R.J. Allen made 71 MLS appearances, including playing for NYCFC. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
MADISON, N.J. – Following in the footsteps of another former Major League Soccer player from New Jersey, Dilly Duka, R.J. Allen has joined FC Motown.
Allen played four seasons in MLS, where he made 71 appearances for New York City FC and Orlando City SC. The 28-year-old defender also played in Denmark for Skive IK.
A star at St. Joseph’s in Metuchen, N.J., Allen played at Monmouth University before before venturing over to Europe.
“R.J. is a strong technical player who is a tough defender but also good with the ball at his feet,” FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot said. “He will help us play out of the back as well as bring width with his overlapping ability. He hits a nice ball and should be one of the top defenders in the NPSL.”
Last season, Duka signed with FC Motown and spearheaded the club’s successful first season in the National Premier Soccer League. Considered one of the best attacking players and midfielders in the league, Duka rode his strong form to a contract with Partizani Tirani in Albania.
“For us, it is exciting to see R.J. want to sign and play with his local club,” FC Motown co-owner Dan Karosen said.
“Last year, Dilly Duka joined us and was able to turn his strong performances into a contract with a European team. We believe our club, playing in a strong league, can be a pathway for players, whether it is to get back into MLS, the USL or in the case of Dilly, sign for a team that is challenging for the Europa League.”
This season will mark the second year in the NPSL for FC Motown. The club’s home matches again will be played at Rangers Stadium on the campus of Drew University in Madison, N.J.
In 2018, FC Motown enjoyed an historic run. The club started off by defeating the Red Bulls Under-23 side in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It won the NPSL Keystone Conference and took the Northeast Region, beating the Cosmos on the road in what was essentially the league’s playoff quarterfinals.
FC Motown fell in the championship game to Miami FC in front of more than 2,200 fans at Rangers Stadium.
The team opens its NPSL schedule at Rangers Stadium against Philadelphia Lone Star May 11 at 7 p.m.