Forward Madison has signed Phil Breno ahead of its 2021 season, adding the team’s first goalkeeper to a new-look squad under head coach Carl Craig, the club announced in a press release Thursday. Breno, 25, previously played in 13 competitive matches across two seasons with the USL Championship’s Charleston Battery.
“When I started doing a bit of research on Madison, there was something that made it feel like a home,” Breno said in a statement. “I know how important community is to the club and how important the club is to the Madison community. I’m looking forward to not only being the last line of defense on the field, but also somebody who does the other part of the job, which is being present off it.”
Breno came into his own during the 2020 season, starting eight of Charleston’s 15 regular season games. Craig said Breno will be part of a competition for the Flamingos’ starting spot, but has the maturity to serve the team well in any role.
“Phil is a player who’s got good experience, a good head on his shoulders and he’s quite comfortable with his feet,” Craig said in a statement. “With lots of build-up from the back, it’s important that your goalkeeper is technically competent. Phil brings quality as a shot stopper, but distribution is one of his greatest attributes as well.”
Breno grew up in Maryland, and his 6’2” frame initially led him to star in basketball as well as soccer. He opted to pursue the latter in college, finding success at both the University of Maryland, Baltimore County – where he made the College Cup Final Four in 2014 – and William & Mary, where he played every minute during his senior year.
After graduating, Breno signed for Charleston ahead of the 2019 USL Championship season. His first competitive win came in the U.S. Open Cup against Forward Madison foe Greenville Triumph, a team the Flamingos have yet to beat. For Breno, his move to Wisconsin represents a logical next step in his career.
“This past year with COVID, it was quite difficult to have any community interaction,” Breno said. That has always been something that I feel is important to have as a professional athlete and in general. I’m really looking forward to getting to Madison and seeing what kind of opportunities I can have in reaching out and getting to know everyone there.”