Red Bull Academy sending talent to top universities
The Red Bull Academy continues to produce a plethora of exceptional young talent and this year’s roster is no exception. 15 players from the current U18 and U16 rosters have committed to join the squads of various high level Division I colleges for the fall of 2011.
"We are very pleased with the progress that our players have made over the past several years. It is a testament to the quality of players that we have when you see that the vast majority of the team will play at top level Division I colleges,” Paul O’Donnell, Manager of Red Bull Academy Teams and Head Coach of the U18 squad said. “We have six players who will play in the ACC, five in the Big East, two Ivy League and one player who will play for the defending national champion, Akron University. That truly speaks volumes for this graduating class and for the type of player the Red Bull Academy has been producing. The staff strongly believes that several of these players have the potential to perhaps represent the first team in the future."
Bryan Gallego, a 17-year-old defender, has committed to the defending NCAA champion Akron Zips of the Horizon League for the upcoming school year. Akron produced five of the first eight draft picks in last week’s 2011 MLS SuperDraft, including two defenders, and will look for the Kinnelon, NJ native to help reload the back line.
Three players from the Academy roster will be joining the University of Maryland Terrapins, who were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals after a successful season. Keith Cardona, an 18-year-old goalkeeper from Glen Rock, NJ, will be looking to help out the position vacated by Zac MacMath, who was selected with the fifth overall pick in the SuperDraft by Philadelphia. Joining Cardona will be defender Kyle Roach of Plainsboro, NJ. The 17-year-old Roach will hope to fill the void left on defense by the Red Bulls’ third round selection, Billy Cortes. Also looking to compete for a spot with the Terps will be midfielder Dan Metzger, a 17-year-old native of Holmdel, NJ whom many believe to be one of the most talented members of the Red Bull Academy, along with Gallego.
Also attending Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools are: midfielder Sean Davis (Holmdel, NJ), who has committed to Duke University, midfielder Christian Johnson (New York, NY), who will attend Boston College, and forward Kyle McCord (Chester Springs, PA), who has committed to play for the University of Virginia.
Seton Hall University also looked to the Red Bulls Academy for some fresh talent. Midfielder Damian Bziukiewicz (East Rutherford, NJ) and forward Oscar Gonzalez (Clifton, NJ) will stay within the state and look to help out the Pirates. Joining Bziukiewicz and Gonzalez will be 16-year-old Bolu Akinyode from Brooklyn, NY. Akinyode graduated high school early and will be with the Pirates this fall.
The trio from Seton Hall will compete against three of their Academy teammates in college, as defender Brandon Adler (Montville, NJ) will attend Providence College and defender Paul Ehrenworth (Cranbury, NJ) will play at West Virginia University. Forward Brandon Allen (Old Bridge, NJ), a junior in high school has committed early to Georgetown University in 2012.
Midfielder Mike Innocenzi (Franklin Lakes, NJ) and Antonio Mattarazzo (Fair Lawn, NJ) will continue their careers in the Ivy League are Harvard University and Columbia University, respectively, while defender Clint Caso (Kinnelon, NJ) has committed to play at the University of New Hampshire of the America East Conference.
The future at Red Bull Arena looks bright in many ways thanks to the new stadium and the exciting young talent being developed at the Red Bull Academy, which continues to prove it by the quantity of players joining top level programs throughout NCAA Division I schools
New York Red Bulls U16s
Name, Collegiate Commitment
Bolu Akinyode, Seton Hall University (Big East)
New York Red Bulls U18s
Name, Collegiate Commitment
Brandon Adler, Providence College (Big East)
Brandon Allen, Georgetown University (Big East)
Damian Bziukiewicz, Seton Hall University (Big East)
Keith Cardona, University of Maryland (ACC)
Clint Caso, University of New Hampshire (America East)
Sean Davis, Duke University (ACC)
Paul Ehrenworth, West Virginia University (Big East)
Bryan Gallego, Akron University (Horizon)
Oscar Gonzalez, Seton Hall University (Big East)
Mike Innocenzi, Harvard University (Ivy)
Christian Johnson, Boston College (ACC)
Antonio Mattarazzo, Columbia University (Ivy)
Kyle McCord, University of Virginia (ACC)
Dan Metzger, University of Maryland (ACC)
Kyle Roach, University of Maryland (ACC)