Soccer – CBA Alums Chris Thorsheim and Scott Thomsen Sign Homegrown Contracts with N.Y. Red Bulls
Christian Brothers Academy alumni Chris Thorsheim and Scott Thomsen have been playing soccer together since they were 13 years-old and now the two Jersey Shore products will be reunited at the highest level of professional soccer in the U.S.
Both Thorsheim and Thomsen have signed with the New York Red Bulls as Homegrown Players, according to an announcement by the Red Bulls on Wednesday.
Thorsheim and Thomsen are both 2012 graduates of CBA and both were seniors on the Colts' 21-0, NJSIAA Non-Public A championship team that finished No. 1 in N.J. in the fall of 2011.
"It's crazy," Thorsheim said. "Scotty and I have been playing together since we were 13 on a team called Toms River back in the day. Obviously, we went on to play together in high school and had some great years there. I love playing with Scotty and it's a great feeling knowing that I get to continue to chase one of my dreams with one of my brothers."
Thorsheim recently finished his college career at Bucknell University, where he was a three-time All-Patriot League selection, including twice as a first-team member. He was also the All-Shore Media Player of the Year for the 2011 season and his younger brother, Matt, was the Shore Sports Network Player of the Year as a junior for CBA this past season.
Prior to getting the call from Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis, Thorsheim was considering options overseas if he did not land a spot with his hometown club.
"I told (Curtis) I wanted to honor my ties to you guys and in the meantime, look into some overseas options as well," Thorsheim said. "Then I got a call back and he said, 'We're interested in bringing you aboard.'
"I was so psyched. I've been dreaming about this opportunity since I was a little kid watching them when they were the MetroStars. It's just crazy to think that now I actually have an opportunity to be one of those players."
Thorsheim played defensive center midfielder in high school and moved to attacking center midfielder in college, but expects he will have his best chance to contribute as a right outside fullback - the position he predominantly played while with the academy.
"I'm fortunate to have played all over the field," Thorsheim said. "I spent my college career as an attacking center midfielder after playing more of a defensive center midfield in high school. But I've been a right outside back coming up through the academy, so that's where I'll probably fit best. At the end of the day though, I'm looking to come in and contribute anywhere I can help."
Thomsen is coming off an injury-shortened senior season, but in his first three years at the University of Virginia, he helped lead the Cavaliers to a national championship as a junior and led the team in assists both as a freshman and as a junior in 2014.
Thomsen played attacking center midfield for CBA and played in both the midfield and on Virginia's back line during his college career. After missing his junior year of high school due to a torn ACL, Thomsen returned as a senior to form a center midfield duo with Thorsheim that dominated the Shore Conference.
Both Thorsheim and Thomsen came up through the Red Bull Developmental Academy as amateurs and both played on the academy's U-18 club, as well as the unbeaten U-23 team that won the NPSL National Championship in 2014.
Per Major League Soccer rules, clubs are affored the opportunity to sign players they designate as "Homegrown Players." In order to be a Homegrown Player, the prospective signee has to have been part of the club's developmental academy for at least one year and live in an area designated by MLS as part of a team's territory for the same amount of time. According to a post by Eugene Rupinski on SB Nation, the Red Bulls' rights on Homegrown Players cover a radius of 75 miles from their arena in Harrison, NJ, except for any area within a 25-mile radius of the headquarters of the Philadelphia Union in Chester, Pa.
Thorsheim and Thomsen will be joining a Red Bulls roster that now has 11 Homegrown Players on it, five more than the next closest teams (Vancouver and Dallas). The former Colts are two of six Homegrown signings the Red Bulls have announced in the last eight days. The club also signed former Pingry standout Mael Corboz, who starred at the University of Maryland after beginning his collegiate career at Rutgers.
Last week, the club added the Georgetown duo of Brandon Allen and Alex Muyl, as well as Virginia forward and Haiti native Derrick Etienne. Allen was a high school star at St. Joseph of Metuchen and Etienne played his high school soccer at Passaic Tech. Muyl attened Bard High School in N.Y.
"Ali Curtis and the head coach, Jesse Marsch, have done an amazing job changing the culture of the club and making it a place where young players can get an opportunity to develop and contribute on a really good team," Thorsheim said. "I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity I have, especially with this team."
The Red Bulls are coming off a second straight trip in the Eastern Conference Finals, where their season has ended both years. This past season, the club won the Supporters' Shield, awarded to the MLS team with the best regular season according to the league's points system. They open their season on March 6 at home against Toronto.
"The team had a great year even though they ended up losing in the Easter Conference Finals," Thorsheim said. "It's reassuring to know I'll be getting a chance with a club that gives young players a chance to fit it."