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HARRISON, N.J. (February 20, 2023) – New York Red Bulls defender and Massapequa, N.Y. native Sean Nealis has been named captain ahead of the 2023 MLS season, the club announced today. Nealis becomes the first New York native to be named captain of the club.

"I am very excited to name Sean [Nealis] captain of our team this season," said Head Coach Gerhard Struber. "Sean [Nealis] has proven to be a great leader and has the trust from the whole team and myself to lead us as captain this year."

Nealis, 26, has made 76 appearances, including 69 starts, in his four seasons with the club. Nealis has recorded two goals and four assists in 6,288 MLS minutes. In 2022, Nealis set new single season career-highs in games played (33), games started (33), minutes played (2,953), shots (21), and shots on goal (5). He has led the league in aerial duels won since 2021 with 267.

The Massapequa, N.Y. native was selected by the New York Red Bulls in the second round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, coming out of Hofstra University. Nealis, a four-year letterman at Hofstra, started 69 matches for the Pride. He was named Hofstra University captain in 2018 and was named to the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America First Team, becoming the fourth Hofstra men’s soccer student athlete in program history to earn the recognition.

Nealis and the Red Bulls open up the 2023 MLS season on Saturday, February 25 against Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, with coverage on Apple TV MLS Season Pass in English and Spanish and New York Red Bulls Radio in English.

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