The New York Red Bulls announced that the club agreed to new contracts for fullbacks Connor Lade and Brandon Barklage, as the club begins to put the pieces together for 2013 after bowing out of the playoffs and having a front office and technical staff overhaul. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Both players were deemed as "the most valuable" for the club by Thierry Henry at points during the season, with the unheralded duo giving the Red Bulls a jolt during the summer. Lade, 23, emerged as a standout rookie in his first season out of St. John's University, one who showed his versatility by playing both fullback positions and in the midfield as well. The Red Bulls also announced that he will train with Sevilla FC from Dec. 13-23 before linking back up with the team for preseason.
"This is an excellent opportunity for a young player to train with an estbalished European club like Sevilla," Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a team release. "We hope that Connor benefits from this stint and are looking forward to have him back in preseason camp when it starts in January."
Barklage, 26, emerged as a starting right back before injuries derailed his season. The highlight of his 2012 campaign was a two-goal outing against former club D.C. United in a 3-2 win on June 24. The goals were the first of his career. He also notched the first five assists of his career while playing in a personal-best 19 games in his fourth MLS season.
"Both of these players had very strong seasons for us and have bright futures ahead," Roxburgh said. "We are very pleased to recognize their play by agreeing to new contracts with each of them and we look forward to their contributions in the coming years."
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