Connor Lade Retires
New York Red Bulls defender and New Jersey native Connor Lade announced his retirement following his eighth professional season with the First Team.
Lade has been a part of the New York Red Bulls club since December of 2007 when he joined Red Bulls Academy during his senior year of high school.
"I am so grateful to the New York Red Bulls for the past eight seasons," said Lade on his retirement. "It was my goal to start and finish my career with this club and I feel very fortunate to do so. From the three supporters shields to the numerous lifelong friendships I will always be indebted to the club that has given me so much."
Following a four-year stint at St. John's University, Lade was signed as New York's fifth-ever Homegrown Player on December 5, 2011. The Morristown, New Jersey, native made an immediate impact in 2012 during his rookie season, starting 22 of his 26 games played in 2,088 minutes with three assists. He helped anchor a backline to eight clean sheets during the same season. After a successful rookie year, Lade earned his first call-up to the United States Men's National Team on Jan. 6, 2013, for training camp in Carson, Calif. He was named to the squad's 23-man roster ahead of the Jan. 29 friendly against Canada.
Lade amassed 116 starts and 153 games played, which includes 10,456 minutes played, across all competitions over eight seasons as a Red Bull. He recorded five goals and nine assists during his tenure with New York, including his first career MLS goal against Orlando City SC on July 13, 2016 and was assisted by Bradley Wright-Phillips. Lade is the club's all-time leader in homegrown appearances.
Off the field, Lade made his presence known across the community. He participated in the Red Bulls "11 Days of Service" initiative, which included helping out at the Morristown Soup Kitchen and lending a hand with Habitat for Humanity, an event that helps build homes and communities. Lade also made hospital visits at Hackensack University Medical Center and Hospital for Special Service and attended Camp Shriver at Special Olympics New Jersey. He made time to frequently visit local Red Bulls soccer camps and appeared for mini pitch openings around the local area.
The New York Red Bulls will have a post-match retirement ceremony after the 2020 MLS home opener to honor Lade.
* "A lot of hard work went into it, a lot of adversity, but to actually be out on that field. Definitely a childhood dream come true."
* "You pinch yourself just to be in that locker room, play with these guys you know, play for this organization. So, for me, it's really special not only to represent myself, my town, my friends, but my family. This is what I want to represent. I want to work hard for them."
* "There's so many so many incredible memories that are hard to put into words, but that first time stepping on the field... and I'm getting goosebumps just talking about it."
* "It's really an honor to play for, and to be a Homegrown Player, is really, really special to me. It means a whole lot to be able to represent not only my family, my city but also the club, as as a homegrown player."
* "I think I've definitely had a lot of highs, a lot of lows, but I wouldn't take back anything, I wouldn't have it any other way. It was an incredible run and I'm just very, very lucky to have eight great years with this club."
* On Supporters: "I'm eternally grateful for for everything you've given me.