New York sign young American GK from Finnish outfit

Hans Backe and Erik Soler of the New York Red Bulls

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New York Red Bulls

New York tapped into their Scandinavian connections again on Wednesday, mining the Finnish league for a goalkeeper they hope will compete for the No. 1 job between the posts. 

The Red Bulls announced the signing of 24-year-old goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo, who grew up in Downingtown, Pa., and played college soccer at Syracuse and Hartwick College before joining Finnish first-division side AC Oulu for the 2011 season. He played 24 games for third-place AC Oulu and recorded 11 clean sheets.

Vuolo will be added to the team’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per league rules, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“After doing extensive scouting, we believe that Jeremy has a very bright future ahead of him and can compete at the MLS level,” Red Bulls general manager and sporting director Erik Solér said in a statement. “He had a very good year playing professionally in Finland and brings many great attributes to the table. We expect that he will compete for a starting spot this year.”

At 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds, Vuolo certainly has the frame to compete for a job in MLS, and he joins a New York side that is in flux at the goalkeeper position. Rookie Ryan Meara is the only other goalkeeper on the roster after Bouna Coundoul was waived following the 2011 season and Designated Player Frank Rost returned to Germany.

Vuolo started 15 games for Syracuse as a senior after transferring from Hartwick College. He was the All-Mid American Goalkeeper of the Year and first team All-MAC in 2009, registering a 10-4-4 record – including seven shutouts – and a 0.84 goals-against average.