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February 20, 2013
Red Bull acquire, sign RSL midfielder

The Red Bulls added some Steele to their midfield on Wednesday -- Jonny Steele.

The Major League Soccer club signed the 27-year-old native of Northern Ireland after it acquired Steele’s MLS first right of refusal in trade with Real Salt Lake for a conditional supplemental draft pick.

“Jonny is a player who our coaching staff is very familiar with and believe will provide depth in our midfield,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a statement. “We are pleased to have agreed to a contract with Jonny and look forward to his contribution this season.”

Steele became the third former RSL player added to the Red Bulls, joining former teammates Jamison Olave, a defender, and Fabian Espinolda, a forward. New York acquired both those players in early December.

The 6-foot, 180-lb. Steele played for one season with RSL making 28 regular season appearances (11 starts), registering two goals and two assists. He began his career with English side Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2002 and performed for seveal clubs since then, including the then-A League sides Syracuse Salty Dogs (2004) and Rochester Raging Rhinos (2005-06) and Irish club Ballymena United (2005). Steele featured for the Carolina Railhawks of the USL First Division in 2007.

He was a standout with USL-1 side the Puerto Rico Islanders, from 2008-09, earning USL-1 MVP honors and helping his club win the league championship. Steele had six goals in 49 games with the Islanders. Steele played for the Vancouver Whitecaps (2010), FC Tampa Bay (2010-11) and the Railhawks again on loan (2011) prior to joining Real Salt Lake. With Carolina, Steele was a part of the squad that helped the Railhaawks win the league’s regular season title, making 22 appearances.

He has represented Northern Ireland at several youth levels and was part of the Under-19 team that played in the 2005 UEFA Championship.

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