York United signs former Atlético Ottawa striker Brian Wright

York United FC is thrilled to announce the signing of 27-year-old Canadian forward Brian Wright to a two-year deal.

Most recently, Wright – born in Toronto, ON and raised in Ajax, ON – spent two seasons with Atlético Ottawa where he scored 14 times across 53 appearances and was a consistent thorn in the sides of various Canadian Premier League defenders.

In 2022, he was a key part of Atleti’s run to both the CPL regular season title and subsequent Championship decider against Forge FC. In all competitions, he netted seven goals in 29 games (six from open play) and finished the campaign as the club’s second-highest goalscorer.

It was a similar story in 2021 as Wright struck another seven times (six in the league, plus one more in the Canadian Championship) in 24 appearances during his debut campaign in the Canadian capital.

Prior to arriving in the CPL, the imposing attacker had been based in the United States since 2013. Having spent four superb years at the University of Vermont, where he accumulated a string of individual accolades (including becoming the program’s second all-time leading scorer: 66 starts and 39 goals), Wright was the 20th overall selection in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and signed with the New England Revolution.

Initially, he was loaned to United Soccer League (USL) club Tulsa Roughnecks (where he was briefly a team-mate of another current Nine Stripe, Paris Gee) before making his Revs debut in a US Open Cup victory over Rochester Rhinos. In the next round against D.C. United, Wright made his first ever professional start and scored in a 2-1 win. The following week, he made his MLS debut and played 37 minutes off the bench in a clash with Philadelphia Union. After a string of substitute appearances, he was handed a first MLS start by Head Coach Brad Friedel at Yankee Stadium in September 2018 against New York City FC. Memorably, Wright scored the game-winner with 20 minutes remaining. His final contribution to the club came in April 2019 with a cameo in a 4-4 thriller versus Sporting Kansas City. Overall, he made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Revs and scored twice.

Wright signed a loan deal with USL Championship outfit Birmingham Legion for the remainder of 2019 before making a permanent switch the following year. In total, he netted nine goals in 44 appearances for the club, adding a further five assists.

“Brian is a proven goalscorer in the CPL – he put three past us in the league last season so I’m happy we won’t be playing against him now,” says Angus McNab, York United FC’s CEO/President and GM.

“He has the highest xG per shot of any forward in the league over the past two seasons and we feel that with the squad we’re assembling, we can create a volume of opportunities for him to score many more goals.”

Wright becomes the latest acquisition for the club ahead of the 2023 season.

Other arrivals include a trio of Canadian midfielders – Elijah Adekugbe, Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé and Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy, as well as Dutch defender Lassana Faye.

Familiar faces also return for next season.

Goalkeepers Niko Giantsopoulos and Eleias Himaras are both confirmed while midfielder Matthew Baldisimo is back on a permanent basis after arriving on loan from Pacific FC towards the end of last term. Defender Paris Gee and forward Austin Ricci have also committed to new deals.

Earlier in the off-season, the club confirmed striker Osaze De Rosario had signed a two-year extension and will remain with The Nine Stripes through 2024.

A handful of players are also under contract for the upcoming season: Tass Mourdoukoutas, Max Ferrari, Mo Babouli and Kevin Dos Santos.