Red Bulls Academy Product, 8-Year MLS Vet Continues with Club in New Role
HARRISON, N.J. (February 29, 2020) – The New York Red Bulls have welcomed back Connor Lade as the team’s Senior Manager of Alumni & Player Relations, the club announced today. Lade, a Morristown native and eight-year MLS veteran, will join the front office in a newly created role.
As Senior Manager of Alumni and Player Relations, Lade’s duties will include outreach to fellow club alumni, community outreach, media and broadcast opportunities, public appearances and a variety of other responsibilities.
Alongside his new position, the club will have a ceremony to honor Lade, who retired at the end of the 2019 season, at halftime of the season opener against FC Cincinnati on March 1 at Red Bull Arena. The club will have a video highlighting his time as a player, present honorary gifts, and conclude with a Question & Answer on field with former Olympian and current Colombian National Team member Melissa Ortiz.
“Connor embodies the core values of our organization, and is a great ambassador for our club," said Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpre. “We’re thrilled to have him join the front office in this new role and could not think of a better individual to lead our efforts towards deepening our connection to our alumni.”
Following a four-year stint at St. John’s University, Lade was signed as New York’s fifth-ever Homegrown Player on December 5, 2011. The Morristown, New Jersey, native made an immediate impact in 2012 during his rookie season, starting 22 of his 26 games played and recording three assists. He helped anchor a backline to eight clean sheets during the same season. After a successful rookie year, Lade earned his first call-up to the United States Men’s National Team on Jan. 6, 2013, for training camp in Carson, Calif. He was named to the squad’s 23-man roster ahead of the Jan. 29 friendly against Canada.
"I got to live out my dream by playing with my hometown team and now the dream continues as I transition into the front office,” said Lade. “I couldn't be more excited to help the club that I love so much and am honored that they have given me this opportunity. I will bring the same work ethic and enthusiasm from the field into my new role."
Lade amassed 116 starts and 153 games played, which includes 10,456 minutes played, across all competitions over eight seasons as a Red Bull. He recorded five goals and nine assists during his tenure with New York, including his first career MLS goal against Orlando City SC on July 13, 2016. Lade is the club’s all-time leader in homegrown appearances.
Off the field, Lade made his presence known across the community. He participated in the Red Bulls “11 Days of Service” initiative, which included helping out at the Morristown Soup Kitchen and lending a hand with Habitat for Humanity, an event that helps build homes and communities. Lade also made hospital visits at Hackensack University Medical Center and Hospital for Special Service and attended Camp Shriver at Special Olympics New Jersey. He made time to frequently visit local Red Bulls soccer camps and appeared for mini pitch openings around the local area.