After moving one product from their academy to an Eastern Conference rival on Monday, the New York Red Bulls made club history with the signing of Curtis Ofori. The 15-year old is now the youngest player to ever sign with the franchise.
On a day when Chris Gloster was traded by the Red Bulls to New York City FC, the Red Bulls signed Ofori to the New York Red Bulls II, their USL reserve side. The Red Bulls II play in USL League One.
Ofori, like Gloster, is a natural left back. Most recently with the Red Bulls U19 squad, Ofori made five appearances and scored a goal.
“Curtis is an impressive young man, he trained with us last year on a limited basis and I think that experience has pushed him forward and inspired him to push his own development forward,” Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec said in a statement released by the club. “He is developing into a shut down 1v1 defender, with a big engine and he continues to impress us on the ball.”
Gloster, who had spent the past three seasons in Europe with Hannover 96 and PSV Eindhoven, came up through the vaunted Red Bulls academy structure as a younger player. The club traded his MLS rights on Monday to New York City FC, receiving $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM).
The deal could potentially land the Red Bulls a total of $400,000 in GAM if certain performance metrics are met by Gloster.
The left back position is an emerging one for the Red Bulls. Last year, they moved Jamaican international Kemar Lawrence, a lockdown starter at left back since 2015, to Anderlecht in Belgium.
Last year, the Red Bulls signed left back Jason Pendant, a 24-year old who has made appearances at the U16 and U18 national team level for France, to replace Lawrence at left back. Also on the roster is John Tolkin, an 18-year old Homegrown who can play in the midfield or at left back.
The Red Bulls have used their USL club to develop a number of young players over the past few years. Young Homegrown talent such as Tyler Adams (Red Bull Leipzig) and Caden Clark (New York) all got their start from the Red Bulls academy before taking the next step and featuring for the USL club.