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New York Red Bulls sign midfielder Dan Metzger to 2017 MLS roster

The former Academy player and II-teamer is stepping up to the first team.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls' first confirmed signing of 2017 is Dan Metzger.

This is good news for Metzger - a Red Bull Academy product who has spent the last two seasons attached to NYRB II - and good news for the club's continuing policy of committing its future to its Homegrown players. Metzger did not sign a Homegrown Player contract with RBNY; indeed he actively avoided the Homegrown tag, entered the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and was picked up by D.C. United - but he landed back at the club after the effort to land a deal elsewhere didn't work out.

A central midfielder with US youth national team experience and an important member of the NYRB II side that dominated USL in 2016, Metzger's promotion to a contract with the first team does appear to send the message that the club is watching and valuing its reserve team's performances.

His signing also addresses the vacancy created by Dax McCarty's exit from the club, at least in the sense that Metzger occupied much the same tactical role for NYRB II that McCarty did for RBNY over the last two years. The 23-year-old will be expected to challenge (presumptive starter) Sean Davis - as well as (certain starter) Felipe Martins and Tyler Adams - for minutes in the Red Bulls' midfield engine room.