During the first day of the MLS SuperDraft, the New York Red Bulls selected four players. Trades with other teams put RBNY on the clock twice in each of the first two rounds. Sporting Director Denis Hamlett and Coach Chris Armas added three defenders and a forward to the roster.
Roy Boateng, 16th pick
Born in Accram, Ghana, Roy Boateng made an impact at his California high school and landed a spot for UC Davis’s Men’s Soccer squad. He made 82 appearances in his four years, and scored six goals in that time. He was named Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018.
Janos Loebe, 22nd pick
The German native spent a successful career at Fordham University, with 26 goals and 31 assists in his four years. He was named to the All-Atlantic Conference First Team all four years of his college career. While he was not a part of the Red Bull organization until now, he did spend time in the U19 German Bundesliga (Wuppertaller SV).
The team could use a new option in the attack in the coming seasons, but they will need to spend time integrating him into the Red Bull system. The German influence on the team also remains intact following the departure of Marc Rzatkowski.
Sean Nealis, 25th overall pick
The first selection of the second round came courtesy of a trade with FC Cincinnatti. The Red Bulls chose a defender from Hofstra University. With 72 appearances, the Long Island native posted four goals and three assists. This selection is another instance of RBNY staying local for their roster picks.
Nealis joins fellow Long Island native defender Tim Parker, who was just re-signed to the first team. Just shy of his 22nd birthday, Nealis was not present at the draft.
Rece Buckmaster, 32nd overall pick
The Red Bulls acquired the 8th pick of the second round in a trade with the Chicago Fire and chose another defender. A Fire Academy participant, Rece Buckmaster spent the past four years at University of Indiana. He was named to the All Big-10 Conference Second Team his senior year.
With four goals and twelve assists in college career, this attack-minded player may be looked at as a winger or fullback. He will likely find himself with USL side NYRBII next season. He has gotten a look from US Soccer, having attended a U17 camp in 2012.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography