MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Sources: New York Red Bulls sign center back Issiar Drame

The New York Red Bulls have signed defender Issiar Drame, sources tell

Drame was most recently with Olimpik Donetsk in Ukraine but has been a free agent since the summer. The 22-year-old center back made 18 league appearances with Donetsk last season as they finished 13th out of 14 teams and were relegated to the second tier.

A product mostly of Olympique Lyon's academy who bounced around a few clubs during his youth career, Drame featured for Lyon's U-19 side and B team but never made his competitive debut in the first team. Drame joined Donetsk in October 2020 in search of first-team opportunities.

Drame is a towering center back, listed around 6-foot-6, and gives Gerhard Struber another option at the position. Central defense has been thin for the club due to injuries during the 2021 campaign.

Aaron Long, former MLS Defender of the Year and a US men's national team regular, suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. Offseason acquisition Andres Reyes has missed time due to injury as well, leaving Sean Nealis and Amro Tarek often as the only natural center backs for Struber to choose from. On-loan right back Tom Edwards has filled in centrally at times.

RBNY also signed Uruguay youth international center back Lucas Monzon on loan on deadline day. Monzon joined training this week.

MLS clubs can sign free agents ahead of the September 15 roster freeze, even though the Secondary Transfer Window closed August 5.