Late in the Riverhounds 4-0 win over Toronto FC II on Saturday in the Highmark Stadium press box, members of the Pittsburgh soccer media present for the game were all in agreement that it would come as a surprise if Neco Brett didn’t get some sort of recognition from USL this week for his three goal, one assist performance.
Brett’s big day included his first career professional hat trick, in the club’s 4-nil victory over Toronto FC II this past Saturday.
According to the USL, Brett received 45 percent of the poll conducted by a national panel of independent media representing every USL market. Louisville City FC defender Paco Craig finished second with 35 percent, while Real Monarchs SLC goalkeeper Connor Sparrow was third with 15 percent.
Scoreless after the first 45 minutes of play against Toronto, Brett helped the Hounds breakthrough in the 52nd minute with the club’s first tally of the 2018 season. He followed with goals in the 59th and 83rd minutes before capping off the scoring by assisting on Christiano François’ goal in the 88thminute.
The hat trick, coming in the span of 31 minutes – the fastest in club history eclipsing José Angulo’s 39-minute effort – marked the fourth ever by a Hounds player in the current era of the USL (since 2011) and the first since Rob Vincent against Wilmington on Aug. 1, 2015.
In addition, Brett is the first Hounds player to be tabbed USL Player of the Week since Corey Hertzog captured the honor after the 2017 season opener in March. The Kingston, Jamaica native currently stands tied for fourth in the league in goals scored with three.
Riverhounds SC looks to continue its strong start to the season this weekend, hosting Ottawa Fury FC at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 at Highmark Stadium.