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New York Red Bulls sign USL standouts Jared Stroud, Chris Lema

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signings

The New York Red Bulls have signed midfielders Jared Stroud and Chris Lema, the club announced Tuesday. Both players were standouts for New York Red Bulls II, the club's USL Championship affiliate. 

“On behalf of everyone at the club I’d like to welcome Jared and Chris to the first team,” sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a club statement. “Over the last several seasons we have established a strong pathway for talented players to move up and contribute at the MLS level. We are proud to have helped Jared and Chris take this next step in their career and look forward to their continued development as professionals.”

Stroud, 23, had 22 goals and 20 assists in 63 appearances (51 starts) during two seasons with NYRB II. He's the first player in to have 20 goals and 20 assists for the USL club. He spent four seasons at Colgate University.

“Jared is an attacker that has committed to our philosophy and has excelled each year,” said head coach Chris Armas. “He has shown that he can be dangerous in the final third and also score goals consistently. As a staff we look forward to helping him continue his development at the MLS level.”

Lema, 23, spent two seasons with NYRB II and became the all-time leader in starts (56) and minutes (5,008) for the club. He led the league in chances created (94) last season. 

“It’s an honor to be able to sign an MLS contract with my childhood club,” said Lema. “This is where I want to be and where I want to succeed. I’m excited to get started and give back to the club.”

In an offseason of change for the Red Bulls which saw club legends Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles depart, Stoud and Lema are the club's second and third additions of the winter. They open their 2020 campaign against FC Cincinnati on March 1.

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