Loudoun United FC midfielder Nicky Downs made 30 appearances for the club a season ago, posting a 92.6 percent passing accuracy rate. | Photo courtesy Loudoun United FC
LEESBURG, Va. – Loudoun United FC announced on Friday the club had re-signed midfielders Nanan Houssou and Nicky Downs, the first two players to return to the club for the 2022 USL Championship season. The signings are pending league and federation approval.
“We are excited to re-sign two integral players from our 2021 season in Houssou and Downs,” Ryan Martin, Loudoun United Head Coach, said. “They both played a lot of minutes in 2021 and have built a strong connection in the midfield together. They read the game at a high level and have been instrumental in establishing a culture at our club since arriving. We’re looking forward to them continuing to improve their relationship in the midfield and making an impact on our team in 2022.”
Houssou joined Loudoun last Febuary on loan from Ivorian club ASI D’Abengourou and made his Championship debut in May against the New York Red Bulls II. In his first season with the Red-and-White, Houssou made 22 appearances (11 starts) and logged 1,079 minutes. During that time, Houssou maintained a passing accuracy rate of 83.4 percent.
The Ivory Coast native started his professional career with the Ivorian club ASI D’Abengourou in 2019. In his time with ASI, Houssou scored seven goals and recorded 16 assists in 20 appearances. The midfielder also represented the Ivory Coast U-20 National Team in 2019.
Downs signed with United last April having previously competed in the Championship for Hartford Athletic. The 26-year-old made 30 appearances (22 starts) for United and scored his first professional goal in a contest against the Tampa Bay Rowdies while also recording one assist as he finished the season with Loudoun United’s highest passing accuracy rate at 92.6 percent.
Prior to joining LUFC, Downs had a two-year stint (2019-2020) with Hartford, where he made 37 appearances across all competitions. The midfielder from Lakeville, Connecticut, also attended Yale University from 2015-2018, where he scored nine goals and recorded 15 assists in 65 appearances.