HARRISON, N.J. – Red Bulls defender and former St. John’s University standout Connor Lade Wednesday announced his retirement.
Lade, who played eight seasons for the Major League Soccer team, had been a part of the club since December 2007 when he joined Red Bulls Academy during his senior year of high school.
“I am so grateful to the New York Red Bulls for the past eight seasons,” Lade said. “It was my goal to start and finish my career with this club and I feel very fortunate to do so. From the three supporters shields to the numerous lifelong friendships I will always be indebted to the club that has given me so much.”
After an outstanding career at St. John’s, Lade was signed as New York’s fifth Homegrown Player Dece. 5, 2011. The Morristown, N.J. native made an immediate impact during his 2012 rookie season, starting 22 of 26 games played in 2,088 minutes. He had three assists. Lade helped anchor a backline to eight shutouts during the same season.
Lade earned his first call-up to the U.S. men’s national team Jan. 6, 2013, for training camp in Carson, Calif. He was named to the squad’s 23-man roster ahead of the Jan. 29 friendly against Canada.
Lade amassed 116 starts and 153 games played, which includes 10,456 minute across all competitions over eight seasons as a Red Bull. He recorded five goals and nine assists, including his first career MLS goal against Orlando City SC on July 13, 2016 and was assisted by Bradley Wright-Phillips. Lade is the club’s all-time leader in homegrown appearances.
While on loan to the Cosmos in 2014, Lade made eight appearances for the North American Soccer League side before he was recalled by the Red Bulls.
Off the field, Lade made his presence known across the community. He participated in the Red Bulls “11 Days of Service” initiative, which included helping out at the Morristown Soup Kitchen and lending a hand with Habitat for Humanity. Lade also made hospital visits at Hackensack University Medical Center and Hospital for Special Service and attended Camp Shriver at Special Olympics New Jersey. He made time to visit local Red Bulls soccer camps and appeared for mini pitch openings around the area.
The Red Bulls will have a post-match retirement ceremony after the 2020 MLS home opener to honor Lade.