Red Bull New York added four players at Thursday’s 2011 MLS SuperDraft, held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD. The Red Bulls selected Penn State University forward Corey Hertzog in the first round (13th overall), English midfielder John Rooney and North Carolina State defender Tyler Lassiter in the second round (25th and 30th overall, respectively), and University of Maryland midfielder Billy Cortes in the third round (38th overall).
“This is an exciting day for the organization,” said Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “We feel we’ve added four quality players who will improve the depth and talent level of our squad going forward. We think that each of our selections can contribute in some way in the coming years.”
A member of the 2011 MLS Generation adidas class, Hertzog led all NCAA Division 1 players in goals scored in 2010, tallying 20 goals in 22 games in his junior season. The 21-year-old Reading, PA native also added six assists, and led the nation with 46 points. He was named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy for the country’s best college soccer player, and was a NSCAA Second Team All-American selection, as well as a First Team All-Big Ten selection. In 2009 as a sophomore, the 6-0 172 pound Hertzog scored 11 goals and six assists in 22 matches, and led Penn State to the Big Ten Tournament Final, en route to being named the tournament’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. As a freshman, Hertzog played in 17 matches and scored two goals and two assists. During his three years Penn State career, Hertzog played in 61 games, starting 43, and scored 33 goals and 14 assists.
The Red Bulls selected Rooney, 20, with their second pick. Described as a box-to-box midfielder, the 5-10, 176 pound English midfielder played for Macclesfield Town of England’s League Two from 2007-2010, making 41 appearances for the first team. During the 2009-10 season, Rooney played in 25 games, starting 14 and scoring a goal. The previous season, Rooney made 14 appearances and registered two goals. Previous to his professional career at Macclesfield Town, Rooney was a youth player at Premier League club Everton FC. John is the younger brother of Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney. He was one of six international eligible players at this year’s draft.
With their third selection, New York took North Carolina State defender Tyler Lassiter. A four year starter for the Wolfpack, Lassiter, 21, led North Carolina State with six goals and six assists in his senior season of 2010, earning him Second Team All-ACC honors. The Wake Forest, NC native started all 73 games of his collegiate career, and in 2007 was named to the ACC All-Freshman team. In four collegiate seasons, the 6-0 170 pound Lassiter registered 12 goals and eight assists.
In the third round, the Red Bulls selected University of Maryland midfielder Billy Cortes with the 38th overall pick. Cortes, a native of Mission Viejo, CA, played four years for the Terrapins, and became a regular starter over his last two seasons. In 2010, Cortes ranked fourth on the team with five goals, and added four assists while starting 22 matches. As a junior in 2009, the 5-11, 181 pound midfielder notched three goals and three assists in 21 games, 16 of which he earned a start in. In his four years at Maryland, Cortes tallied a total of 11 goals and seven assists in 71 appearances.