The New York Red Bulls acquired MLS veteran midfielder Sal Zizzo in a deal with New York City FC that sent goalkeeper Ryan Meara out on loan for 2015 and brought Zizzo to the Red Bulls on a permanent basis. NYC FC selected the midfielder from Sporting Kansas City in Wednesday’s MLS expansion draft.
Zizzo, a San Diego native, joined MLS in 2010 after spending two and a half seasons with Hannover 96 in the German Bundesliga. The 27 year old made eight appearances for the Hannover 96 first team, and played numerous matches for Hannover’s reserve side before an injury in the Fall of 2009 ended his season.
Zizzo returned home to California to play for Chivas USA in the second half of the 2010 season, making 10 appearances and recording one assist. He was acquired by Portland ahead of the 2011 campaign and made 30 appearances for the Timbers, putting him among the team leaders. He spent 2012 and 2013 in Portland as well before moving to Sporting KC for 2014. The midfielder made 19 appearances, including 13 starts and recorded three assists last season.
In all, he has featured in 89 MLS games and made 42 starts. He has two goals and 11 assists, and has earned a reputation as a solid midfield player.
Off the pitch, Zizzo has endeared himself to supporters with his personality. In Kansas City he co-hosted (and provided music for) the Benny Feilhaber show for Sporting KC’s Youtube channel.
During his time with the Timbers, he opened an Italian cuisine foodcart, Zizzo’s FC, in downtown Portland.
Before his professional career, Zizzo played two seasons of college soccer at UCLA in 2005 and 2006, earning one Pac-10 title in 2005 and back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament. The Bruins made it all the way to the NCAA College Cup in 2006. He also spent time with the U.S. U-18 and U-20 teams, and has one cap for the senior team as well.