From December 21-23, 2015, the New York Red Bulls announced that the club signed Red Bulls academy products Derrick Etienne, Brandon Allen, Alex Muyl, Chris Thorsheim, Mael Corboz and Scott Thomsen as Homegrown Players.
Per club and league policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Allen and Etienne were the first to sign on Dec. 21, 2015. Etienne joins New York's senior team after one year at the University of Virginia, while Allen joins after four years at Georgetown University. Allen, a native of Old Bridge, N.J., amassed 50 goals and 17 assists in 91 appearances, including 90 starts. He is also one of three finalists for the 2015 MAC Hermann award as college soccer’s best player. Etienne, a native of Paterson, N.J., made 17 appearances as a freshman for the defending national champion Cavaliers. He earned a spot on the ACC All-Rookie team after playing for New York Red Bulls II in the United Soccer League as a Red Bulls academy player last summer.
"We are pleased to add two high-caliber players to our roster," said Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis. "After their accomplishments in the collegiate game, we are excited about the potential of both players to contribute at the professional level."
On Dec. 22, Muyl signed and became the Red Bulls’ eighth Homegrown Player on the roster. Muyl, a native of New York, N.Y., was Georgetown’s second-leading scorer in 2015, behind only fellow Red Bulls Homegrown signee Brandon Allen, with six goals and a team-best 10 assists for 22 points in 21 games. His 10 assists ranked second in the BIG EAST and eighth in the nation. Muyl also scored the game-winning goal for the Hoyas in double overtime to clinch the BIG EAST championship. The forward was named to the 2015 All-BIG EAST Second Team and NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region for his outstanding season.
“We are very pleased to add Alex to our club,” said Curtis. “We consider him one of the best rising players in college soccer, and we have high expectations for him as he continues to develop in our professional environment.”
Finally on Dec. 23, Thorsheim, Corboz and Thomsen signed, bringing the Red Bulls’ current total Homegrown Player count to 11, five more than any other MLS club. The three joined the Red Bulls after successful collegiate careers. Thorsheim was a standout player in the Patriot League at Bucknell. Corboz spent two seasons at Rutgers before transferring to Maryland, where he captained the Terps as a senior in 2015, and Thomsen helped Virginia to a national championship during his four years at UVA.
"We are very excited to be able to add Mael, Scott and Chris,” said Curtis. “Today is a special moment for these young men as well as for the club. Each player's development is a testament to their hard work, commitment of their families, the coaching they have received during their careers and the quality of our youth development system."
The Red Bulls academy, part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, is one of the premier development programs in the United States. The Red Bulls programs annually top the club national rankings, with all teams currently either first or second nationally in their respective age groups. The U-13s, U-14s and U-16s all finished as the top-ranked team in the final Top Drawer Soccer rankings for the Fall, while the U-18s finished second.
Additional Quotes from Red Bulls Signings
On excelling through the Red Bulls youth system to the First Team:
It's very special, only a handful of guys have actually done it so just to be a part of that elite group, it's an amazing feeling, it's something I can't even describe.
On what it's like to be a part of an organization that focuses on Homegrown talent:
It feels good to know that they believe in their academy system and they're showing belief in their players. They have Matt Miazga whose playing now, so hopefully I'm going to be one of those names that end up on the 18 and even the [starting] XI.
On the organization's focus on Homegrown talent:
Jesse [Marsch] and I had a conversation the other day just about the Homegrowns and how they're bringing people up. I think it's going to be a big part [of this team] and it's good for me and good for the guys coming up so it's good for the Academy to see that the Homegrowns are coming up, I think it's good.
On the First Team:
They're a good team. I haven't met anybody yet, but I'm excited to meet the guys and I hope I get along with everybody.
On Red Bulls Homegrown Signings:
I think it’s really a positive step for the organization, because we’ve always had a really talented academy, and I think that once you start seeing those young kids translate into the first team, not only is it good for the first team, because you’re adding talented players, but it’s good for the kids who are in the academy. Now they know that there’s actually a pipeline, that they can actually succeed, they can follow their dreams and can one day be part of the first team.
On fitting in with the First Team:
I know guys like [Matt] Miazga and Santi [Castano]. I’ve been into training a little bit, but I wouldn’t say I know them very well. From what I watched them this season, their game plan, their game style, fits who I am as a player. I think that it’s going to be really exciting to be a part of that. They’re a team that likes to press high, they’re a team that likes to go straight to goal and that’s the kind of stuff I like to do as well. I’m excited to get in there and play my part.