By CHARLIE CORR – firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, January 18, 2016
RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Kickers and Head Coach Leigh Cowlishaw stated matter-of-factly how important midfielder Brian Ownby is to the squad.
On Monday, the club announced Ownby has re-signed for the 2016 USL season.
“Re-signing Brian was our No. 1 priority in the offseason,” Cowlishaw said. “He’s an impact player who fits our style perfectly and loves playing in front of his hometown. It was disappointing for all involved when the shoulder injury cut short his season and we both feel there is unfinished business for the 2016 season.”
There is one caveat.
Ownby has been invited to join the Colorado Rapids for preseason training camp. Should he not be offered a Major League Soccer contract, he will return to Richmond in time for the Kickers’ preseason in late February.
“We wish Brian all the best with this tryout opportunity,” Cowlishaw said. “The good news for Kickers fans is that if he is not playing in MLS, he will be an important piece in our USL Championship push.”
Ownby re-signs with Richmond after tallying five goals and four assists in 14 appearances in 2015 before a season-ending injury sidelined him last June. Previously, he made 21 appearances with the Kickers in 2013 on loan from the Houston Dynamo. Amassing over 1,500 minutes that season, he posted seven goals and seven assists to finish second on the team with 21 points.
Selected by Houston in the first round of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, Ownby made 29 appearances with the Dynamo over three seasons, recording a pair of assists off the bench during his rookie campaign.
A native of Richmond, Va., Ownby signed with Houston after a standout collegiate career at the University of Virginia where he made 72 appearances over four seasons, finishing with 21 goals and 10 assists for 52 points. He was named Second Team All-ACC in 2011 after earning first-team honors in 2010 and was a member of the NCAA Championship-winning team in 2009. The 5’11” midfielder represented the United States at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, scoring a goal in the group stage match against Cameroon.
The former Richmond Strikers Academy player is a graduate of Deep Run High School, taking Colonial District and Central Region Player of the Year honors in 2008.