December 5, 2011
LIVING A DREAM
Ex-St. John's defender signs with Red Bulls
HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls announced Monday they signed defender and Red Bulls Academy product Connor Lade.
|Former St. John's defender became the Red Bulls' fifth Home Grown player signing.
Photo courtesy of St. John's SID
Lade, a Convent Station, N.J. native who most recently completed his fourth and final seasons at St. John’s University, is the fifth Red Bulls Academy product to sign with the first team via the Home Grown Player Rule.
“Signing players from our academy has been one of our ongoing priorities. We believe that Connor can compete on the professional level after having four strong years in college soccer,” Red Bulls general manager and sporting director Erik Soler said in a statement. “We are thrilled to bring him into our squad and think that he has a bright future ahead of him.”
Lade said he was looking forward to playing for the Red Bulls.
“Playing for the Red Bulls senior team and in Major League Soccer is a dream that I have had since I was young," he said. "I want to thank my family and friends, St. John’s and the Red Bulls for their support. I have worked hard to try and reach this point and I am excited to compete for my spot starting in January at our pre-season camp.”
In his senior year at St. John’s, the 22-year-old started all 18 games, playing every minute of every game for the second consecutive season and backstopping it to a Big East tournament championship – a competition in which he was name the Most Outstanding defensive player. Lade earned second team All-Big East honors in 2011 after making the third team as a junior and helped the defense record a scoreless streak of 647 minutes and four seconds – the third-longest in school history. He made 60 consecutive starts and amassed 81 appearances during his four years.
Lade attended Morristown High School and was a three-time first team All-Conference, All-State and All-County selection. He became a member of the Red Bulls Academy in December 2007 and was part of the Under-18 U.S. Development Academy tea and the 2009 Super-Y League championship-winning U-20 team with current Red Bull Matt Kassel.
“We are very proud of Connor,” St. John's coach Dr. Dave Masur said. “He had a remarkable career for us and continually improved each and every season in all aspects from field vision and tactics to confidence and understanding of the game. We are thrilled for him and wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”
Lade joined Kassel, Juan Agudelo, Sacir Hot and Giorgi Chirgadze as former Academy players who have graduated to the Red Bulls first team.