The New York Red Bulls have been very active in keeping their players on their squad to get ready for another run in all competitions they have qualified for, and the CONCACAF Champions League is the first one up, as they get ready this coming Wednesday in the first leg at Club Atletico Pantoja.
We know that the backline has been a major target by Sporting Director Denis Hamlet to keep intact, as he worked on some big deals to keep centerback Tim Parker, of course Kemar Lawrence has remained witht the club.
But today another piece of that puzzle has remained intact as the New York Red Bulls have signed current US Men’s National Team centerback as well as the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year winner Aaron Long to a multi-year deal.
“We are very excited to complete this signing and solidify Aaron’s future with our club,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “Aaron has been key to our success as a team the last two seasons, and his personal achievements and recognitions speak for themselves.
“This signing is great news for our club and is also a prime example of our philosophy on player development. Aaron has worked hard over the last three seasons with us, learning and developing into one of the brightest young American defenders. Our entire club is proud to share this moment with Aaron and his family.”
Long was originally drafted by the Portland Timbers in the second round of the 2014 MLS Super Draft, then went to the Seattle Sounders in 2015 and played for their Sounders 2 side, (now renamed the Tacoma Defenders) and played in twenty-seven matches.
He came over to the Red Bulls USL side in 2016 where he was signed and played in 22 games scoring twice, then went on loan to the MLS club for their CONCACAF Champions League group stage match against Alianza FC on August 16th of that year.
Then he remained with the MLS side at the start of the 2017 season and never looked back. He has played in 65 matches and started 61 one of those, at the same time he has scored five goals in all competitions, and scored the match winner in the second leg of last years East semi-final against the Columbus Crew.
“Aaron has been a major part of our team’s success over the last two seasons,” said Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas. “He solidified our back line in 2017 and helped us become the best defense in the league in 2018.
“Aaron has also grown into a leader within our group and has earned the respect of everyone here. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with him and watching him grow for our club and country.”
Aaron Long has been a solid center back since coming over and since Tim Parker came in a trade with Felipe in the beginning of last season, it looks like he has improved his defensive play, and has used his abilities to stop the opposition from getting close to his net.
“This club gave me the opportunity I always wanted, and I will be forever grateful for that,” Long said. “These coaches believed in me and allowed me to blossom into the player I am today. I will do everything I can to get silverware for this club.”
Well right now Long is down with the club to face Pantoja from the Dominican Republic, as the Red Bulls will try to create a new journey, and play in their second consecutive CONCACAF Champions League as they try for International silverware.