Aaron Long has left the Red Bulls. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
By Michael Lewis
Aaron Long has left the building, as in Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls’ free agent center back is close to signing with MLS Cup champion Los Angeles FC, according to ESPN.
Considered to be one of the league’s best defenders, the 30-year-old Long played with the Red Bulls for the last seven years. He was a member of the U.S. men’s World Cup in Qatar, although he did not see any action.
Long said goodbye to the Red Bulls in a tweet on Tuesday.
“Thank you! The last seven years was better than I could’ve ever imagined,” he said on Twitter. “Thank you to the club for believing in me. Thank you to the fans for supporting us through the ups and downs. Thank you to the coaches and staff for guiding us along the way.
“Lastly, thank you to my amazing teammates who made my journey so special and pushed me to the player I am today. Truly grateful and wishing the boys and the club nothing but the best.”
The Red Bulls had blocked Long’s desire to transfer to a European club several years ago.
Long, who grew up in Southern California and played college soccer for UC Riverside, was the 2018 MLS defender of the year. He also was a member of the team’s Supporters’ Shield winners that season and was an MLS all-star selection in 2018 and 2022.
“Best of luck in your next chapter, Aaron,” the Red Bulls said on Twitter. “It’s been our honor to be a part of your journey.”