HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls signed Long Island native and defender Sean Nealis to a new MLS contract, the club announced Wednesday.
Nealis has signed a new three-year league contract with an option for an additional year.
“We are pleased to lock down Sean with the club for multiple years,” head of sport Kevin Thelwell said. “He has been a strong option for the club since we drafted him in 2019 and hope to see him continue to strengthen our backline for years to come.”
Nealis, who was drafted in 2019 in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft, has become a mainstay on the Red Bulls backline. The Massapequa, N.Y. native has started and played 13 of the 19 matches this season, logging 1,080 minutes and anchoring thebackline to five clean sheets. Nealis has helped the defense to a 1.00 goals-against average when he starts and plays the full 90 minutes in 2021.
“I am happy to see Sean stay in New York,” head coach Gerhard Struber said. “He has been a very stable defender for us since Aaron Long went down and his consistent play has only strengthened my trust in him.”
Prior to 2021, Nealis combined for eight starts in 15 MLS matches during the 2019 and 2020 season. In his first two seasons in MLS play as a starter, he helped New York to a 3-3-2 mark with a 1.375 GAA. Nealis also made 20 starts in the USL Champinship during the 2019 season, tallying 85 clearances and scoring three goals.