New York Red Bulls II midfielder Kyle Zajec re-signed with the club on February 5 for his third season with the club. In reality, he has been a part of the Red Bulls organization since he was 13 years old.
He started playing in the Academy when he was 13 and played there until he graduated high school and moved on to Georgetown University. During his summers, he captained and played for the Red Bulls U-23’s in USL League Two.
“It means a lot to still be a part of the Red Bulls organization,” Zajec said. “If you told the 13-year-old me that I would still be playing in this organization in ten years’ time, I think he would be really excited.”
The Westport, Connecticut native made his first professional appearance for NYRB II as an academy player back on March 28, 2015 against the Rochester Rhinos, which was the first match in club history.
After a successful four years at Georgetown, Zajec signed his first professional contract on March 6, 2019 and appeared in 20 matches in his first season and scored four goals including a brace against Philadelphia Union II.
He attended first team preseason camp last year and when he returned ahead of NYRB II’s first match against Tampa Bay Rowdies, he was awarded the captain’s armband and achievement he has accomplished everywhere he has gone.
“My 2020 season started off strong and earning the captain’s armband at the end of a long preseason felt really good,” Zajec said. “It showed that John [Wolyniec] trusted me to lead the team and that meant a lot. I believe it further motivated me to be the best version of myself on and off the field.”
In the first four matches, Zajec recorded one assist and played in every minute of those matches. He suffered a season-ending injury against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on July 26, 2020, but he had successful surgery and is on the recovery path.
“My first goal is to make a strong recovery from my foot injury. I will be back working to get my fitness back stronger and ready for the start of the 2021 season,” Zajec said.
Despite the setback during the 2020 season, Zajec is determined to help NYRB II return to the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.
“I want to continue to improve and progress in my development as a player and a leader, and push the team back into the playoffs,” Zajec said. “First, I hope all supporters and their families have been healthy and have remained strong through 2020. I am really looking forward to playing in front of our supporters again soon."