New York Red Bulls sign former Leeds United forward Mike Grella
The New York Red Bulls announced on Tuesday that the team signed New York native and former Leeds United forward Mike Grella.
While Grella's deal is still technically pending prior to a physical, the team spoke highly of the former Duke player and the role he would play on the team.
"We're very pleased with what Mike has shown us," said Ali Curtis, Red Bulls Sporting Director.
"He embodies attributes we're looking for in terms of character and effort. We feel that he will add value to our roster and be a positive presence for our club on the field and in the locker room."
Before signing a contract with New York, the 28-year-old traveled with the Red Bulls to Orlando for several preseason scrimmages. Prior to joining the Red Bulls, Grella was with the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League.
Grella played at Duke from 2005 to 2008, and was selected by Toronto FC in the third round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. However, he decided to play in Europe, eventually making 40 appearances and scoring five goals for Leeds United.
His time in Europe also included stints at several other English clubs as well as time with Danish club Viborg FF in 2013.
The Red Bulls finished last season with a 13-10-11 record and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The team advanced to the Eastern Conference championship in the MLS Cup, before losing to the New England Revolution.
New York opens the 2015 season on March 8 on the road against Sporting Kansas City.