Chris Brenner: The MLS Expansion Draft

Brenner scores 3 to beat D.C United, putting Cincinnati in MLS playoffs for first time since 2011

Chris Brenner has been through a lot this season. He is only in his third professional season, yet has seen his career reach new heights just this month.

A few months back, Cincinnati had just entered the MLS Western Conference Championship against Columbus Crew SC, but would fall to a 2-0 loss.

He was left on the field in the first half with concussion symptoms and was forced to leave the game before halftime. With that game behind him, he turned to a new challenge and the MLS Expansion Draft was waiting.

It seemed like an impossible task to go from the MLS roster spot of the last spot in the league to the first roster spot of the expansion team.

The decision was made to bring in the forward from Austin FC, where he had been one of only six players to start a game in the USL, as he was the only player with a 100 percent MLS history.

He also played a key role in the club’s 2015 USL Cup run, which included a memorable 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in the final.

It was also around that time that some said the club had gotten tired of waiting for a big offer to come in for the player and had decided to cash it in on it.

But that didn’t happen, and the team was finally able to select him with the draft.

Once he was in the starting 11 though, he couldn’t help but smile as the Reds got to play in MLS Cup against FC Dallas.

“I’m still in awe,” said Brenner. “It feels great to be here. Now we get to really see what it takes to get here and how we really make this club go. This is a great group of players, the fans are the best in the league. This club is built to fight for trophies.

“I have to be patient as it takes time, that’s what it takes to build something. In the next two years, we’ll get there. This is an incredible opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier to be here and have the best of both worlds in front of me.”

Brenner has also been through his share of ups and downs this season with United, and now finally he can put his success on the field to good use

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