The Red Bulls have signed 2019 MLS SuperDraft Second-Round pick Sean Nealis to an MLS contract, they announced on Sunday.
Nealis, a Massapequa native, becomes the sixth different player from New York on the Red Bulls first-team roster in 2019.
"We are pleased to welcome Sean to the first team," said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. "When we drafted Sean we knew we were getting a quality player, but throughout preseason camp he has displayed qualities the we look for on and off the field."
Nealis, a 6-foot-4 center back, was named the 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year to cap off four years at Hofstra. He was Hofstra's team captain in 2018 and started 69 matches in four seasons for the Pride. Nealis is the first draft pick of New York's 2019 draft class to earn a contract.
"Sean has come into camp and earned this contract," said Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas. "He has grasped the defensive tactics quickly, is athletic, and has many of the qualities we look for in center backs. Sean has a great attitude and we look forward to working with him to help him develop."
Alongside a strong career on the field, Nealis was named to the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America First Team, becoming just the fourth Hofstra men's soccer student-athlete in program history to earn the recognition.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to get the chance to play for the New York Red Bulls," Nealis said. "The coaching staff has been exemplary at helping me come along, and I am looking forward to growing as a player for this organization."
New York Red Bulls sign 2019 MLS SuperDraft pick Sean Nealis to an MLS contract on February 17, 2019.
Position: Center Back
Date of Birth: 1/13/1997
Birthplace: Massapequa, N.Y.
Hometown: Massapequa, N.Y.
Former Club: Hofstra University