Fresh off his new multi-year deal with the New York Red Bulls, defender Sean Nealis stated his intentions: it wasn't just about being here and playing here, it was all about winning here.
"I love playing here and to get to play here for three more years is like a dream come true," Nealis said. "Very thankful for that. I don't want to just be here. I want to help win games here."
Nealis, who was drafted in 2019 in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft, has become a mainstay on the Red Bulls backline. The Long Island defender has started and played 13 of the 19 of matches this season, logging 1,080 minutes and anchoring a New York backline to five clean sheets. Nealis has helped the Red Bulls defense to a 1.00 goals-against average when he starts and plays the full 90 minutes in 2021.
Nealis gave a shoutout to his local alma mater, Hofstra University.
"I'm proud of where I've come from and I'm glad that Red Bull took a chance on me, that I've played here and continue to get to play here," he said.
Prior to 2021, Nealis combined for eight starts in 15 MLS matches during the 2019 and 2020 season.
"He has the right attitude, he is ready to play our style of play and he takes responsibility and for this side, was clear for me that he is a man for the future here," Head Coach Gerhard Struber said. "I am very happy that we find a contract with long term."
In his first two seasons in MLS play as a starter, he helped New York to a 3-3-2 mark with a 1.375 goals-against average. Nealis also made 20 starts in USL during the 2019 season, tallying 85 clearances and scoring three goals.
"I love being here," Nealis said. "Obviously, I am from New York, so that is an added incentive, but is its more so just the organization, the people here, the teammates I have here, I have just been extremely lucky to have such a great group of guys. I am thankful to be here, and I am excited for what the future holds."