New York Red Bulls Add Four Players to First Team Squad
While the New York Red Bulls took to the training pitch for the first time in 2017, the beginning of preseason was also marked by four signings that the team made at the beginning of the week. Monday and Tuesday each saw two new players added to the first team roster; two of the newest players signed as Homegrown Players, while the other two received promotions from New York Red Bulls II.
The first of the signings was midfielder Dan Metzger, 23, who has had an on-and-off relationship with the club since joining the New York Red Bulls Academy in 2010. After attending college at the University of Maryland, he was not offered a homegrown contract, and was drafted by DC United in 2015, though was not offered a contract at the conclusion of preseason. Metzger instead joined New York Red Bulls II, where he has recorded 40 appearances in the last two years. Clearly earning an opportunity with the first team, head coach Jesse Marsch said, “between those games [with New York Red Bulls II] and opportunities in first team training, he has earned a spot on the MLS roster. We look forward to him continuing his professional development this year.”
A few hours later, the Red Bulls announced that goalkeeper Evan Louro signed a homegrown contract with the club. Joining the Red Bulls Academy in 2009, Louro, now 21, spent the last three years at the University of Michigan, recording an overall average of 1.17 goals against average. Marsch spoke about Louro, saying “Evan is another great example of an academy player that worked hard through the Red Bulls system, playing in college and continuing with the Red Bulls U-23s in the summer. We look forward to him being a part of the goalkeeper competition.”
Tuesday afternoon, the signings kept coming as another goalkeeper, Rafael Diaz, earned himself a first team contract after two years with New York Red Bulls II. Diaz, who served as a backup to Ryan Meara over the last two years, playing 11 times in a two-year span. Last year, Diaz managed a five-match streak in which he only conceded two goals, recording three clean sheets in the process. On Diaz, 25, Marsch said, “Rafi has done well to learn and improve over the last two seasons,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch. “He has proven to be a good professional and we look forward to him continuing his development with the club this season.”
Finally, the Red Bulls added another Homegrown Player to their ranks, signing Arun Basuljevic, 21. The midfielder has had a lot of hype surrounding him since beginning his playing days at Georgetown University, where he has finished as one of his team’s top three goalscorers in each of his four seasons there. “Arun is a guy that we’ve had our eye on for a long time,” Marsch said. “We’ve gotten to observe him both at Georgetown and with our U-23 team over the Summer, and we feel that he is at a point in his development where it makes sense to bring him into our environment on a day-to-day basis to help him take the next step,” the head coach added. Basuljevic joins Brandon Allen and Alex Muyl as fellow Red Bulls Academy products and Georgetown players who have signed homegrown deals with the Red Bulls.
The New York Red Bulls will continue their preseason camp in Tucson, Arizona, before they host the Vancouver Whitecaps in CONCACAF Champions League action on February 22.