As we move deeper into the offseason for the USL Championship, clubs around the league are starting to solidify their rosters by adding new players or retaining the ones they had in 2020. With every side looking for offensive firepower, a 2020 second team All-League performer is available and motivated to showcase his skills in 2021.

Christiano François picked up six goals and seven assists with now-defunct Reno 1868 FC. Unable to return to the club for the upcoming season, he is excited about a new opportunity to excel in the USL Championship after successful previous stints with Ottawa Fury FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the two seasons before his time in Reno. “Physically, I feel good. I have been training and getting ready for what’s coming,” François told BGN. “Mentally, I am good. I think a lot about last season and try to see what I need to work on to be better.”

Known as Cheetah since high school, the 27-year-old François has established himself as an explosive player in the attack with his speed, skill, and versatility. His production is even more impressive when you find out that François is able to have that type of success not playing his preferred position. While he’s a weapon on the wing, he actually would rather play as a striker.

“I used to play as a striker and I liked it. I am fast and strong. I used to score a lot of goals,” he said. “I think I need to find the right coach to trust me and from there, I will be able to do better as a striker than I am as a winger.”

Two of his favorite strikers to watch growing up were legends Carlos Tevez and “O Fenômeno” Ronaldo.

Whether he’s playing out wide or up top, François has remained a consistent threat across his time in the USL. How does he remain productive in different systems and positions? “My mindset,” he answered. “I come from Haiti, so I know how hard it is there. I know not everyone gets the chances I get, so I don’t take it for granted. I make sure I give and do my best every time they give me a chance.”

The proud Cabaret, Haiti native was able to make his debut for the Haitian national team in 2019. “I have no words to describe how I feel about representing my country. That was always my dream as a kid,” François said.

Christiano added that everything about the experience was special. “I got to be around some of the players I watched growing up and I played in front of the fans where they are chanting my name and cherishing us. That’s special,” he said.

When asked what Christiano François brings to a perspective club, the Haitian sensation explained, “Any club that signs me knows that I will bring something good.”

“I am a team player so I will do anything to make sure I don’t disappoint them. I will sure I do my part and make the team better.”

After helping Reno 1868 FC finish with the best record in the 2020 regular season, any club, USL Championship or MLS, looking for success in 2021 would be wise to consider adding Christiano François to their roster.


Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.