D.C. United defender Frédéric Brillant has joined D.C. United’s USL Championship affiliate, Loudoun United FC, as an assistant coach following his retirement from professional soccer.
“It is bittersweet to announce my retirement from professional soccer after over 15 years as a player,” Frédéric Brillant said. “I want to thank D.C. United and New York City FC in addition to my Belgian clubs Beerschot AC and K.V. Oostende for trusting me as a player and making my career so enjoyable. Now, I am excited about this next challenge in my life and am looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned as a player as a coach for the next generation. It is exciting that I will still be a part of the D.C. United organization with Loudoun United and I’m thrilled to work alongside Head Coach Ryan Martin as we look to compete in the USL Championship this season, in addition to developing players to make the eventual jump up to D.C. United and Major League Soccer.”
Brillant joined D.C. United on December 10, 2017, in a trade with New York City FC. In four seasons in the District, Brillant scored five goals and recorded two assists in 99 MLS Regular Season appearances for the Black-and-Red. In two MLS Cup Playoff appearances, Brillant scored one goal and recorded an assist. He was a stalwart in the D.C. United backline and represented the team as captain on multiple occasions. The 36-year-old made his debut for the club on March 3, 2018, and scored his first goal for the club against the Philadelphia Union on Aug. 4, 2019. In four seasons with the club, Brillant earned eight MLS Team of the Week selections; five times in 2019 and three times in 2020.
“I am excited to welcome Fred [Frédéric Brillant] not only to Loudoun United, but also to the coaching world,” Ryan Martin, Loudoun United FC Head Coach, said. “Fred had a fantastic career and was able to play for a long time because of his professionalism and knowledge of the game. These characteristics will prove to be invaluable to our young players at the club as they continue to learn and grow. Fred will further strengthen the connection between the first team and Loudoun United and help align the style and system of play between the two. This is a great day for Loudoun United and the whole club to keep Fred with us in this capacity.”
In a career that spanned 16 years, Brillant made over 400 professional appearances in the United States and Belgium. After starting his career in the lower divisions of Belgium with RE Bertrix, Brillant climbed up the Belgian divisions to represent Koninklijke Voetbalclub Oostende (K.V. Oostende) over two different stints in addition to Beerschot AC before making the move to MLS in 2016.
“We want to congratulate Fred [Frédéric Brillant] on a great professional playing career and thank him for his services to D.C. United," Stewart Mairs, Loudoun United FC General Manager, said. "We are thrilled to be adding his experience to our coaching staff at Loudoun United as he enters a new chapter in his career. With our young core of players at Loudoun United, Fred's knowledge and professionalism will play a huge part in their development pathway. Fred will be a valuable addition to the club as we continue preparations for the 2022 USL Championship season.”
Brillant joined New York City FC on Jan. 28, 2016 from K.V. Oostende in Belgium and made his MLS debut in a win over Chicago on March 6, 2016. He became a mainstay in the NYCFC backline that season, starting 31 out of 34 regular season games for the Sky Blues in 2016 and helped lead the franchise to their first ever MLS Cup Playoff berth. In total, Brillant scored two goals and recorded an assist in 58 MLS appearances for NYCFC over two seasons.
Brillant joins Loudoun United FC as an assistant coach after completing his National B Coaching License certification through the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) in December 2021, as well as his National C Coaching License certification in January 2021. While still competing professionally for D.C. United, Brillant worked with the D.C. United Academy and USSF to gain his coaching accreditation.