Academy Round Up: New Hires, USYNT success and U-16 return from Austria

Ryan Brooks and Sam Gough join Academy Staff

The New York Red Bulls announced the hires of two new Academy staff for brand new positions today. Ryan Brooks will be the Senior Manager of Academy Business Operations. Sam Gough, who was listed as the contact for the homestay program, will be the education and welfare officer overseeing that program.

Brooks previously worked for Minnesota United FC, Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew. At Minnesota he developed and implemented a residency program.

Gough started his career as a Regional CDO Manager for the MetroStars. He is currently the principal and Director of Education for the Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy in New Jersey, a role he will continue in.

While the Homestay program is something we knew about, the announcement of these two hires, in addition to that of Sean McCafferty, point to a larger movement. It is appears that the Red Bulls are moving towards a larger residency program. In the meantime, the new hires will allow the Red Bulls to better support Academy kids off the field.

As more kids move to home schooling, to enable more time on the field, support will be critical to ensure both academic and athletic goals are achieved.

USYNT Success

Currently two Red Bull Academy players are competing with the US U-15 national team at the Concacaf U-15 championship. This is the capstone event for the U-15 level players, who will move on to the U-17 level after this. The tournament format sees game played almost every day.

The two players at this tournament are Kenan Hot and JC Cortez. Cortez started the first two games of the group stage at left back before picking up an injury. He should be good for the next game.

Hot has started every other game at CM and has played in every game. He captained the final group game a 4-0 win vs Suriname. The Suriname game was his best performance yet and he is clearly growing into the tournament.

The U-15’s have stormed through group stage and won their quarterfinal match. They Unfortunately lost in the Semi Final to a very talented Portugal squad. This was a great experience for the players and should allow them to hit the ground running when the join the rest of the U-16/17’s for preseason.

Red Bull U-16 compete for Next Generation Trophy

The aforementioned U-16’s a group that will split between U-15 and U-16 play this season competed in Austria this past week. The Next Generation Trophy is annual tournament hosted by Red Bull Salzburg. It is great pre season trip that the Academy has gone on for a while now. This year the U-16’s finished in 9th with wins vs Marseille and Basel, Ties vs Champion Valencia and Chelsea, and a loss to the runners up West African Football Academy. Goals were scored by Dantouma Toure, Nico Beninda and Serge Ngoma and the defense was strong only giving up multiple goals in one game.

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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