Sean Nealis RBNY

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Extension

The New York Red Bulls have signed center back Sean Nealis to a new three-year contract with an additional option year, the club announced Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Long Island native has been a backline mainstay for the club all season, with his role growing in importance after US men’s national team defender Aaron Long suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in mid-May.

“We are pleased to lock down Sean with the club for multiple years,” head of sport Kevin Thelwell said in a release. “He has been a strong option for the club since we drafted him in 2019 and hope to see him continue to strengthen our backline for years to come.”

Nealis was a second-round pick (No. 25) out of Hofstra University, and has since become a key part of head coach Gerhard Struber’s defense. He’s helped RBNY post five clean sheets and preserve a 1.00 goals-against average when he starts and plays the full 90 minutes during the 2021 season.

“I am happy to see Sean stay in New York,” Struber said in a release. “He has been a very stable defender for us since Aaron Long went down and his consistent play has only strengthened my trust in him.”

Nealis was more of a reserve option during his first two MLS seasons, leaving him with one goal and three assists across 28 appearances (21 starts) in his young career. He’s also featured for New York Red Bulls II, their reserve side that competes in the USL Championship.

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