Memphis, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC announced on Wednesday the club has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with veteran defender Akeem O’Connor-Ward, pending league and federation approval.
“Akeem is a very experienced USL defender that we are sure can come in at both ends of the pitch.” Head Coach Stephen Glass said. “His qualities have been seen throughout his career and we’re looking forward to him showing what he can do in Memphis.”
A native of Vienna, Virginia, Ward was drafted 14th overall out of Creighton University by D.C. United in 2019 before spending time with Loudoun United, Birmingham Legion FC and North Carolina FC.
Ward joined Oakland Roots SC in 2021, serving as captain as the team reached the Western Conference Semifinals in their first season. Ward spent most of the 2022 season on loan at Rio Grande Valley FC. Ward made 19 appearances during the 2022 season with two goals to go with 27 tackles won and 37 interceptions while completing 83% of his passes.
“It’s a team that has been built this past couple of years and retaining the roster was huge. I’ve played with and against these guys for a number of years and I know what they’re capable of,” Ward said. “With the run that was made last year and being able to come in and add to that team can make it even stronger, It was a no brainer with the city that embodies who I am.”
Akeem Ward joins the experienced back line in Memphis including 2022 All-League Second Teamer Graham Smith, Rece Buckmaster and Carson Vom Steeg. The 2023 season kicks off on March 11 against Loudoun United FC at AutoZone Park.
Name: Akeem O’Connor-Ward
Jersey Number: 31
Date of Birth: Jan. 5, 1996 (26)
Hometown: Vienna, Virginia
Nationality: United States, Jamaica
Previous Club: Oakland Roots SC (USL Championship)
Transaction: Memphis 901 FC signs defender Akeem O’Connor-Ward on January 18, 2023.
For more information on Memphis 901 FC, visit https://www.memphis901fc.com and follow the club on social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Joshua Clayton – Communications and Public Relations Assistant – firstname.lastname@example.org