New York Red Bull II had a fantastic 2016 in USL, winning trophies and setting multiple records. But with the end of the season came the inevitable annual adjustments to the squad, with several players from the Championship-winning campaign allowed to leave the team.
One of those players is Devon “Speedy” Williams. As his 2016 highlight reel shows, the central midfielder worked hard in NYRB II’s engine room, focused mainly on ball-winning and distribution.
Injury kept him out of the team for the final games of the II team’s run to the regular season title, and he was missing from the squad that played in the USL Cup final due to a typically selfless and effective decision taken during the Eastern Conference Final: toward the end of a tight game against Louisville City, Williams stopped a breakaway in its tracks, preventing a potentially match-winning scoring opportunity for Lou City and winning himself an entirely justified (but justifiable) red card.
Though NYRB II went on to win the playoff final without him, Williams was a key member of the team and the decision to let his contract expire might have been hoped to be simply a technicality - perhaps he would eventually be returned to the Red Bulls’ USL or MLS roster under new terms.
Or perhaps not. Via league sources, Once a Metro is informed Devon “Speedy” Williams is expected to sign a deal with USL’s Louisville City - NYRB II’s 2016 USL Eastern Conference Final opponent, and the team Williams denied (at his own expense) the chance to duck a penalty shoot-out and maybe head to the last season’s Championship game.
Williams finished the 2016 season as a champion in USL and his work for the Red Bulls’ all-conquering II-team has apparently caught the attention of one of the more ambitious teams in the league.