The second half of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft was completed by conference call on January 21. The New York Red Bulls were not involved in the third round, but did have two picks in the fourth round. The first of those two picks - the 14th of the fourth round, 83rd overall, and RBNY’s fourth of this year’s draft - was spent on Jared Stroud.
Stroud has close ties to the Red Bulls: he has played for the U-23 team in PDL for three straight seasons, from 2015 to 2017; his brother, Peter, is in the RBNY Academy and the current USMNT U-17 player pool. But Jared spent his academy days with PDA, and is therefore not eligible for a Homegrown player contract.
Stroud played his college soccer at Colgate, where he capped a four-year career by setting the men’s program’s single-season assist record (13) and career assists record (30). He was also named Patriot League Tournament MVP in 2017 as Colgate successfully defended its league title.
Stroud will join fellow Colgate alum Ethan Kutler at RBNY - and as Jesse Marsch noted last year after drafting Kutler: he knows Colgate head coach Erik Ronning.
Four years coached by an old friend of the RBNY head coach, three seasons with the Red Bulls’ PDL squad, a brother in the RBNY Academy, and a college teammate on the RBNY II roster (not to mention more than a few former RBNY U-23 teammates): there aren’t many players as familiar to RBNY in this year’s draft as Jared Stroud.
It will be a great surprise if the 83rd overall pick of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft is offered anything more than a II-team contract by the Red Bulls for this year, but the midfielder brings familiarity with the RBNY set-up and system and should not require much (if any) time to adjust to the team. How well he adjusts to the professional game in general will more likely determine his future success as a Red Bull.