On October 29, New York Red Bulls II announced that the club exercised the options of five players for the 2016 USL season: Stefano Bonomo, Devon Williams, Dan Metzger, Konrad Plewa and Rafael Diaz. This week, we’ll examine Devon Williams and his 2015 season.
Devon “Speedy” Williams was introduced as a member of New York Red Bulls II on July 10, 2015. Fresh out of Robert Morris University, the 22-year old midfielder joined the team for preseason and was as a trialist through the spring.
Williams, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, played four years of college soccer at RMU. In his senior season, he finished with four goals and six assists, one year after being named All-NEC Second Team selection. He concluded his college career with eight goals and 16 assists before joining Red Bulls II.
The midfielder made his professional debut as a starter for NYRB II on July 18, 2015 against Harrisburg City Islanders. Four days later, he made his First Team debut against Chelsea FC in the International Champions Cup, a game the Red Bulls went on to win, 4-2. He entered the game as a 71st minute substitute and nearly scored on goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in stoppage time, but his bending shot from distance, destined for the top corner, was saved in a diving effort.
The following week, Williams earned his first professional assist and by the time he scored his first professional goal in August, he was a consistent starter. Williams started all 10 games he played in, earning more than 800 minutes of playing time. He finished the regular season with one goal and three assists.
In the USL Playoffs, Williams started in Red Bulls II’s inaugural postseason match against Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Despite the game going to overtime, the Jamaican international played the entire 120 minutes and helped NYRB II to its first ever playoff victory, 4-2. In two playoff games, Williams started both and totaled 210 minutes of playing time.
Throughout his tenure, he’s proved to be a strong defender, able to get back and help recover the ball, and a distributor who helped create numerous goals for one of the highest scoring teams in USL. He’s also known for his dangerous shots from distance which thrilled audiences at Red Bull Arena and on the road. After a successful first season with Red Bulls II, Williams will look to build on what he’s started and continue to improve in 2016.