Red Bulls Reader continues its new series of posts that will focus on our successful academy, specifically those Academy players competing in college this fall.  As part of that coverage, we have tasked a few Academy products to submit blog posts from time to time, to give up an update on how their season is going, how the Academy has helped their progress, and anything else that comes up.  We continue our coverage with Syracuse University freshman Mark Brode.  Brode’s entry is after the jump.

Hey everyone! I’m Mark Brode and I play soccer for Syracuse University. I have been a part of the Red Bull Academy for a year and a half now. I live in Setauket, NY on Long Island.  It is a real hike to Newark, NJ five days a week, but it was well worth it to become a better player, which is what the Academy did for me. Thanks to the new Development Academy, our team was showcased to many college coaches, as well as national scouts. That’s how my coach at Syracuse found me. Red Bull Coaches Bob Montgomery and Rob Elliot have been on the Region 1 staff with Coach Foti. This made the transition from Red Bulls to Syracuse very easy.

I was really nervous about the fitness test during preseason at Syracuse, but I arrived prepared thanks to Coach Antonio Meza. He pushed us to be as fit as we possibly could during the season, as well as when we went off to college. Another thing that helped with the transition was being treated like a pro at Red Bull because the treatment is the same at Syracuse. It’s nice getting to know that type of environment before you really get into it at college. The Red Bulls also taught me to act like a pro – on and off the field. It’s a family type atmosphere where all of the players are really close with each other, as well as our coaches. Whenever we wore Red Bulls gear, we were expected to be on our best behavior, as we represented the team and the New York Red Bulls organization. The same thing applies at Syracuse. Our actions reflect our team and our school so it’s important to be on our best behavior when representing Syracuse.

Syracuse is part of the Big East Conference, which is one of the best in the nation. Being part of such a great youth organization like Red Bulls helps when you have a lot of experience from playing teams such as Inter Milan U-17 and the U.S. National team U-17. Playing against them really prepared me for the next level. In August, we scrimmaged Boston College, which was great because it was a fast paced, hard played game against a top 25 opponent. While playing Boston College, I saw Sacir Hot, who I also played with on the Red Bulls U-18 Academy team. Seeing former teammates is pretty common, and it was great seeing him again. A couple of weeks after the scrimmage, we played our first game against Binghamton. We lost 3-2, but I tallied my first assist and I got to start in my first game, which was really awesome. The game after that was our home opener against Cornell. We came out with a 2-1 win!  We lost 3-2 against Colgate in overtime, which was a big time heart breaker for our team and our fans. This game was memorable because I scored the first goal of my NCAA career. However, our loss made my goal less exciting for me. We played in the Mayors Cup in Oneonta, New York last weekend against Loyola Maryland and Bucknell and I’m really excited for the first Big East games this weekend because the competition is another level. We have two home games against Seton Hall at 7pm on September 18th and Georgetown at 3pm on the 20th. It’s going to be a great soccer-filled weekend so if you’re in the area, come to the field and show your support for the team!!



  1. Ken Says:

    good luck at the Cuse and thanks for the report

  2. lou Says:

    Good luck at SU.

  3. Uncle Billy Says:

    Great report Mark! You’ve written it with clarity and energy. I look forward to more.

  4. Mastro Says:

    The best for you Mark

  5. Mom Says:

    Wow Mark! Great job!

  6. lar Says:

    may the force be with you

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