Jean-Christophe Koffi, a product of the D.C. United Academy, has been traded to the New York Red Bulls, a league source tells Metro New York. The deal is expected to be finalized this week.
One of the top college soccer players as a junior last year, Koffi is currently not with Virginia having left the program.
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Having come up through United’s academy, the Red Bulls needed to trade with their Eastern Conference rival in order to obtain his rights. Koffi will be signing a deal with the New York Red Bulls II, the USL affiliate of the MLS club.
Sources tell Metro that clubs in Belgium and Denmark had interest in the player, who was named an All-American last year by TopDrawerSoccer.com. United did not sign the player, a source says, because they feel that they have a logjam of central players on their roster.
The talks between United and the Red Bulls were originally reported by Steve Goff of the Washington Post a week ago.
Koffi is a central midfielder who can be deep-lying, making him an intriguing move for the Red Bulls. The club is set to lose Tyler Adams, the United States national team midfielder, in a move to Leipzig this January.
Koffi, given his work rate and high motor, could be an ideal fit for the Red Bulls as they transition from Adams after this season.
At Virginia, Koffi was a teammate of Derrick Etienne Jr. The Haitian international, now in his third MLS season, has a career-high 25 appearances and seven starts for the Red Bulls.
Like Koffi, Etienne got rolled through the Red Bulls system via their USL side. Being able to start training now with the USL side as well as getting matches gives Koffi a chance to get assimilated before next preseason.
Given the demands that the Red Bulls place on their central midfielders, especially in terms of mileage covered and hard recovery runs, getting several weeks of training and fitness ahead of next year is a major positive for Koffi as he looks to make the first-team in 2019.