The New York Red Bulls are trading forward Tom Barlow to the Chicago Fire for up to $400,000 in general allocation money (GAM), a source confirmed with amNewYork on Monday afternoon.
The 28-year-old has been in the Red Bulls’ system since he was drafted in 2018 out of Wisconsin, appearing in 123 MLS matches with the club since his first call-up in 2019.
Garnering 50 starts during that stretch, Barlow recorded 14 goals with two assists during his time with the Red Bulls, which included a career-high 34 matches played in 2023. However, the heavy workload came with struggles as he recorded just three goals with two assists during the regular season. He scored four goals in approximately 800 fewer minutes of play in 2022.
Barlow finished this past season on a high note, scoring two goals in the MLS playoffs — one came in New York’s 5-2 thumping of Charlotte FC in the Eastern Conference Wild Card match before tallying the lone goal in a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their first-round loss to top-seeded FC Cincinnati.
His contract with the club was set to expire on Dec. 31, per Capology.
While the RBNY scrambled to make a 14th-straight MLS playoff appearance, this was the fifth consecutive year that they were bounced in the first round. It prompted head of sport Jochen Schneider to promise significant changes within the organization, which began with the dismissal of interim head coach Troy Lesesne.
“This is not good enough,” Schneider said on Nov. 15. “We need to take the next step and that’s why we made these decisions. That’s why we agreed with Red Bull Soccer to invest in our team and we want to reach the next level.”
The Red Bulls have also been linked to the signing of Swedish playmaking midfielder, Emil Forsberg, who is expected to make the jump from New York’s sister club at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga to join the MLS side.