HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls have signed Venezuelan midfielder Cristian Cásseres, Jr., to a Major League Soccer contract, the club announced Friday.
His signing is pending receipt of his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate. Cásseres, Jr., 18, a discovery signing, will occupy an international spot on the roster.
Cásseres Jr., who is with the Red Bulls in Oldsmar, Fla. for preseason camp, has played in Venezuela’s first division and has represented Venezuela on the Under-17 and U-20 national teams.
“Cristian is an exciting young player that we are happy to welcome to our club,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement. “He was identified through our scouting network as a player that has the qualities we look for, and we were glad to get him here in time for the start of preseason camp. We look forward to getting him integrated and seeing how he can help our club.”
Cásseres Jr. has risen quickly through the ranks for club and country in his native Venezuela. At 16, he made his professional debut for Deportivo La Guaira in the Venezuelan First Division. Cásseres, Jr., made 15 appearances for the senior team and scored once.
“What we’ve seen from Cristian has been promising,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “He fits into our style of play and we think he can contribute at the MLS level. I look forward to him establishing himself within the group and competing every day.”
He is the son of Cristian Cásseres Sr., who played for the Venezuelan national team. Cásseres Sr. performed for Atletico Venezuela’s first team while Cásseres Jr., was on the U-14 squad.
Cásseres, Jr., was a fixture for the Venezuelan U-17 team before being called into camp for the U-20 side that finished as runners up at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was a teammate of New York City FC midfielder Yangel Herrera. He was also on the roster for the 2017 CONMEBOL Under-17 Football Championship, starting seven of the nine matches and scoring one goal.
“I am very happy to have signed with the New York Red Bulls,” Casseres Jr. said. “I believe this is one of the best clubs in MLS and I am excited to get started with my career here.”