The New York Red Bulls Academy returned home to the Northeast after a successful preseason camp in Bradenton, FL.  The week consisted of two-a-day training and also scrimmages against the US U17 MNT Residency program that is based in Bradenton at the IMG Academy.

“The training camp was a great experience for the Academy players. We try and create a professional environment year round for the players and  taking them away for a week of preseason just like our first team is just another way to achieve this,” said u18 coach Paul O’Donnell.

In their scrimmage with the U17 MNT, the Red Bull U16s lost, 2-1, on an injury time goal in the first game against the US U17s. Damian Bziukiewicz (East Rutherford, NJ) scored for the Red Bulls. Three members of the Red Bulls Academy currently are in residence and play for the US U17s; goalkeeper Santiago Castano (Union City, NJ), defender Russell Canouse (Lancaster, PA), and forward Adam Najem (Clifton, NJ).

“The game against the National team was very competitive and there was so very good soccer played by both teams,” stated coach Rob Elliott.  “We took six members of our U14 team down to preseason with our U16s and they all did well adapting to the speed of the game.”

The U18s dropped a 3-2 decision in the second game against the US U17s. Clint Caso (Kinnelon, NJ) scored from a direct free kick to level in the game in the second half and Dylan Mencia (Honesdale, PA) put the Red Bulls up, 2-1, before the US U17s scored twice to secure the win.

“The training camp went well for the U16 and U18 goalkeepers,” commented Academy Goalkeeper Coach Andrew Sparkes.  “We were able to go out earlier than the rest of the team every day to do extra work. The facilities were great and it was nice for the goalkeepers to train on grass for the week. It was also good to see the progress of Red Bulls Academy goalkeeper Santiago Castano, who is currently in residency. He played very well against our U16 team.”

The New York Red Bulls  Under-18 Academy squad will face the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team on March 13 at 4:30 PM ET in the “soft opening” of Red Bull Arena.

Admittance to the soft opening is free; however, all fans must contact the Red Bulls at 1.877.RBSOCCER to acquire tickets beginning on Monday, Feb. 15 at 10:00 AM. Red Bulls Full Season Plan Holders will automatically receive tickets for their same seats prior to the match.



  1. Dan Says:

    this is awesome for our academy players, just like the pros!
    cant wait to watch them against the National team at Red Bull Arena!

  2. Petke Fan Says:

    Please tell me someone named “Damian Bziukiewicz” eventually makes the first team so that we can call him Ba-zooka-wicz.

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