Academy Recap: Final thoughts on ICC Futures

The Red Bulls Academy U-14 ICC Futures run ended Saturday afternoon, in a closely contested match against eventual champions Bayern Munich. The back and forth match saw both sides create chances, but it took an impressive chip from Bayern Munichs Arijon Ibrahimovic to put them on top.

Academy Recap: Final thoughts on ICC Futures

Bayern Munich (0-1)

In the end, the final result does not truly matter. The experience alone is a positive for these young boys. However, the U-14’s not only won games, but they looked very strong in the process.  In the 5 games they played, they gave up 3 goals and scored 8. The only teams they did not beat, Bayern and Chelsea (1-1), played in the final with Bayern winning 3-1.

These players are some of the first to come through the fully-integrated playing style that Jesse Marsch helped implement. The integration showed as they pressed as a group in both the 4231 and 433 formations that you see with NYRB II and the first team. These players did it all, scoring with a combination of controlled possession, and lightning fast counter attacks.

ICC All-Stars AZ (3-1)

They also had moments of individul brilliance like this game winning strike by Jacob Lee(2004)

This group of U-14’s is very promising and worth keeping an eye on moving into the upcoming U-15 season in the fall.

Final Thoughts:

The ICC Futures was an incredible event and I really hope it is back again next year. In a recent interview, Daniel Sillman the CEO of Relevant Sport, the organizers of the international champions cup, stated that they looked at the little league world series as a model to follow. However, if they want to get to the level of the Little League World Series, they need to step it up on the production side. For starters, the camera work needs to improve. Nothing is more frustrating than a camera man zooming in on the goalie of the attacking team. I also feel they need to strengthen their social media strategy. Having some content on the ICC Facebook and other content on the ICC Futures Facebook page made following the tournament much harder. Otherwise, the ICC Future tournament is off to a great start and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

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