BIRMINGHAM, AL (Dec. 17, 2019) – Birmingham Legion FC announced today the signing of forward Neco Brett and midfielder Bolu Akinyode, pending league and federation approval. The two additions are Legion FC’s first new signings ahead of the 2020 season, the club’s second in the USL Championship.
“We’re excited to add two important players to our existing core,” said Legion FC President and General Manager Jay Heaps. “Neco brings a proven goal-scoring ability to Birmingham to help boost an area we’re focused on improving, and Bolu is a great addition to our midfield as he combines a physical presence with strong tactical awareness and technical ability.”
Brett, 27, began his professional career in Jamaica, and played for the Jamaica Under-17 and Under-20 teams, before coming to America to play college soccer at Robert Morris University from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, he was selected in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Portland Timbers. The forward spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons on loan in the USL Championship with Portland Timbers II, before joining the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2018.
Upon joining the Riverhounds, Brett’s career took off, as he scored 32 goals and added 17 assists in 70 games the past two seasons. He was named USL Championship Player of the Week three times in two years and made the 2019 USL Championship All-League Second Team while helping earn PIT the USL Eastern Conference Regular Season Championship.
Akinyode, 25, joined the New York Red Bulls Academy at age 16 after moving to the United States from Lagos, Nigeria. He went on to play college soccer at Seton Hall University from 2011 to 2014 before signing with New York Red Bulls II. The defensive midfielder then spent 2016 with Bethlehem Steel FC, 2017 with North Carolina FC, and the past two seasons with Nashville SC.
Last season with Nashville SC, Akinyode made 32 appearances, including 25 starts, and scored one goal and added one assist. He won 74 tackles, and made 15 clearances, 26 interceptions, and seven blocks while completing 1,023 passes with an 88.9% passing accuracy.
Transaction: On December 17, 2019, Birmingham Legion FC signed Neco Brett and Bolu Akinyode, pending league and federation approval.
Name: Neco Brett
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birthdate: March 22, 1992 (age: 27)
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
Previous Club: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL)
Name: Boluwatife Akinyode
Height: 6’ 1.5”
Birthdate: May 30, 1994 (age: 25)
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Citizenship: Nigeria, United States
Previous Club: Nashville SC (USL Championship)
About Birmingham Legion FC
Launched in 2018 as an expansion member of the USL Championship, Birmingham Legion FC is the Magic City’s first and only locally owned and operated professional soccer franchise. Legion FC finished their inaugural campaign in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the USL Championship playoffs. The club plays home matches at BBVA Field, on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For ticket information and to purchase official Legion FC merchandise, please visit bhmlegion.com. Supporters are encouraged to download the Legion FC app and follow @bhmlegion on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest club news.