Michael Amir Murillo made his first-team debut for the New York Red Bulls on May 3, 2017, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 road loss to Sporting Kansas City.
He was part of what his head coach, Jesse Marsch, labeled a "makeshift lineup" - not, perhaps, the ideal circumstances for a first appearance for any club. Still, Marsch also identified Murillo as one of the positives to emerge from a game the Red Bulls will mostly try to forget as quickly as possible:
The positive is for me that Amir Murillo played in the game and played quite well which shows that he can handle a game like that. A big step forward for him.
And it was a big step forward: it would be harsh to suggest Murillo put in anything other than a competent performance as part of a back-line that had little familiarity with each other, and which featured two players (Sal Zizzo at center-back and Connor Lade on the left) not in their optimal positions. Throw in the debutant right-back Murillo and the fact that Sporting KC fielded a settled and successful lineup: it was always likely to be a disappointing night for RBNY.
But it is the night Murillo will remember as his first for the first team.
Congrats to Michael Amir Murillo, Metro/ #RBNY player number 323 all-time in meaningful matches (League, Playoff, USOC, CONCACAF)— Brian.MLS (@CurseofCaricola) May 4, 2017
The 323rd player to make a competitive appearance for RBNY or the MetroStars is the first to wear the number 62 on his jersey for the club (per MetroFanatic.com).
The 21-year-old is regarded primarily as a right-back. He is part of the Panama Men's National Team player pool, making his debut in 2016 and winning his most recent cap during the team's World Cup qualifying loss to Trinidad and Tobago on March 25. He is on a one-year loan deal with RBNY from Panamanian club San Francisco, but the Red Bulls are reported to have an option to make the transfer permanent - effectively meaning Murillo is on a season-long trial.
He has made two appearances for NYRB II in USL to date, but is not considered a II-team regular at the moment: Jesse Marsch has repeatedly described Murillo as a potential starter for the first team, and gives the impression that potential could be realized this year. Inclusion in the lineup for a game the Red Bulls were willing to lose might be considered something of a false start to his MLS career, but all he can do is make the best of the chances he is given.
Make 62 famous, Amir. We're rooting for you.