In desperate need of a finisher, the Union are taking a low-cost gamble.
According to Harbour View FC of Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League, the Union have acquired 21-year-old Brian Brown on loan until the end of the 2014 season.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"My strength is my speed, my first touch, shots on goal, and I think my weakest point is heading the ball,” Brown told the Jamaica Observer back in February. "So I will be working hard to improve that and bring myself up to or even beyond the level of players who do it well.”
Brown, who, according to Harbour View trained with the Union as a trialist last month, is nicknamed “Rambo,” and led the league in goals with 18. He’s the type of speedy finisher the Union lack.
Two years prior to his trial with the Union, Brown was a trialist with Aston Villa of the English Premier League. He is a Jamaican national.
It’s unknown whether Brown will be a serious candidate to crack the Union’s attacking depth chart, either as a starting striker or an alternative to attacking substitute Antoine Hoppenot.
Either way, it’s a smart gamble for a team that has nothing to lose.
Led by Sebastien Le Toux’s six goals, the 4-8-6 Union are tied for first in the Eastern Conference with 26 goals in 18 games.
The Union have signed draft picks Aaron Jones and Jack Elliott, the second and fourth round picks from last month’s MLS SuperDraft.
Jones is a 5-foot-9 defender was selected 33rd overall.
“We are pleased to sign Aaron to an official MLS contract,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said in a statement. “Aaron has impressed throughout his time with us in preseason camp, displaying quickness, his ability in passing and on free kicks, and his aggressive one-on-one defending.”
The 22-year-old originally played with Georgia State University from 2013-2014. He made 35 starts while scoring three goals with five assists. He transferred to Clemson before the 2015 season and finished his final two seasons with the Tigers. In those two seasons he made 38 starts, scoring four goals, and gathered seven assists.
Elliott was chosen 77th overall out of West Virginia, where he played in 68 games and recorded six goals and five assists. He was named to the 2016 NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team in addition to earning CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honors, becoming WVU’s first three-time Academic All-America honoree.
“When you look at Jack, the first thing you notice is his height, an asset that we believe will serve him well as a professional,” said Stewart in a statement. “He is a good passer who reads the game well.”
Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.
Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.
The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.
The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.
For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.