Former-MLS and USL forward, Brian Wright, completes his move to the Canadian Premier League signing for Atletico Ottawa
Canadian striker Brian Wright, 26, has become the fifth forward to sign for Atletico Ottawa as the free agent moved on from the USL to pursue a career closer to home.
Having impressed at the University of Vermont, scoring 39 goals in 3 seasons the striker was drafted by New England Revolution in the MLS where he went on to make 14 appearances between 2017 and 2019, scoring one goal.
The GTA-native then spent two seasons in the USL with Birmingham Legion FC between 2019 and 2020 where he scored 9 goals in 42 appearances.
Standing at sick feet tall, Wright is a physical presence who is set to be a handful for opposition defenders in the CPL and will likely be competing with Malcolm Shaw for the starting position at the centre of Atletico Ottawa’s attack.
“A big presence, physical, fast & strong,” what Ottawa fans can expect from an experienced striker that has even faced-up against Chelsea (yes, that Chelsea).
The GTA-born forward has an extensive playing career, with experience ranging from the USL League Two to the MLS and back to the USL - and will now be able to add the Canadian Premier League to that list too.
Wright was snatched up by New England Revolution in the MLS Superdraft following an impressive spell playing for the University of Vermont men’s soccer team, Vermont Catamounts between 2013-2016.
“Being drafted by New England Revolution was an unbelievable experience,” Wright said during a sit down with his new club.
“Doing the whole combine, the draft and just a lifelong-dream that I set out when I decided I wanted to be a pro, hearing my name called was an unbelievable experience”.
The 2013 Rookie of the Year bagged himself 39 goals in 80 appearances (along with a very respectable 25 assists) and even appeared for the Burlingame Dragons in the USL League Two during the 2016 season.
Wright’s time in the MLS couldn’t have started better, with the then 22-year-old scording the winner in a 2-1 victory at the Yankee Stadium against D.C. United during the 2017 US Open Cup fifth round.
His dream of a successful career was cut short though with Revolution sending the forward out on loan to USL side Birmingham Legion FC in 2019 before Wright made the move permanent following his release from New England.
“The draw to join Atletico Ottawa and the Canadian Premier League was kind of an easy choice for me honestly,” the 26-year-old told Atletico Ottawa.
“Coming back home, being close to my friends and family and looking forward to the new challenge from being in the professional league that is here in Canada now.”
The allure of the brand that Ottawa’s relationship with Madrid brings, as well as coaching from a footballing legend such as Mista has once again paid off as the club seek to attract further quality.
“Playing under a soccer legend like Mista, with myself being a striker, I’m just really looking forward to learning as much as possible." - Brian Wright
“Honestly, I’m just looking to be a sponge and soak up as much as possible,” the GTA-native said.
Like many other athletes experiencing arctic weather like that of Canada, Wright had to fight through the elements to keep in shape.
“To stay fit I [was] training a lot. I couldn’t get inside much so I had to be outside a lot.
“Some days were unbearable!
However, the sunshine of Spain was a welcomed change and “isn’t comparable” to the off-season training.
“It’s always nice to go somewhere for pre-season, especially to get some warmer weather.”
When describing his style of play, Wright’s description was similar to the way fellow striking partner Malcolm Shaw described himself.
“I’m a big presence, fast, strong.
I can do a lot of things [from] holding up the ball, passing wise and [of course] scoring goals.”
Although a very large question mark remains over the prospect of playing in front of fans for the 2021 CPL season, Brian Wright is relishing the opportunity to get some professional minutes under his belt back on home soil.
“[I’m] excited to play again in Canada for the first time, in a competitive match, in about 8 years.
“I’ve been paying attention to the league since it started, having friends and knowing people that play in this league.