Connor Lade has announced his retirement.
“I’ve definitely had a lot of highs, a lot of lows, but I wouldn’t take back anything, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Lade said. “It was an incredible run and I’m just very, very lucky to have eight great years with this club.”
The New Jersey native signed with the organization as a Homegrown Player in 2011 after joining Red Bulls Academy in 2007.
He said it was “a childhood dream come true” to play for his local club.
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Lade went on to play over 10,000 minutes across all competitions for the Red Bulls. The defender raised three Supporters’ Shields with the club, one of only three players to be with the Red Bulls for each season-ending celebration so far.
“You pinch yourself just to be in that locker room, play with these guys, play for this organization,” Lade said. “So, for me, it’s really special not only to represent myself, my town, my friends, but my family. This is what I want to represent. I want to work hard for them.”
Lade’s family have had season tickets at Red Bull Arena since it opened in 2010, keeping the “lucky seats” despite Lade receiving complimentary tickets as a player on the pitch.
“It’s really an honor to be a Homegrown Player. It’s really, really special to me,” Lade said. “It means a whole lot to be able to represent not only my family, my city, but also the club, as a homegrown player.”
Lade and his wife, Morgan, who met through the organization, decided to hold their gender reveal at Red Bull Arena following a match. Lade kicked a soccer ball, filled with pink powder. Months later, Lade was able to bring his daughter, Avery, onto the field just weeks after her birth. She would later be able to walk on the pitch following a match with her dad.
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Lade notched his first MLS goal in 2016, at Red Bull Arena, vs. Orlando City SC. He picked up his first point in his pro career assisting Thierry Henry in 2012.
“There are so many incredible memories that it’s hard to put into words, but that first time stepping on the field -- I’m getting goosebumps just talking about it,” Lade said. “It’s a place that I’ll hold fondly in my heart for my whole life. I still get goosebumps walking in these doors every single day that I come here.”
And this won’t be the last time you see Lade at Red Bull Arena.
“I’ll be here for the first time we hold that MLS Cup,” Lade said. “This place will always be home for me.”
IN FOCUS: Connor Lade's Career by New York Red Bulls on Exposure