The New York Red Bulls bolstered their defense on Saturday, signing 2019 SuperDraft pick Rece Buckmaster to an MLS deal. Buckmaster has spent much of the season with NYRB II, the club’s USL Championship team, and is immediately available for selection by head coach Chris Armas.
“We liked Rece when we drafted him and thought he had a future with the first team,” said Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett. “A great deal of credit goes to John Wolyniec and the entire USL staff for helping Rece continue to develop and improve every day. We have seen time and again their ability to work with young players and get them ready for MLS. Rece has earned this opportunity and we know he will be ready when called upon."
Buckmaster, 23, was picked in the second round (32nd overall) out of the University of Indiana. While with the Hoosiers, he was a Second-Team All-Big Ten honoree in 2018 and helped the program to the 2017 national title game, before they fell to Stanford.
“Rece played well in the Open Cup and has impressed us in training, so we’re pleased to officially add him to the first team,” said Armas. “Rece will have an opportunity to compete for minutes and we know he will continue to work hard and grow as a player. We have a lot of confidence in all of our USL players and it is always a proud day for our club when we can promote someone to the first team.”
Buckmaster joins a growing line of NYRB II-to-first team players, including US men’s national team center back Aaron Long. Others are midfielders Florian Valot and Vincent Bezecourt, as well as forwards Tom Barlow and Brian White, with the latter tied for New York’s goals lead (eight).
“I’m very excited to sign a first team contract,” said Buckmaster. “It was my dream ever since I could walk to play professional soccer and with New York Red Bulls II it came true by getting drafted, playing a half season with them and now moving to the first team. I am at a loss for words honestly, but I am ready to help the team in any way I can."