HARRISON, NJ (January 12, 2022) – The New York Red Bulls moved up from the 15th pick to the seventh pick via two trades. New York first traded their 15th overall pick and $100,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money to Montreal for the 11th overall pick. The Red Bulls then swapped the 11th overall pick and $100,000 of 2022 GAM for Chicago’s seventh overall pick.
New York wrapped up the first round by trading their 43rd overall pick (2nd round, 15th pick) and $75,000 in 2022 GAM for Seattle’s 20th overall pick in the draft.
The Red Bulls selected United States Naval Academy centerback Matt Nocita with the seventh overall pick and concluded the first round with selection of Florida Gulf Coast University forward O’Vonte Mullings with the 20th overall pick.
Nocita finished his collegiate career at Navy as one of the most decorated players in Navy men’s soccer history. The Porter Ranch, California, native was a three-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, 2021 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. Nocita missed just one game in four seasons, compiling 59 starts, 5,389 minutes played, six goals and two assists. He helped anchor a backline to 24 clean sheets in 59 matches at Navy.
Mullings completed four seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University, which was highlighted by being named a three-time ASUN Conference First Team, 2018 ASUN Conference Freshman of the Year and 2021 ASUN Conference Player of the Year. He accrued 28 goals and seven assists in 57 games played over 4,697 minutes played.
New York concluded the 2022 MLS Superdraft with two picks in the third round, drafting Georgetown goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis 71st overall (3rd round, 15th pick) and Pennsylvania State midfielder Seth Kuhn 73rd overall (3rd round, 17th pick).
Nikopolidis was Georgetown’s four-year starter at goalie and was a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-America honoree in 2020 and was the two-time BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year as well as a three-time All-BIG EAST selection. In his career at Gerogetown, he started in 56 games and posted a 0.69 goals-against average as well as a 0.800 save percentage. Nikopolidis went 39-10-3 in the net with 156 saves helped the Hoyas have advanced to four NCAA Tournaments, three-consecutive NCAA quarterfinals, two College Cups and won the 2019 NCAA Championship.
Kuhn spent his final three collegiate seasons at Penn State University, recording eight goals and 17 assists in 53 matches played. He earned second-team All-Big Ten and United Soccer Coaches second-team All-North Region honors while being named a United Soccer Coaches Second Team Scholar All-American during his junior seasons. Kuhn also played one season at Duke University, tallying two assits in 18 matches played.