[2014 MLS COUNTDOWN]Virginia freshman starJordan Allen became the first college player to confirm his intention to sign a homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake. Allen hails from Rochester, N.Y. but spent a year and a half at RSL AZ, the MLS club's residency program located at Grande Sports Academy in Arizona.
Allen, a member of the rising U.S. U-20 national team, helped Virginia reach the 2013 Men's College Cup, scoring three goals and a team-high five assists from his spot in the midfield. His game-winner pushed the Cavaliers past UConn in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and into the College Cup.
He was named the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Player of the Year, Western Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the Starting XI Team of the Year for the 2011-2012 season.
He returned home for the final year of high school, playing for his father, Howard, at prep power Aquinas Institute, and for local club Empire United (now Empire Revolution, which is affiliated with the New England Revolution).
“To see my dream of signing with RSL come true is very exciting,” Allen said in a statement. “This is the reason I first moved to the Academy in Arizona. At the same time, I know that this is just the first step, and I need to stay grounded. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play at RSL, but I know that I have plenty of work to do in order to become a successful pro.”
RSL AZ produced its first first-team player in 2013 as Carlos Salcedo saw significant action at center back. He originally came to RSL AZ from the Tigres youth system and was not a homegrown signing. Other homegrown players currently on the RSL roster include Lalo Fernandez and Benji Lopez.
HOLGERSSON LEAVES RED BULLS. The New York Red Bulls and Swedish defender Markus Holgersson, who had started 63 games in two seasons, have agreed to terminate his contract. He had one year left on his current deal.
“After speaking with Markus following the conclusion of our season and taking into account our salary cap situation, we mutually decided that it would be in everyone’s interest for us to part ways,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. "Markus indicated to us that he is ready to take on the next stage of his career and we want to thank him for his service to the New York Red Bulls."