PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have announced the signing of English defensive midfielder Conor Branson ahead of the start of their 2016 USL season this Saturday.
Branson arrives with the Riverhounds from the University of Charleston (W.Va.), where last fall he helped the Golden Eagles reach the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Branson was a standout figure for the Golden Eagles, as he earned the Mountain East Conference's Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season last fall.
Branson is following the path of fellow UC alum Rob Vincent, who joined Pittsburgh after the conclusion of his college career and spent three successful seasons with the club before joining D.C. United this offseason.
A native of Yorkshire, Branson grew up playing in the academy system of local club Barnsley F.C. He captained the Nike Football Academy team based at England's National Football Centre in Burton upon Trent during the 2011-2012 season. Branson has also enjoyed training stints with the Hounds' Major League Soccer affiliate Columbus Crew SC and D.C. United.
The Riverhounds open their 2016 USL regular season campaign this Saturday as they host the Rochester Rhinos at Highmark Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.