Two NPSL alums, Ethan Kutler of Greater Binghampton FC and Evan Louro of Detroit City FC, achieved lifelong dreams by signing professional contracts with New York Red Bulls II earlier this month. With those big goals checked off, the duo are looking forward towards new milestones for the coming season and beyond.
Ethan Kutler’s signing with NYRB II marks a new start for the Lansing, NY native, as he now becomes a professional and a right back, and the former forward is looking to be up to the task of a new spot in the XI.
“It’s my dream come true,” Kutler said on signing with NYRB II. “Moving to right back is a challenge, but one I chose to take on.”
Kutler spent most of his career playing as a forward, both with the NPSL’s Greater Binghampton FC and Colgate, where he netted 32 goals for the Raiders in his four seasons. After being drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the third round, Kutler was immediately moved to the right back position, something Kutler has grown to embrace.
“It’s something that I have to work toward,” Kutler added. “I think I’ve progressed to the point where I think I can be a presence on the back line.”
New York Red Bulls II head coach John Wolyniec backed up Kutler’s statement.
“It’s never easy for guys to buy in to changing positions, but Ethan’s been really good about it and sees the opportunities…he’s come a long way in just the short time he’s been here.”
Kutler’s transition has paid off, and the newly-converted wing back earned himself a starting role in NYRB II’s season opening 3-3 draw in their match-up with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Former NPSL goalkeeper Rafael Diaz also got the start for the squad, and it also began Diaz’s second season with NYRB II.
The NPSL has another alum between the posts in Detroit City FC’s Evan Louro. The South River, New Jersey native, who spent three years with the University of Michigan, signed with NYRB II as a Homegrown Player after beginning with the Red Bulls Academy at the age of twelve.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Louro said. “I know all the staff here; it was like a homecoming for me and I’m excited for the future.”
For the Red Bulls: Louro is a key part of the club’s philosophy for building towards the future.
“It’s something our club is about and have tilted towards bringing young guys through the program,” Wolyniec said on the Red Bulls Academy. “It’s great to see Evan be a part of that and he’s really bought in.”
Louro’s commitment and work ethic paid off as he got the starting nod for NYRB II against the Richmond Kickers on April 1st. Louro feels prepared for the endeavor partly thanks to his time with Detroit City FC and the NPSL.
“It’s something I will never forget, the fans and how the club is set up, it’s definitely a good stepping stone.”
Louro stepped up in a big way in his time with Le Rouge including earning Man of the Match Honors for his heroic keeping in Detroit City’s first round victory on penalty kicks in the U.S. Open Cup.
With Kutler taking on a new positon and Louro getting his first start between the pipes, the two NPSL alums have faced challenges in their new professional careers, but both have the experience and mindsets to help them take it on. With their goals of becoming a professional behind them, the pair both keep looking forward and as Louro put it: “continue the grind.”