Major League Soccer

Kyle Duncan set to leave New York Red Bulls for KV Oostende this winter

Chris Smith
Duncan has been a key part of the Red Bulls' late run into the Playoffs.
Duncan has been a key part of the Red Bulls' late run into the Playoffs. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Red Bulls right-back Kyle Duncan is close to joining Belgian side KV Oostende this winter when his contract expires, according to reporters.

Duncan has been one of the Red Bulls' best players this season and certainly has a case to be 2021's best right-back in MLS.

The 24-year-old notched one goal and three assists during the regular season. He also made the highest number of interceptions (59) and successful dribbles (58) among his teammates, and was second only to Sean Davis for tackles (146). Duncan was absolutely key to the Red Bulls' late climb into the MLS Cup Playoff places.

Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad were the first to report Oostende's interest, and this has since been backed up by American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta and According to reports, the Red Bulls tried to agree a new contract with Duncan - capped once at senior level by the United States - but the full-back has his sights set on a return to Europe.

Though he's a product of the Red Bulls youth system, Duncan joined French Ligue 2 side Valenciennes in 2015, playing three times in the fifth tier for their reserve team. He returned to New York in 2018 and has been a foundational piece over the past couple of years.

Duncan has previously been linked with Anderlecht, Metz, and Montpellier this year, while it's also thought Stade Reims were looking to sign him in the winter, too.

Oostende are 13th in the Belgian First Division A after 14 games, but are on the fringes of the race for a Europa League playoff spot.

Should Duncan get his move, he'll join fellow MLS exports Mark McKenzie (Genk), Sam Vines (Antwerp), Michael Murillo (Anderlecht), and Chris Durkin (Sint-Truidense) in Belgium. New England Revolution winger Tajon Buchanan is also heading to Club Brugge in January after sealing a $7m transfer earlier this year.

For now, Duncan will be focusing on his preparation for the MLS Cup Playoffs, with the Red Bulls traveling to the Philadelphia Union in Round One.