HARRISON, N.J. (December 19, 2023) – The New York Red Bulls have selected University of Virginia defender Aidan O’Connor with the 12th overall pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft. New York traded up to the 12th pick by sending $50,000 GAM, the 14th overall pick and the 43rd overall pick.
"His overall athleticism matches the profile we look for in a center back," Scout Jimmy Mulligan said. "He has the defensive instincts to play in a high-pressing style and also shows a good ability to break lines. We feel he has all the attributes to compete at the MLS level."
O’Connor has spent the last two seasons with the University of Virginia, where he made 31 appearances and recorded one goal and two assists. In his senior season, he played in 17 matches and helped post 6 shutouts. O’Connor led Virginia to an NCAA Sweet-16 appearance this past year and was named to the 2022 All-ACC Academic team.
"He was our top player on the board and we wanted to ensure that we could guarantee him as our pick," Manager of Analytics Sam Goldberg said.
The Grand Rapids, Michigan native played his first two collegiate seasons with Western Michigan University. Over the two seasons, he made 22 appearances and recorded two goals. O’Connor was a two-time Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019 and was also a two-time United Soccer Coaches All-American in those years as well.