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August 13, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Family ties — the O’Briens, not TV’s Keaton family

Who remembers that show? The theme song: “…Sha la la la.” Alex P., Mallory, Nick, and what was the nerdy guy’s name, the one who had a crush on Justine Bateman?
Anyway, Jon Billings from the Tacoma Tide lets us know that the O’Brien brothers — Leighton and Ciaran — have landed together in Montreal with the USL-1 Impact. Leighton got a trial with Sounders FC before the season; Ciaran, his younger brother, has been loaned out by Colorado of MLS this season.
Here’s what Billings writes:

Leighton, 33 years old, is twelve years older than Ciaran, so the two have never teamed up on the soccer field. While Leighton dominated the Seattle Sounders midfield in the USL & A-League days, earning A-League MVP in 2002, Ciaran was still developing in the youth ranks. This year, as Ciaran bounced around on loans from his MLS side, the Colorado Rapids, Leighton played with his hometown club, Tacoma Tide, in order to stay fit and enjoy the game. Ciaran earned 1st Team, All-PDL while competing for the Tacoma Tide in 2007. His coach was father, Fran, who led the Tide in ’07 & ’08.
The two O’Brien boys have played and trained together in non-competitive situations, but never laced up the boots in a 1st team contest. They will now have their chance. On July 17th Ciaran was signed to Montreal and has since appeared in seven matches, starting five of them. Leighton has just joined his brother in Montreal, signing with the Impact on August 7.
With his older brother unsigned and available this season, Ciaran exercised his agent skills with his new team in hopes to team up with Leighton. “I thought it would be great, I kept talking to the coaching staff about it but never thought it would actually go through, and then one day they told me they were putting in an offer to [Leighton] and one thing led to another.”
“I think we will both be playing in the middle together, that looks the most likely situation.” Ciaran speculated.
Ciaran has scored once and assisted on two goals since arriving in Canada. Leighton has yet to appear with the Impact since his arrival as he builds back to full fitness. The two brothers are likely to start together sometime next week to form a truly special midfield.

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