Huntsville, Ala. (Dec. 4, 2023) – Huntsville City Football Club announced today the return of four players for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro Season: defender Fernando Ciceron, midfielder Isaiah Johnston, midfielder Ollie Wright, and forward Azaad Liadi.
Ciceron joined Huntsville City FC on July 12 following a stint with Violette AC in Ligue Haïtienne. The Haitian defender started all eight games in which he appeared, helping lead the back line to two clean sheets in his first three starts. The 19-year-old led the club in duel percentage (62.5%) among outfield players who played in multiple games (eight).
Johnston made a major impact after being Huntsville City FC’s first ever signing, making 15 starts for the club in 20 appearances, and finishing the season with three goals and two assists. The Canadian midfielder recorded his first career brace in Huntsville’s 6-2 win over Orlando City B on July 9. Johnston served as captain nine times, including in the historic home opener of Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium on May 19.
Wright tied for the team lead in assists (six) and was nominated for MLS NEXT Pro Goal of Matchweek Three after scoring on a sensational kick from outside the box in Huntsville’s 2-2 draw against FC Cincinnati 2 on April 9. Off the field, the 24-year-old has made a concerted effort to get to know the community, participating in soccer camps in town and performing a skit with the Rocket City Trash Pandas on Huntsville City FC night on July 25. The Englishman’s efforts on and off the pitch earned him the 2023 Huntsville City FC Supporters Player and Community awards.
The club’s first Golden Boot winner (12 goals), Liadi tied the team lead in goal contributions (14). He scored the club's first goal, earning him MLS NEXT Pro Goal of Matchday One, as well as the winning goal in the historic 2-1 home opening victory over Crown Legacy on May 19. The 25-year-old forward recorded the club’s first ever hat trick in a 5-2 win over Philadelphia Union II on Aug. 19, earning him MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 23.
Huntsville City FC Director of Soccer Operations Liam Doyle and Managing Director of Business Operations Chad Emerson will address the media this afternoon at 3 p.m. CT in-person at Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium and via Zoom to discuss the returning players, as well as the recently announced “Huntsville City FC Blastoff Battle.”
The best and most affordable way for fans to see Ciceron, Johnston, Wright, Liadi and their teammates in action is to buy season tickets for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season by visiting MLSNextPro.com/HuntsvilleCityFC/Tickets or by calling 256-864-6426, ext. 2.