Eric Brunner
Metro draft Brunner, Sassano, Roth
January 18, 2008 (Official Press Release)

In today's 2008 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Red Bull New York selected defender Eric Brunner of The Ohio State University with its second-round pick (16th overall), midfielder/defender Luke Sassano of the University of California - Berkeley with its third-round pick (34th) and midfielder David Roth of Northwestern University with its fourth-round pick (44th).

"Positionally, we fulfilled our needs today," said Red Bull New York Sporting Director Jeff Agoos. "We were able to select the players who we were looking for without having to move up in the selection order. Hopefully, these players can contribute to our 2008 campaign."

"I think we should be pleased with what we have," said Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. "It was difficult because there were not too many players in our eyes who could come and compete for a starting position. I think they have good qualities, and hopefully, if they can hold their ground with the professionals, then I think in the long run, we can develop them and they can become an important part of the team."

Brunner, a 6-4, 170-pound defender from Dublin, Ohio, has earned a number of accolades during his college career. The 2008 adidas/MLS Combine MVP in January, Brunner was a NSCAA All-American and All-Region First Team selection in 2007 after scoring six goals and starting in all 26 games he played. Along with being the Buckeyes' captain in his senior year, Brunner was named on the First Team All-Big 10 squad and made the College Cup All-Tournament team. He spent his first year in college at Maryland. Over his four-year career, Brunner played in 89 games, starting in 79 and scoring 10 goals and four assists. A graduate of Scioto High School in Ohio, Brunner also played for club team, Thunder FC, and under John Bluem at OSU.

"It's a great feeling to be selected by New York," Brunner said. "The Red Bulls are a great organization and they have shown a lot of commitment to MLS. I'm excited to come in and hopefully, improve the team."

Sassano, the team captain for UC-Berkeley in 2007, was an All Pac-10 Honorable Mention in 2005 and a Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention in 2007. Featuring in a total of 64 games (56 starts), the Huber Heights, Ohio native tallied a total of four goals and 19 assists during his four-year career for the Golden Bears, who were coached by Kevin Grimes. The 6-0, 170-pound graduate of Miramonte High School (California) has also played on club teams, Lamorinda United and the Santa Clara Sporting Ruckus.

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Roth was a NSCAA All-American Second Team selection (2007) and a two-time NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team pick (2006-07). The 5-8, 138 pound midfielder and two-time All-Big Ten First Team member (2006-07) has scored 19 goals and 32 assists in 83 games played over his four years at Northwestern. Roth played for Tim Lenahan at Northwestern and went to Chaminade College Prep.

"The Red Bulls were my number one choice and I couldn't be any happier to be selected by them," Roth said. "It is a really great opportunity for me to play with some of the best players in MLS and I can't wait to get started."

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