New Fresno FC signing Arun Basuljevic recorded 27 appearances for the New York Red Bulls II as the side reached the Eastern Conference Final of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs. | Photo courtesy Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography / Ottawa Fury FC
FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno FC announced on Monday it had signed former New York Red Bulls Homegrown midfielder Arun Basuljevic for the 2019 USL Championship season, with the Bronx native being joined by fellow midfielder Emir Alihodzic in the Foxes squad, pending league and federation approval.
The 23-year-old Basuljevic joins the Foxes after spending most of the 2018 season in Sweden’s first division with Nyköpings BIS, where he made 11 appearances. The previous year, Basuljevic featured prominently in the USL Championship for the New York Red Bulls II after signing a Homegrown Player contract with the New York Red Bulls. Basuljevic made 27 appearances for the Red Bulls II and recorded two goals and three assists to help the side reach the Eastern Conference Final of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs.
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Basuljevic competed for the New York Red Bulls U23 in USL League Two, and in 2016 was rated the No. 5 midfield prospect in the league as he recorded eight goals and five assists in 14 appearances for the side. Additionally, Basuljevic played three years of college soccer for the Georgetown Hoyas, where he was named Soccer America’s Freshman of the Year and Big East Freshman of the Year in 2014.
“Arun is a player that already has had a successful spell with New York Red Bulls II and we’re happy to welcome him back to the USL Championship,” said Foxes Head Coach Adam Smith. “He’s a very creative player and very good on the ball so we look forward to him adding more flair to our midfield.”
Alihodzic also returns to the USL Championship after playing last season with Mladost in his native country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he recorded seven appearances in the 2018 season. Originally selected in the 2016 MLS Superdraft by Seattle Sounders FC, Alihodzic spent his first professional season with Seattle Sounders FC 2 in the USL Championship, where he recorded 18 appearances and notched one goal and one assist. In 2017, Alihodzic signed for fellow Championship side Saint Louis where he recorded one assist and won 79 of 129 duels.
“Emir is a player that came highly recommended from Seattle Sounders FC assistant coach Preki [Pedrag Radosavljević],” Smith said. “He is a consistent player that will add further depth to the squad in the midfield position.” Alihodzic played for Preki in 2017, when he was the Head Coach of Saint Louis FC.