Red Bulls II has added defender Christopher Cragwell on loan through the end of the 2022 USL Championship season, the club announced Monday.

New York has an option to buy Cragwell at the end of the loan period.

Cragwell, 20, has appeared at the first team and academy level for Club Deportivo Árabe Unido, a top division club in Panama. He has appeared in 26 matches with the first team dating back to 2017. Cragwell started 14 matches and logged 1,275 minutes with the first team during the 2021 season and was named to the league’s team of the week three times.

“We are excited to have Christopher join our New York Red Bulls II squad and I have no doubt he will bring a much-needed toughness and physicality to the back line,” Red Bulls Academy director Sean McCafferty said in a statement. “Although he is young, he already has some good experience under his belt, so we look forward to having him play a big role within the group during the 2022 season.”

The 6-foot, 175-lb. Cragwell was selected for the Panama Under-20 National Team in 2019 and 2020 but did not log any appearances as the tournaments were suspended due to COVID-19.

“I feel very happy because this will be a very valuable opportunity in my life,” Cragwell said. “I did not expect to get in an organization as important as the Red Bulls, but thanks to my hard work and my sacrifice I have been able to get this opportunity.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at