Forward Madison FC has signed 24-year-old defensive midfielder Brandon Eaton, who previously played for the Richmond Kickers in the USL Championship, the team announced in a press release Wednesday. Eaton, who will link up with former teammate and current FMFC assistant coach Neil Hlavaty, spent most of his first pro season recovering from an ACL injury, but broke into the first team after returning in 2018.
Hlavaty, who played alongside Eaton in Richmond, said the young midfielder’s determination and talent left an impression on him.
“I played soccer for a long time, and over the length of my career I could see how players can improve teams,” Hlavaty said in a statement. “Brandon fits that profile. He’s very coachable, able to fill a few positions for us and eager to prove himself. He’s going to improve our cohesiveness in the locker room as well.”
Eaton is naturally a holding midfielder, but filled in at right back for the Kickers when their starter retired midway through last season.
“I was able to add more to my game,” Eaton said. “I always look at myself as a hard worker on and off the ball, trying to make things happen for the team no matter what position I’m playing.”
According to Head Coach Daryl Shore, Eaton’s versatility makes him a valuable asset for the team.
“Brandon has experience playing in the USL Championship and we feel like he brings a competitive presence to our team,” Shore said. He can play in multiple positions and we look forward to him giving us valuable minutes.”
Eaton, meanwhile, said he can’t wait for the season to start.
“I’m definitely ready for this,” Eaton said. “I couldn’t be more excited to work with Neil again, who I admired while we were in Richmond, and I’ve heard only good things about Daryl. I’m looking forward to putting together a special year.”