Red Bulls Sign Draft Selection Aidan O'Connor to MLS Contract

In late December, the New York Red Bulls selected Aidan O’Connor from the University of Virginia with the 12th overall pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft.

Just over a month later, the Red Bulls signed O’Connor to an MLS contract for one year through 2024 with an option for 2025, 2026, and 2027.

Red Bulls First Rounder's Background

The Grand Rapids, Michigan native spent the past two years at Virginia transferring from Western Michigan University. This past season, O’Connor started all 17 games for the Cavaliers and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week the week of October 31st. He helped earn the team six shutouts and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16. In his 31 appearances for Virginia, O'Connor recorded a goal and two assists.

“We see a lot of potential in Aidan, and we are very excited to sign him to his first professional contract,” Head of Sport Jochen Schneider said. “Aidan is a competitive individual that we are looking forward to helping develop and happy that we are able to add to our defensive depth for this upcoming season.”

Standing at 6’3, O’Connor shows impressive instinct in high-press situations and should break lines in MLS as a center-back. The young defender was also one of three Cavaliers selected in this year's Super Draft along with Stephen Annor (26th overall) to the Houston Dynamo and Leo Alfonso (32nd overall) to Inter Miami CF.

“It was always kind of a pipe dream, I haven’t seen a lot of people do it around me. It just kind of progressed and progressed and became more and more realistic,” O’Connor said. “Hearing it actually called and then getting all the calls from all the staff was just an incredible experience.” - Aidan O'Connor

This signing came just 11 days after the transfer news broke about 21-year-old Swedish youth player Noah Eile. The Red Bulls continue to add some needed depth to their defense with young players who can learn from veterans such as team captain Sean Nealis and Andres Reyes.