The New York Red Bulls announced the most recent signing today, homegrown midfielder/defender John Tolkin.
“John is regarded as a top young talent not just in our academy, but in the U.S. Youth National Team Pool as well,” said Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “We are proud to have played a role in John’s development so far, and happy to share this day with him and his family as he begins his professional career.”
Tolkin spent a portion of the season with NYRBII in USL, showing excellent defensive skills, along with a great left foot, and the ability to serve in a good cross. In his 13 appearances for NYRBII, Tolkin logged 807 minutes and three assists. His breakout performance came against Bethlehem Steel FC, coming on as a sub and helping propel NYRBII to a come from behind victory.
Previusly, Tolkin featured as part of the Red Bulls Academy since 2015, recording 15 goals in 79 appearances, and spent time in the U-17 U.S. Men’s National Team.
“We’re thrilled for John, his family, and our club,” said Head Coach Chris Armas. “John stood out to us in preseason last year with his fearlessness, high soccer intelligence, and ability to play within our style. We saw that continue with NYRB II last season and we’re excited to continue working with him as he starts his professional career.”
“I’m very excited to sign my first pro contract,” said Tolkin. “Every academy kid dreams of this, and I’m happy it’s here now. I’m ready to work hard and do everything for the club, I love the club and I can’t wait to get started.”
Tolkin is now the 22nd homegrown player in Red Bulls history, part of an accelerated trend in recent years. His ability to adapt to USL so quickly should give fans hope that he can make the same leap to MLS in due time.
Photo by John Perdicaro