HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls have signed 2019 MLS SuperDraft pick and defender Rece Buckmaster to an MLS contract, the club announced Saturday.
Buckmaster was added to the MLS roster after spending half a season with NYRB II and will be available for selection against Toronto FC Saturday night.
Buckmaster has made 17 appearances, including 15 starts, for NYRB II after signing with the team in February. In June, Buckmaster was loaned to the first team and started against the New England Revolution in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“We liked Rece when we drafted him and thought he had a future with the first team,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said. “A great deal of credit goes to John Wolyniec and the entire USL staff for helping Rece continue to develop and improve every day. We have seen time and again their ability to work with young players and get them ready for MLS. Rece has earned this opportunity and we know he will be ready when called upon.”
Buckmaster, a native of Auburn, Ind., was drafted in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. The defender played four years at Indiana University, where he appeared in 82 matches and helped Indiana to back-to-back NCAA Division I national championship appearances.
“Rece played well in the Open Cup and has impressed us in training, so we’re pleased to officially add him to the First Team,” Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas said. “Rece will have an opportunity to compete for minutes and we know he will continue to work hard and grow as a player. We have a lot of confidence in all of our USL players and it is always a proud day for our club when we can promote someone to the first team.”
Buckmaster joins NYRB II alums Aaron Long, Florian Valot, Vincent Bezecourt, Tom Barlow and Brian White on the Red Bulls.
“I’m very excited to sign a first team contract,” Buckmaster. “It was my dream ever since I could walk to play professional soccer and with New York Red Bulls II it came true by getting drafted, playing a half season with them and now moving to the First Team. I am at a loss for words honestly, but I am ready to help the team in any way I can.”