By NICHOLAS MURRAY – firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, November 30, 2015
The curtain came down on the New York Red Bulls’ season on Sunday night, one result short of a trip to MLS Cup.
On Monday, however, both Head Coach Jesse Marsch and Sporting Director Ali Curtis were bullish on the club’s overall season, and in particular the contribution the presence of the Red Bulls II in the USL had offered throughout 2015.
“That's been unbelievable for us; it really has helped guys like Tyler Adams and Sean Davis and [Anatole] Abang like you mentioned,” Curtis said at the club’s season-ending media availability. “It's helped even the young player in Derrick Etienne and the season that he had at [the University of Virginia].”
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One of the players to emerge for New York after spending time with NYRB II was Abang, whose goal late on pulled the Red Bulls within a goal of Columbus Crew SC in the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The young Cameroonian striker had four goals in six games for the Red Bulls II, and provided positive energy off the bench as Marsch’s side chased the game late on.
With the Red Bulls II and Red Bulls U23 both finding success in the USL and PDL respectively this summer, and the continued production of top-level players from the club’s academy, Marsch was pleased with the integration he had seen throughout the club this year.
“One of the things that I love the most about this job is the fact that we have a real club here, and it doesn't just extend to the USL team; it extends to the PDL team and it extends to the Academy,” Marsch said. “Ali and I have spent countless hours investing in the relationships of the coaches and the players and the lineage of how all this fits together to help create a movement and a concept that will help players grow and develop and eventually contribute at the First Team level.”
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The club is expected to announce this offseason the addition of Adams to its MLS roster, while other academy products such as Mason Deeds and Noah Powder have been regulars in training recently, even while the club was preparing for its playoff contests. Deeds made a pair of appearances for the Red Bulls II this past season, while Powder represented Trinidad & Tobago at the CONCACAF U17 Championships earlier this year, and could be a candidate to compete in the USL in 2016.
Having built a strong platform in their first season with the club, Marsch and Curtis are eager to see what’s next.
“We're certainly going to be excited to get Tyler Adams and get him into MLS games next year,” Marsch said. “There's a lot of excitement I think around the club, not just the First Team, around the entire club as to the movement of where this is going.”“We'll get better at that platform, we'll get more sophisticated, that team will get stronger, we'll look to add more local players to that team so it's very exciting,” Curtis added. “I think the future is bright particularly because as an organization we're able to make that investment, which is fantastic by the way, so it's exciting.”