The Red Bull Academy teams have started their season, and familiar players have moved on while new footballers have joined the roster.
Red Bulls Academy Preview
The U-19 team features a few returners, like Jared Juleau, however, it is mostly made up of rising seniors who played u-17 last year and new players transferring in like Dantouma Toure and Sal Esposito. Here at RBNN, we will focus on the U-17 and U-19 age level.
Jared Juleau: Juleau is a name Red Bull fans may be familiar with. A recent report came out that he had signed a first-team deal. That rumor proved to be false.
However, Juleau did defer his commitment to Pitt to stay with the academy, and has already made the 18 for NYRBII. A talented attacking left back with experience further up the field, Juleau is one of the best left backs in the development academy. He should continue to get opportunities to join senior team training as well as play with NYRBII.
Nick Schimbeno & Kevin Alvarado: Both of these guys were on last year U-19 roster however they had limited game action. They both feature on the wings in attacking roles primarily.
Scotty Talyor: Scotty is a Duke commit who will be expected to lead the lines for the U-19’s. He scored 23 goals in 24 starts for the u-17’s and also featured occasionally for the u-19’s last year. Scotty can play with his back to the goal as well as run the channels.
Dylan Sullivan: Sullivan is a Clemson commit. He has Captained the u-17 side and will see time as a holding mid and outside back. While he isn’t the flashiest player, he is a solid performer and has strong leadership abilities. Notably, he is Tyler Adams’ step brother.
Ryan Schultz: Ryan came in midseason last year from Orlando City and quickly locked down the Center Back Position. He will be expected to lead the backline this season.
Aly Camara: Another player who came in midseason last year he has started the season strong with two goals in the first game of the season. He is a strong athletic winger who will look to get more minutes than he did last year for the u-17
The Rest: Roberto Ydrach (CM, NC State commit), Danny Jara (AM), Matthew Goodman (GK), Kejiel Watt (FWD), Christopher Tiao (DF, Rutgers Commit)
Dontouma Toure: A 2004 playing U-19 soccer is rare. A 2004 playing u-19 soccer after scoring 5 goals at that level the year before is even rarer. Toure is the name most fans are aware of in the academy for obvious reasons. He will share time with Scotty Taylor up top and could feature next to Taylor. For Toure to take the next step, he needs to become a better passer and work on his right foot.
Sal Esposito: More on Sal’s background can be found in an article from when it was first rumored he was joining. Sal will be the teams starting attacking mid. He can score, assist and beat a man one v one. He is some one who could potentially make the jump to NYRBII at some point in the next year.
Jayden Reid: Jayden is returning after a year playing for BW Gottschee. Jayden is a versatile outside back who is primarily on the left. He will probably split time with Jared Juleau at the position.
Santiago Martinez: Santiago is a midfielder who spent last year with Cedar Star Academy and won a national championship at St Benedict’s, a national powerhouse based in NJ. NYRBII listed Martinez on the roster recently, a sign of faith in the midfielder.
Francesco Montali: Montali is a goalie who played last year with Orlando City B. He started 11 games for them and will split time with Goodman in goal. Montali earned a spot on USL roster as an emergency backup goalkeeper when Evan Louro spent time in MLS.
Donvan Wu: is a defender who was in the Philadelphia Union Academy last year. This is the first prospect that has moved from the Union to the Red Bull Academy
Samuel Epitme, Jafi Alexis, and Jared Daniel round out the transfers. They are moving from Cedar Stars academy Everton Westchester and a Super Y league team respectively.
Who could move up from U-17’s?
Connor Mauer: Mauer has consistently played up age groups while in the academy and this year should be no different. With the U-19’s short on center backs, Mauer will get plenty of chances to step up and could possibly be a consistent member of the U-19’s
John Tolkin: Tolkin earned looks at the U-17 national team lately and, like Martinez, saw his name added to the USL roster recently. He is a talented left back who has also spent time at CM. Do not be surprised if Tolkin ends the season at the U-19 level.
What is new this year:
The biggest change this year is the reduction of games teams play. While this may seem like a bad thing the idea is to allow teams like the Red Bulls to schedule matches against higher quality opponents and to enter international tournaments. In years past teams couldn’t schedule outside of the conference they were in and instead had to play some teams they would beat 8/9/10-0.
These games do nothing for either team so reducing the number of those games is a big boost. This allows for more training time and in the case of the NYRBII games against a cross-town rival. Yes, Red Bull will be playing the NYCFC academy for the first time this ever at the U-19 level. The first game is on October 27 at Belson Stadium on the campus of St Johns Universty.