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Major League Soccer is investigating a complaint that FC Cincinnati coach Ron Jans made “extremely inappropriate comments,” and Jans has stepped away from his coaching duties in the meantime, the parties said Friday.

The MLS Players Association said it filed the complaint, adding: “We have made a report to the appropriate league officials and expect an immediate and thorough league investigation.”

According to two sources, close to the team, Jans is being investigated by the league for using the N-word in front of players earlier this preseason.

Jans was hired in August under an 18-month contract. FC Cincinnati is in the middle of its preseason training at IMG Academy in Florida, and the regular season is set to begin March 1 at the New York Red Bulls.

Team president Jeff Berding did not wish to comment, but the club issued a statement Friday afternoon.

“FC Cincinnati was founded and operates with three core values: (1) being inclusive and family-friendly, (2) having a strong and visible presence in the community, and (3) winning on the field,” the team said in the statement. “When club leadership was made aware of the allegation, we were very surprised as building a caring and committed culture has been a focus of Ron’s leadership.

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