Academy Talk: Results are not the focus but expectations remains high. [Part IV]

Editor’s note: RecentlyEric Friedlander sat down with the Red Bulls new academy director Sean McCafferty. They discuss the state of the academy and what to expect going forward. This is part III of that interview.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Last year, the Red Bulls Academy struggled to get results, and ended up only seeing one team qualify for the Development Academy Playoffs. This, among other things, led to some questioning if the Red Bulls were even a top academy any more.

The age old question is, do results matter?

Both sides of this debate have merit. It is important to develop a winning mentality, however, it is probably not everything when it comes to individual player development. Ultimately, academies are in the player development business, not team development.

“My most important job here is to develop more of the top talent more of the Tyler Adams,” said Sean McCafferty from the Red Bulls Training Facility. “Players who are not just going to go and play first team minutes, but  players that can play on the world stage.”

McCafferty is not consumed with the results, but his expectation is still that Red Bull teams make the playoffs. If you are developing top talent, the wins will follow more often than not. For McCafferty, the focus is on the performance.

“Should New York Red Bulls be qualified for playoffs? Absolutely. 100 percent. We’re not results based though,” McCafferty continued. “I mean this in the most competitive way possible. The results have too many variables. I told you, we won 5-1 one day, and tied 1-1. We played just as well, and created just as many chances. So our focus is on the performance”

So far, the results have been pretty good.

The U-17’s are 4-1-1, and the U-19’s are 3-2-1 while playing a very tough schedule in a newly revamped U-19 division designed to provide more competitive games. On top of that, some of the performances have been encouraging, including comeback wins vs Montreal and D.C., demonstrating the fight the group has.

The U-17’s have been the better team in the 3 games I have seen, including the loss to Montreal, where they lost a player to a Red Card. It is early, but the results and performances are promising, which bodes well for the future.

Photo by John Perdicaro

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