By Datti Jinkiri
For yet another summer, local semipro soccer has found a home in Clinton. Mississippi Brilla FC, which plays its home games at Clinton High School, has surpassed the halfway point of its fifteenth season. The team is headed towards another winning season, as it currently sits in second place in the USL League Two Mid South Division standings with a 5-2-1 record.
Offensively, the team has been paced by its forwards. One of them is Jamie DiLuzio, a Brilla returner from the 2021 season. The New Yorker has already improved his offensive production from last year to now, as he has scored three goals and added two assists this season.
Paris, France, native Franck Kouentchi has been a key player for Brilla, as well. He is tied for the team lead with five goals. He’s converted two penalty kicks and tallied two assists, also.
Miguel Fernandez is tied with Kouentchi with five goals. The Malaga, Spain, native bagged goals in each of the first four games of the season.
Peyton Voelker has seen playing time mainly on the left wing. The Timnath, Colorado, native has tallied three goals and two assists.
The midfield trio of David Trevizo, Jack “Ocho” Fasteen, and Marco Astorga have been ever-present this season. The group has started seven of the eight matches together. Notably, Fasteen and Astorga are both Brilla returners from 2021.
Astorga has been the one who has been present on the stat sheet the most, as he has scored a spectacular goal in Brilla’s second win over LA Parish AC. The El Pasoan is leading the team with four assists.
Fasteen has tallied a goal and an assist, with both coming in Brilla victories.
Defensively, goalkeeper Chris Morrish has provided the team with some professional experience, having featured previously for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Championship. He has two shutouts and has saved both penalty kicks that he has faced this season.
The Mississippi College duo of Josh Davies and Olaf Conforti has also contributed to the defensive effort for Brilla this summer. Davies has started six matches this season, tallying a goal and an assist in the process. Conforti has started three matches.
Luke Bryant, a Clinton High School graduate and son of Brilla General Manager Rusty Bryant, has started two matches. He is providing the team with some extra experience, as he played in fourteen matches for the team last season.
Remainder of the Season
Brilla currently sits six points behind Mid South Division leaders Texas United. Only division winners and select second place teams will qualify for the USL League Two Playoffs.
Ideally, the team will need to win each of its final six games to lessen the doubt about securing a playoff spot. If Brilla was to secure a playoff spot, it would be the team’s second consecutive USL League Two Playoff appearance and seventh playoff appearance overall.
At the very least, there are two more home matches for Brilla over the remainder of the season. The first of those games will be on Saturday, July 9, versus Louisiana Krewe FC. The final match will Saturday, July 16, versus Blue Goose SC. Both games will be played at Clinton High School.