New York City FC Thursday announced that Met Oval product Justin Haak has signed his first professional contract with the club as a Homegrown Player.
The 17-year-old Brooklyn native became City’s third Homegrown Player to graduate from the Academy to the first team squad, following the path of James Sands and Joe Scally.
“It’s hard to describe,” Haak said. “You dream about it almost your whole life and then what it actually comes – you almost can’t believe it.
“When NYCFC was first announced, I knew I wanted to play for the professional team in my own city that I’ve grown up in. It was an amazing chance for me and I just wanted to be a part of it.”
Haak said NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna broke the news to him. “We were getting something to eat and he just told me, ‘We’re going to offer you a Homegrown contract,’ Haak said. “I just didn’t know what to say – but I was just crazy happy.”
Reyna and the club have been quite satisfied with Haak’s progress.
“Justin is an amazing and smart kid whose story is a special one for New York City FC,” Reyna said. “He is one of the original academy members who joined our U-14s in 2015 and as a Brooklyn native, he’s our Club’s first ever signing from the five boroughs.
“When I personally shared the news of his Homegrown contract to him over lunch, I’ll never forget the look on his face. Justin is a talented player and an incredible person, and I’m thrilled to see him sign his first professional contract with us and look forward to seeing his continued growth with NYCFC throughout the coming years.”
Haak, 17, began with the club’s first Academy side, the Under-14s in 2015, helping the team win the Generation adidas Cup in 2017 and the USDA National Championship in 2018.
The 6-foot, 165-lb. midfielder been capped at the international level with the U.S. U-18s and helped them win the International Youth Tournament of Vaclav Jezek in the Czech Republic last August.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Justin,” City head coach Domenec Torrent said. “He trained with us in the first team last season and performed very well. Graduating from our youth academy is a great achievement. Homegrown talent is so important to a football club. We are excited to have Justin join the first team and we’re ready to help him develop his game at the next level.”
Hank attended NYCFC pre-season camp last year and impressed in friendly matches vs. LA Galaxy and Atlético San Luis. Justin continued to train with the first team regularly through 2018.
“Congratulations to Justin Haak on his next on his path to pro journey,” Met Oval said in a statement. “Met Oval is proud to have played a part.”