Red Bulls Lose Glen Cove's Mike Grella

Midfielder Mike Grella and defender Tyrone Mears were selected by the Colorado Rapids and Minnesota United FC, respectively, during Stage 1 of the 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft on Friday.

Grella was selected by the Colorado Rapids in Stage One of the MLS Re-entry draft on Friday afternoon. Colorado subsequently traded Grella to Columbus Crew SC in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

The Glen Cove, New York native played 73 MLS games for the Red Bulls, scoring 16 goals and adding 13 assists. He made eight appearances in 2017 before having knee surgery that ended his season.

"On behalf of everyone at the New York Red Bulls, I'd like to thank Mike for his service to the club," said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. "He had many great moments here and was an excellent guy in our locker room. We wish Mike and his family all the best as he continues his career."

Grella had a number of noteworthy accomplishments with New York, including scoring the club's 1,000th goal across all competitions against Columbus Crew SC in March of 2015. Later that season, Grella scored the fastest goal in MLS History, finding the back of the net against Philadelphia just seven seconds into a match at Red Bull Arena in October. Grella also represented the club in the MLS Cup Playoffs, CONCACAF Champions League and the U.S. Open Cup.

"Mike is a fierce competitor and the type of guy who gives everything for his teammates," said Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch. "He played a big role for us the past few years and helped establish who we are as a team. I'm grateful to have had Mike as a player and wish him and his family nothing but the best."

After the LA Galaxy and D.C. United passed on their first-round picks, the Rapids chose former New York Red Bulls midfielder Grella. Shortly after the Re-Entry Draft, Colorado then traded Grella to Columbus Crew SC for a natural 2019 second-round MLS SuperDraft pick. In his three seasons with the Red Bulls, Grella recorded 16 goals and 13 assists in 73 games. Grella’s 2017 campaign was cut short because of an early-season knee injury.

Second-year club Minnesota United FC then selected 2016 MLS Cup winner Mears, who spent the 2017 season with expansion Atlanta United. Mears had a goal and assist with Atlanta in 20 games. In his previous two seasons with Seattle Sounders FC, Mears recorded five assists and a goal in 65 games – all starts – and was a member of the 2016 championship side.

Players not selected Friday are eligible for Stage 2 of the draft, which takes place at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 21. Clubs have until 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 20, to sign their own Re-Entry eligible players.

A player may choose to opt out of the Re-Entry Process prior to Stage 2 of the draft. In such instances, the Right of First Refusal for the player will remain with his previous club. Players who remain unselected after Stage 2 will be available to any MLS club on a first-come, first-served basis.

PLAYERS SELECTED IN 2017 MLS RE-ENTRY DRAFT
Rd 1 Player Team Former Team
1 PASS LA Galaxy
2 PASS D.C. United
3 Mike Grella, M (traded to CLB) Colorado Rapids New York Red Bulls
4 Tyrone Mears, D Minnesota United FC Atlanta United
5 PASS Orlando City SC
6 PASS Montreal Impact
7 PASS Philadelphia Union
8 PASS New England Revolution
9 PASS Real Salt Lake
10 PASS FC Dallas
11 PASS San Jose Earthquakes
12 PASS Sporting Kansas City
13 PASS Atlanta United
14 PASS Chicago Fire
15 PASS New York Red Bulls
16 PASS Vancouver Whitecaps FC
17 PASS Portland Timbers
18 PASS New York City FC
19 PASS Houston Dynamo
20 PASS Columbus Crew SC
21 PASS Seattle Sounders FC
22 PASS Toronto FC
23 PASS Los Angeles Football Club
Rd 2 Player Team Former Team
24 PASS Colorado Rapids
25 PASS Minnesota United FC

Last edited by Dave Birnbaum; 12/15/17 07:41 PM.