SAN ANTONIO – A local soccer talent is heading overseas.
Right in the middle of a breakout second season with San Antonio FC, midfielder Ethan Bryant has decided to join Belgian club K.S.V. Roeselare on a permanent deal. The move was announced by the team on Monday.
Bryant, a San Antonio native, participated in SAFC's Elite Training Program after playing for Brandeis High School and quickly rose through the ranks. He made his USL debut with San Antonio's first team at just 16 years old, becoming the youngest player in SAFC history to do so, and tallied two goals and three assists in 16 appearances. Although he has been hampered by injuries recently, Bryant had developed into a consistent weapon, logging 410 minutes in six games this season.
"It's very bittersweet because Ethan was a great player," head coach Darren Powell said. "He was playing well for us, and was just getting ready for the final push of the year. At the same time, he has a wonderful opportunity and deserves it. We're just excited that he has an opportunity to join the European pyramid, and we're going to be supporting him and cheering for him from San Antonio.
"I'm thrilled for Ethan and the opportunity that he's getting," said midfielder Cristian Parano. "He's a great player, but more importantly he's a great person. He showed up to work every single day and gave his best. He's seeing the benefits of that now. I'm thrilled for him and I wish him all the best."
Bryant is one of a number of young, local talents currently seeing playing time on SAFC's roster, including standouts Jose Gallegos, Carson Price and Leo Torres. For their recent cumulative success, the SAFC Pro Academy coaching staff was named the U.S. Soccer Development Central Conference Boys Coaching Staff of the Year. Bryant's opportunity overseas will likely be the first of many for this young core, and the organization is thrilled to be a part of their development.
"It is just good for us to be part of the journey and create different pathways for players," Powell said. "It says that players can be successful in San Antonio and earn the right to go in several different directions, whether that's in Europe, MLS or the USL."
San Antonio FC will return to action this Friday night against Tacoma Defiance. The match begins at 9 p.m.