New York Red Bulls sign Homegrowns Derrick Etienne, Brandon Allen
Courtesy of New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls sign Brandon Allen, Derrick Etienne as Homegrown Players, now lead MLS with 7 HGPs

The New York Red Bulls announced the signing of academy products Brandon Allen and Derrick Etienne as Homegrown Players on Monday, growing RBNY's current Homegrown contingent to seven, the most in Major League Soccer.

Etienne joins New York's senior team after one year at the University of Virginia, while Allen joins after four years at Georgetown University.

The two signings bring the total number of Homegrown Players in Red Bulls club history to 12. Etienne, a midfielder, and Allen, a forward, join fellow Homegrowns Matt Miazga, Connor Lade, Sean Davis, Santiago Castaño and Tyler Adams on the current roster.

"We are pleased to add two high-caliber players to our roster," said Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis in a club statement. "After their accomplishments in the collegiate game, we are excited about the potential of both players to contribute at the professional level. Their success thus far is a testament to what can be accomplished by a hardworking player in the Red Bulls' developmental model."

Allen, from Old Bridge, New Jersey, was a four-year starter at Georgetown, where he scored at least 10 goals each season and broke the school record for goals by netting his 50th earlier this year in the NCAA tournament. He is one of three finalists for the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer's best player.

A powerful presence at forward, Allen was a unanimous choice for First Team All-Big East honors in 2015, his fourth consecutive All-Big East honor and his third consecutive nod to the first team, as the Hoyas claimed the Big East regular-season and tournament titles. He is also a three-time NSCAA All-American.

"I'm very excited," said Allen. "I've waited a long time for this, all my life, but I enjoyed my college career, and a lot of my success came from my teammates, and my senior class was a big part of my success, so I want to thank them. I'm very excited to get started here at the Red Bulls."

Prior to Georgetown, Allen played for the Red Bulls at the U-18 level from 2010-12, leading the US Soccer Development Academy with 28 goals in 28 games in 2010-11 and adding 27 more in 2011-12. A longtime US youth international, he is the younger brother of current New York City FC defender R.J. Allen.

Etienne, from Paterson, New Jersey, joined the Red Bulls academy as an Under-14 player and advanced through the developmental system. He was part of the Red Bulls U-16s that won the USSDA championship in 2011-12, and he captained the Red Bulls' U-18s in the fall of 2014, a season capped off by winning the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase. Etienne was the most prominent of several Red Bulls academy players to earn time with New York Red Bulls II in USL play last summer, starting 10 games and contributing three goals and three assists before matriculating at Virginia. 

"It's a great feeling," said Etienne. "Being in the academy for six years, being able to sign with the first team, it's a great feeling. Knowing some of the guys, I feel this is like finally getting the process going, it's great."

A dynamic, attacking winger, Etienne made 17 appearances as a freshman for the defending NCAA champion Cavaliers, scoring two goals and an assist. He earned a spot on the ACC all-rookie team as Virginia went 10-5-3 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Etienne holds dual citizenship in the United States and Haiti, for whom his father, Derrick, Sr., played internationally. Derrick, Jr., has appeared at several youth international levels for Haiti, most notably as part of Haiti's side for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship last January.

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