Nearly a year after being named captain for the New York Red Bulls, the United States Men’s National Team defender Aaron Long has announced that he will not return with the Red Bulls for the 2023 season.
MLSSoccer.com Insider Tom Bogert broke the news on Tuesday (Jan. 3) that Long, a Southern California native, had reached an agreement in principle to sign with defending MLS Cup Champions LAFC.
Long has been a defensive stalwart in the center of the park for New York leading the backline to 38 clean sheets in seven seasons. His 12 goals in MLS regular-season play is the most for a defender in Red Bulls franchise history.
On March 10, 2016, Long became the first player in franchise history to sign with New York Red Bulls II. After being named the 2016 USL Defender of the Year, he help lead the second team to a USL Championship.
In his second year with New York, Long was promoted to the first team in 2017 and has severed as the cornerstone of the Red Bulls’ defense.
The two-time MLS All-Star received his first nod in 2018 and was named the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year. Long was also named to MLS Best XI and helped the Red Bulls win their third Supports’ Shield.
In 2021, Long’s season was cut short after five games due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. He returned with the club in March for the 2022 season and was selected to the MLS All-Star roster.
Aaron Long took to Twitter on Tuesday to thank the Red Bulls and fans. “Thank you! The last seven years was better than I could’ve ever imagined. Thank you to the club for believing in me. Thank you to the fans for supporting us through the ups and downs,” said the 30-year-old defender.
Aaron Long played in 139 games, starting in 133 matches and logging in 11,723 minutes during his tenure with New York.