The New York Red Bulls have signed Sean Davis, a 21-year-old midfielder, who arrives in the squad with a clutch of awards for his college soccer career (four years at Duke) and a NPSL championship for his contribution to RBNY's U-23 team last season.
He also brings a YouTube highlight reel that suggests a player with a fierce shot, good vision on set pieces, and a burgeoning passion for Peguy Luyindula's signature move, the-180-pivot-out-of-trouble-on-the-dribble.
He is RBNY's second signing of the off-season, boosting the number of players in the squad currently under contract for the 2015 season to 20 (Ryan Meara doesn't count, since he's not going to be playing for the Red Bulls in 2015). Of those 20, he's one of four homegrown players; he's the ninth player signed via the Homegrown designation since MLS invented the incentive for clubs to accommodate youth prospects.
Davis's signing was no great surprise: it was effectively leaked in a RBNY press release about the Expansion Draft, and he's been a highly rated prospect in the academy for several years. Still, since this was also the day we learned another highly-rated academy prospect - Dan Metzger - has opted out of the homegrown program in favor of taking his chances with the MLS SuperDraft, it is encouraging to see the Red Bulls won't suffer the indignity of seeing all their top young players drift away from the club.
In other heartening news, Andy Roxburgh is still around. The club's Sporting Director is expected to leave the Red Bulls shortly, which will be a great loss because he has presided over one of the more conspicuously successful periods of RBNY's history.
The man who appointed Mike Petke, and set the team on its path to the 2013 Supporters' Shield and this season's post-season run to the Eastern Conference final, at least stuck around long enough to deliver one more of his so-smooth-they'll-slide-right-off-you descriptions of a new signing.
In the team's press release announcing Davis's signing, Roxburgh essentially described the player as a midfielder with potential. Thanks, Andy - few have ever done so much for this club while saying so little.
Welcome, Sean. We look forward to seeing you on the field.