The club announced that it has signed Red Bull Academy forward Giorgi Chirgadze, as he becomes the first homegrown player produced by the club.
“This is an exciting time for Red Bull with the signing of Giorgi Chirgadze. We believe Giorgi will be the first of many players to join our first team that are developed through our academy system,” said Sporting Director Jeff Agoos. “Giorgi has shown promise during his training sessions with our senior squad and we are excited to track his development moving forward.”
Chirgadze, 18, has been with the Academy program since 2005, when he joined the Under-15 squad. Most recently, the Brooklyn, NY, native helped the Red Bulls U-20 team win the Super-20 National Championship, as Chirgadze scored twice in the tournament. Chirgadze also captained the Red Bulls U-17 side that defeated the Inter Milan U-17 team, 3-1, on Aug. 23, 2008, with the forward providing two of the three goals. He attended New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, NY.
“It has always been my dream to play soccer professionally and I want to thank the Red Bulls and the coaches at the Academy for their help in developing me as a player both on and off the field,” Chirgadze said. “I am excited to get started with the first team.”
In July 2009, the MLS Board of Governors approved an amendment to the rules governing the signing of youth academy players. MLS clubs will receive two additional roster slots that may be used to sign academy players, in accordance with current Home Grown Player rules, to Generation adidas or Developmental contracts during the 2009 season. These players will not count toward the 24-player roster limit in 2009. Additionally these players may not play in League games during the 2009 season, but can participate in training, exhibition games and CONCACAF Champions League games. These additional player signings will count toward a team’s roster upon the commencement of the 2010 season.