The Soccer America Player of the Year and Hermann Award winner refused to sign an MLS contract until he was assured he could go to the team of his choice. Thus, the New York Red Bulls got him at No. 18 in the SuperDraft held Thursday. On Saturday, the team announced he has come aboard.
“In the soccer community, many consider Leo to be the best player in this draft,” said Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis in a team statement. “We are excited to welcome such an accomplished player to the Red Bull family. We're confident that our environment, coupled with Jesse Marsch's coaching and leadership, will allow Leo to reach his full potential as a player.”
Stolz will officially be added to the roster once he passes a physical and his P-1 work permit is issued. In three collegiate seasons at UCLA, the Munich native scored 20 goals and compiled 22 assists and served as the captain the past two years. He was a first-team All-America selection across the board.
Terms of his contract were not disclosed. College players normally sign a contract that runs for two years plus two option years.
As a senior, he started all 24 games, led the Bruins in goals with nine and tied for the assist lead with six as they reached the NCAA Division I championship game for the second time in the past decade.
He chose to attend college -- he played his freshman year at George Mason -- after training for seven years with the academy team of 1860 Munich, which offered him a senior contract that he declined. He also played for Germany’s U-18 national team.