The Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed goalkeeper Phil Breno, who rejoins the club for the new season after a successful loan stint in the 2022 campaign from League One's Forward Madison FC. | Photo courtesy Monterey Bay F.C.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Wednesday the club had signed goalkeeper Phil Breno ahead of the 2023 USL Championship season, retaining the shot-stopper after a stellar loan stint at the club last season. The signing is pending league and federation approval.
Breno joined the Rowdies in July of last year on loan from USL League One club Forward Madison FC. The 27-year-old keeper took over starting duties for Tampa Bay following a season-ending injury to CJ Cochran in September. Breno did not miss a beat in assuming the starting role, recording three shutouts in eight starts and producing an unforgettable penalty save in stoppage time of the Eastern Conference Semifinal victory against Memphis 901 FC.
“We’re delighted to bring Phil back,” said Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins. “We’ve got a lot of returning players like Jordan Doherty and Forrest Lasso that have been here before. Adding that consistency is important. Phil is a part of that because he became a really important part of the team on and off the field. His performances last year speak for themselves. We’re excited to have him back because he’s a good teammate and has everything we want in terms of positive attitude.”
Breno made his professional debut with fellow USL Championship side the Charleston Battery in 2019. After two seasons in Charleston, Breno moved to Madison in USL League One, where he appeared in 41 matches for the Flamingos before his loan to the Rowdies.
“I’m super grateful for this opportunity,” said Breno. “I can’t say it enough to not only the coaching staff but all the Rowdies fans. I was welcomed with such open arms last year. It gave me that confidence in myself to perform and to be carefree out on the field. Thank you to all the Rowdies fans for last year. Thank you to all the coaching staff for just giving me that opportunity and also the opportunity I’ve been presented this year. I’m really excited to get out there, work with the guys and put something great together for all the fans and organization too.”