|photo by Matt Kremkau
New York Red Bulls have announced that defender Sean Nealis has signed a new three-year MLS contract that will take him through the 2024 season. The SuperDraft product who came through the New York Red Bulls II in the USL before moving to MLS, has quickly made himself an essential member of the club's defense moving forward.
"I am happy to see Sean stay in New York," said head coach Gerhard Struber. "He has been a very stable defender for us since Aaron Long went down and his consistent play has only strengthened my trust in him."
Nealis debuted with the Red Bulls in 2019, bouncing between the MLS and USL club. The combination of Long and Tim Parker made it difficult to get more minutes but the club moved on from Parker in 2021, opening the door for a partnership with Long. Unfortunately, an achilles injury forced his partner out for the season, opening the door for even more minutes for the Long Island native.
"He has been a strong option for the club since we drafted him in 2019," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "We hope to see him continue to strengthen our backline for years to come."
This deal shows that New York is dedicated to the pipeline from USL to MLS. Not only is Nealis the latest example, but long before him and others in the backline like Kyle Duncan, John Tolkin and Mandela Egbo have traveled the same road.
Nealis is expected to play in the team's next game against the Chicago Fire as the Red Bulls continue their push for a playoff spot.