Every week, NewYorkRedBulls.com will feature a NYRB II player, and tell their story. Here is the first installment.
Colin Heffron, a midfielder and defender for New York Red Bulls II, made his professional debut for the new USL squad on Saturday March 28, 2015. Although there were no goals involved in the historic opening match, for Heffron, who played as a left back and a center back in the match, the game was a success. In his first match in the back line, Red Bulls II maintained a clean sheet. In fact his performance was so positive he was named to the USL Team of the Week for the second week of 2015. For Heffron, this is the first of what he hopes is much more to come.
“Red Bulls II thus far has been a great experience,” Heffron said. “John [Wolyniec] is a great coach and I hope to continue to learn from him. Playing at Red Bull Arena in my professional debut was a great experience.”
Heffron, a native of Upper Brookville, N.Y., began his soccer career in London where he was born.
“As a kid, I played constantly with friends in the park and eventually played with some of the Fulham Football Club Youth teams,” Heffron said. “From there, I continued to develop my skills and passion in the American youth system.”
He attended Friends Academy in New York and led his team to back-to-back Class C State Championships in 2009 and 2010. He was named All-Long Island by NY Newsday in 2009 and 2010, was the 2009 New York State Playoffs MVP and 2010 Long Island Championship MVP.
At Dartmouth College, he impressed early and often in the midfield. As a freshman he was already a staple in the Dartmouth starting lineup and earned the Will Shue Award (Rookie of the Year) after one season. He followed up his inaugural year by doubling his previous goal and assist totals, finishing the year with two goals and four assists, and earned Second-Team All-Ivy honors. By the end of his four years with the Big Green, Heffron was named First-Team All-Ivy, totaled nine goals and 11 assists, and started 44 out of 48 career matches.
In February 2015, he travelled with the New York Red Bulls to Bradenton, Fla., where he auditioned as a trialist. From February 16 – March 1, he trained with the First Team and was listed as a defender. He did not appear in a preseason match and returned home unsigned.
“It was an incredible experience…I learned a lot as a footballer and met some great people,” Heffron said. “After Bradenton, I was afforded the opportunity to play for Red Bulls II. I was excited about this opportunity because it was close to home and because I was already familiar with many of the players and staff.”
Heffron trained with New York Red Bulls II in preseason. He made the team and signed his first professional contract and officially became a member of the inaugural Red Bulls II USL squad on March 27, 2015. He made his debut the following day against Rochester Rhinos.
“Having watched the Red Bulls as a kid, it was a bit surreal at first,” Heffron said. “With Red Bulls II I want to continue to develop as a player and become a better professional. I want to continue to learn from my teammates and John [Wolyniec] and hopefully, eventually be called up to the first team.”
You can catch Colin Heffron and the 2015 New York Red Bulls II at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. and at Baker Athletic Complex’s Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium at Columbia University in Manhattan. For ticket information, visit //www.newyorkredbulls.com/2/tickets.