TAMPA, Fla. – USL League One today announced that Richmond Kickers midfielder Ethan Bryant was voted the 2022 USL League One Young Player of the Year. Just 21 years old, the former San Antonio FC academy signee completed his fifth professional season and first full campaign with the Kickers. In his most productive season to date, Bryant broke out with five assists, three goals and 30 chances created.
"I am very honored to be recognized by the league for this award,” Bryant said. “It was a goal of mine since the start of the season. As a collective, we had a successful season. When the collective flourishes, so do individuals.
"I feel like I have continued to improve in my performances as the season went on. I am thankful to have a club that believes in me during the good and the bad moments."
Bryant nearly doubled his combined career goal and assist total with three goals and five assists to help the Kickers to their best season in nearly a decade. Of Bryant’s nine combined goals and assists, four served as or resulted in match-winning scores. The 21-year-old also completed nearly 75% of his passes and created 30 chances to contribute to Richmond’s record-setting offensive production.
"I am very happy for Ethan as he worked incredibly hard over the past 18 months and was a huge part of our attacking core this year,” Richmond Head Coach and Sporting Director Darren Sawatzky said. “He has had a different pathway to the professional game than most players in the United States and, after having a couple years of hardship, he rekindled his fire and it showed for us this year. He is mature beyond his years and his future is bright now that he is firing on all cylinders."
A native of Longview, Texas, Bryant began his professional career as a USL Academy signee with USL Championship side San Antonio FC in February 2018. Bryant made his professional debut in a U.S. Open Cup match against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in May 2018 before becoming SAFC’s youngest all-time goalscorer in September 2018. After a stint with second-division Belgian side KSV Roeselare in 2019, Bryant returned to San Antonio before joining the Kickers on loan and eventually signing with the League One club in 2021.
Bryant received 40% of the ballot to earn the award. Charlotte’s Omar Ciss and Omaha’s Ryen Jiba finished tied for second on 30% with their three goals and three assists, respectively.
USL League One Young Player of the Year
2022 – Ethan Bryant, Richmond Kickers
2021 – Noah Allen, Fort Lauderdale CF
2020 – Chris Brady, Forward Madison FC
2019 – Arturo Rodriguez, North Texas SC
2022 USL League One Awards
Goalkeeper of the Year: Rashid Nuhu, Union Omaha
Defender of the Year: Arthur Rogers, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC
Young Player of the Year: Ethan Bryant, Richmond Kickers
Comeback Player of the Year: Wednesday, Nov. 2
Coach of the Year: Thursday, Nov. 3
Most Valuable Player: Friday, Nov. 4