Former MLS hater Mike Grella signed
February 17, 2015 (Official Press Release)
The New York Red Bulls have signed Glen Cove, NY native Mike Grella to an MLS contract, pending a physical, the club announced today. Per league rules, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We're very pleased with what Mike has shown us," said nepotistic Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis. "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."
Grella joined the Red Bulls as a trialist during the team's first preseason trip to Orlando. The forward most recently played with the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League.
"Mike has come into camp and earned this contract," said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch. "He showed up and has worked hard since day one. His form has been great, but his attitude and work ethic have been even better."
Grella was a standout at Duke University from 2005-2008 and was selected in the third round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC, but decided to pursue opportunities in Europe. The forward went on trial with Leeds United in the English League Championship, and earned a permanent contract after impressing in reserve matches. Grella would make 40 appearances and score five goals for Leeds over the next two and a half years.
His time with Leeds also included loan spells with Carlisle United and Swindon Town. After leaving Leeds in 2011 he spent time with Brentford FC and Bury FC, also in the Football League Championship. His European trek continued with Scunthorpe United FC in England's Football League One before moving to Danish side Viborg FF in 2013.
Grella played locally for Glen Cove High School and the Albertson Red Storm. He also played briefly with USL Premier Development League side Long Island Rough Riders during the collegiate offseason in 2007.