New York City FC announced today that the Club has signed goalkeeper Andre Rawls for the 2016 MLS Season.
Rawls was originally drafted by New York City FC in the third round (44th overall) of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and then signed with the Club’s USL Affiliate, Wilmington Hammerheads, for the 2015 season where he made 22 starts in net. He has been with the Club for the entirety of pre-season and traveled with the team to Puerto Rico at the end of 2015.
On being signed to his first MLS contract, Rawls said:
“I’m ecstatic. I’ve worked really hard since being drafted last season so to have this opportunity means everything to me.”
“The time I spent down in Wilmington was a great experience and I’d like to thank everyone involved at the club. It was my first professional experience, I got a lot of games in and that really helped me grow as a goalkeeper and helped in my development as a professional. That step through the USL was a really good bridge from college to MLS for me.”
“I’m looking to be the best teammate that they could hope for. Every day I am out there trying to get better and working on elements of my game that need improvement. I’m excited to learn from the high caliber players on our squad and from the tremendous coaching we receive from the staff. I’m excited to learn and hopefully continue to progress.”
New York City FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna believes that Rawls is ready to take the next step in New York:
“Andre is a promising young goalkeeper that has been in our system for a while now. He did very well for our USL affiliate team Wilmington Hammerheads last season. Heknows how we are looking to play and has shown significant improvement throughout our preseason training camp this year. We look forward to continuing to help Andre develop and have him as part of our group.”
Head Coach Patrick Vieira believes the Club has added another quality keeper:
“Andre is a young and talented goalkeeper and will give us another option. He has been with us throughout preseason so he knows and fits into the group well. I think for the young players like him to have Josh Saunders around to learn from is a great thing. He’s a really promising goalkeeper for the future of the football club.”