New York City FC have signed defender RJ Allen on Saturday and he made his debut in Sunday’s game against Seattle, as he entered Sunday’s game in the 70th minute for Shay Facey.
Allen said of when he started training with the club, “I started training on Tuesday. So, [I was here] Tuesday, Wednesday through Saturday, and then game tonight. It’s been a crazy week.”
On if he expected to get playing time Sunday night, Allen said, “No, absolutely not. I came here because I wanted to be here. I’ve been training off and on since the fall, but this week was my first full week of training with the first team.”
On how he would characterize his game, Allen said, “I’m an attacking fullback, someone who likes to get forward a lot, but also takes pride in the 1-v-1 defending.”
Allen said of making his MLS debut at Yankee Stadium, “It was special. It was definitely special. I enjoyed the moment, but it’s behind now. It’s not about me, it’s about the team.”
NYC FC Head Coach Jason Kreis said Allen’s debut, “AJ has proven in the training sessions over the past several weeks that he is a capable player, a guy who can get all the way forward and back. He is a decent 1v1 defender and I thought he did pretty well.”
Allen, who played 18 matches for Skive IK in Denmark in 2013, has been training with New York City FC this week ahead of their match against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
“This is an extremely big step in my career,” Allen said. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity that this staff has given me. I’m looking forward to building relationships with my new teammates.”
Allen, who is from Old Bridge, N.J., played at Monmouth University from 2008-11. He was drafted fifth overall by Chivas USA in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, but didn’t sign. He has also coached in the youth ranks with Staten Island United, a New York City FC Youth Affiliate.
“Being from the area this is a great opportunity for me and my family,” Allen said. “What’s happening at this club is fantastic. I’ve been to Yankee Stadium to watch the team play and the atmosphere was unbelievable. I can’t wait to be part of it.”