The 2013 MLS Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls announced today that they have acquired defender Richard Eckersley from Toronto FC in exchange for New York’s natural 2017 MLS SuperDraft fourth round pick. Eckersley will be added to New York’s roster pending P-1 Visa approval and after he passes a team physical.
“We were impressed with Richard’s play at Toronto FC and are delighted to acquire him. He has a good soccer brain and is an energetic defender who can also provide positive attacking qualities on the flanks,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. “Richard will immediately provide another solid and versatile option for us on our backline and will certainly compete for a starting role on our team.”
Eckersley, who primarily plays as a fullback, moved to Major League Soccer when he joined Toronto FC on loan from English side Burnley in April 2011. He was a consistent face on Toronto’s backline over the last three seasons, appearing in 72 matches and being named to Toronto’s starting eleven 70 times. He appeared in 16 games for Toronto last season, all of which were starts.
The Englishman started his career at Manchester United’s academy program. He then progressed to Manchester United’s reserve side in 2007 and made two first team appearances from 2007-09. The 24-year-old earned the first medal of his career when he was named to the 18-man roster for United’s League Cup Final victory over Tottenham Hotspur in March 2009.
Eckersley signed with Burnley in July 2009 and was part of loan deals at English clubs Plymouth Argyle (2010), Bradford City (2011) and Bury (2011).
The Red Bulls begin their 2014 regular season schedule at BC Place, hitting the road to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 PM. Tickets to the Red Bulls’ first regular season game at Red Bull Arena on March 15 against the Colorado Rapids at 4:00 PM are on sale now by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or logging onto tickets.newyorkredbulls.com.
Weight: 169 pounds
Day of Birth: March 12, 1989 in Salford, England
Hometown: Salford, England
Previous Club: Toronto FC (MLS)
How Acquired: Acquired on January 27, 2014 from Toronto FC in exchange for New York’s natural 2017 MLS SuperDraft fourth round pick