1-on-1 with new El Paso Locomotive FC defender Brandan Craig

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EL PASO, Texas – Last week, El Paso Locomotive FC brought in 19-year-old defender Brandan Craig on loan from Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. A rising star in the world of American soccer, Craig told KTSM that he will spend the entire 2024 season with Los Locos.

Craig has been a stalwart within the U.S. Men’s Youth National Team system. Craig shined for the U.S. U-20s, contesting every minute of the team’s five (5) match run to the quarterfinals at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina where he shared the pitch alongside former Locomotive FC superstar Diego Luna. Craig was also a member of the team that won the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Honduras, starting in all five (5) of his appearances.

“Brandan has a lot of experience with the U.S. U20 and U23 National Teams and it’s a pleasure to bring him from a top club like the Philadelphia Union,” Head Coach and Technical Director Brian Clarhaut said. “He is a promising, ball-playing center back who has a real talent to orchestrate attacks from deep, and his tremendous passing range will allow us to quickly isolate certain players higher up the field. We look forward to welcoming Brandan to El Paso to aid him in his professional development and to help us become successful.”

Before his brief five-month loan stint with Austin FC, Craig fielded for Philadelphia Union II between 2020-23. Since making his professional debut at 16 with Union II, Craig went on to start 35 of his 38 appearances across the USL Championship and MLS NEXT Pro, recording three (3) goals and four (4) assists.

A Philadelphia native and product of the Philadelphia Union Academy, Craig signed a Homegrown contract with the Union on January 1, 2021, and made his MLS debut with the Union on July 8, 2022, coming in as a substitute in a 7-0 victory over D.C. United.

“I’m excited to join El Paso Locomotive FC for the upcoming season and I can’t wait to play and win games in front of the fans,” Craig said.

Craig sat down with KTSM 9 Sports Director Colin Deaver on Wednesday for an exclusive one-on-one interview to talk about his move to El Paso and what fans can expect from Craig on the pitch in 2024. Locomotive FC opens the new season March 9 at home vs. Hartford Athletic at 7 p.m.

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