Many Legions supporters are familiar with their young attacker, Jaden Servania, who has netted three goals to date for the Legion. But what about his older brother, Brandon? This question and more will be answered today.
Both brothers grew up right here in Birmingham, but they left while still in high school to pursue their respective soccer careers with the FC Dallas Academy in Dallas, Texas. They finally split paths in 2017, when Brandon was recruited by the Wake Forest men’s soccer program. He performed very well for the Demon Deacons, slotting three goals and completing 11 assists in his only collegiate season. Brandon impressively tied midfielder Jack Harrison’s freshman assist record for Wake; Harrison now starts for the newly promoted Premier League club Leeds United, and just recently earned his 100th cap for The Peacocks. Meanwhile, Jaden switched allegiances from FC Dallas to in-state rival Houston Dynamo. He tallied four goals in 41 appearances for his Houston Dynamo Academy squads.
Brandon returned to FC Dallas at the beginning of 2018, signing a homegrown player contract with the senior team on January 3, 2018. A few months later, he was loaned to the Tulsa Roughnecks and got his first taste of play in the USL. In 16 appearances for Tulsa, however, he did not bag nor assist any goals. He would briefly be loaned to USL League One side North Texas FC in 2019 before again returning to FC Dallas, where he has remained since, making 30 appearances so far. Jaden, on the other hand, would have a stint with USL League Two club Brazos Valley Cavalry. He made his only appearance for the club in a US Open Cup game against the Laredo Heat of the NPSL. After playing for the three different clubs in a few short years, he found his way back to Alabama thanks to a USL Academy contract that allowed him to play for the Birmingham Legion senior team while still retaining college eligibility. This USL Academy contract was revolutionary, the first of its kind in USL history. As all of us Legion fans are well aware of, Servania has so far excelled for Birmingham at such a young age, contributing three goals in 16 appearances.
The international stage is where it really gets interesting for the Servania brothers. Both players are eligible to represent the FIFA-affiliated Puerto Rico national team thanks to their Puerto Rican heritage. Jaden was called up to represent the U.S. territory in the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Brandon also played at the same competition, but for the United States. Their squads were drawn in the same group, and on November 1, 2018, the brothers and their respective teams faced off. As any reasonable soccer fan might conjecture, Puerto Rico fell in this fixture, losing 7-1 in what certainly could not be described as a “close contest”. Both Brandon and Jaden played the entire match, having plenty of opportunities to make brotherly jabs at each other during the game, but neither scored for their side. During the course of the 2018-2019 season, Brandon would score three goals in 13 appearances for the U.S. U-20 national team. Meanwhile, Jaden would score an impressive seven goals in just five appearances for the U-20 Huracán Azul (Spanish for “Blue Hurricane”) in 2018.
As you can see, the Servania brothers have forged a successful path in professional soccer and established themselves well in their respective clubs and nations. Their journeys have utilized all the top four divisions of the United States professional soccer pyramid and have even physically crossed paths, in the cases of their time at the FC Dallas Academy and of the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship matchup. As soccer grows in America and becomes more internationally acclaimed, it will be exciting to witness more talent develop in America, particularly in the Birmingham and Alabama area. But as we all know, talent doesn’t develop overnight; it will require knowledgeable coaches, improved development academy systems, and daily effort from individual players. But with the incoming MLS teams (Austin FC, Charlotte FC, Inter Miami CF, Sacramento Republic FC, and St. Louis FC), their respective academies, and a talented young generation of American internationals (Christian Pulisic, Sergiño Dest, Gio Reyna, etc,), there are strong signs for a very bright future of soccer in the States.