Red Bulls Academy Update: March 21
U-18 Red Bulls handle two weekend matches: The U-18 Red Bulls faced off against local rival Match Fit Chelsea Academy on Saturday and came out on top by a final of 5-1. The Red Bulls started the game strong as they netted two goals in game’s first 20 minutes, one by Brandon Allen on a feed from Dan Metzger in the 13th minute and another in the 19th minute as Scotty Thomsen curled a left-footed shot from the 18-yard box into the upper left corner off a feed from Allen. Chelsea was able to get one back from the Red Bulls as they suffered a defensive breakdown in the 23rd minute and Chelsea took advantage to draw closer at 2-1. The Red Bulls quickly responded just five minutes later as Allen scored his second goal of the day off a feed from Scotty Thomsen. Allen was again involved in the offensive attack in the 42nd minute as his penalty shot was stopped by the Chelsea keeper. Facing a 3-1 deficit after 45 minutes, Match Fit came out strong in the second half with a flurry of opportunities but were not able to capitalize. Konrad Plewa starred in the second half for the Red Bulls as he made a great play and pass to set up Christian Johnson in the 73rd minute for the team’s fourth goal. Plewa also set up the team’s fifth and final goal in the 85th minute with nifty playmaking as he blasted a shot that the Chelsea goalkeeper was not able to hold and Brandon Alvarado was there to bury the rebound.
“We were very happy with our performance today. It is never easy when you play a local rival because they are always up for it and looking to beat us since we are the Red Bulls,” stated U-18 Captain Bryan Gallego after the game.
The Red Bull U-18s followed up their strong performance on Saturday with another valiant effort a day later and a well earned shutout of NJSA 04, 3-0. Brandon Allen topped off a fantastic weekend by recording a hat-trick to pace the Red Bulls. Allen and teammate Plewa combined on a number of plays throughout the game including the game’s opening tally in the 25th minute when Allen finished a great pass from Plewa. Then in the 43rd minute, Plewa blasted a volley from 25 yards out that the NJSA 04 goalkeeper could not handle and Allen was there to put it home for a 2-0 lead. Allen completed his first hat-trick of the season in the 65th minute when Thomsen showed great defensive poise by pressuring the NJSA defender, gaining possession and then laid the ball back to the top of the 18 for Allen to blast home. Allen, who has 11 goals on the season, has now scored 10 goals in the last 6 games.
“He is just a great player to play with as you know he has the ability to finish. We know that if we provide him with good service he is going to score goals,” U-18 midfielder Thomsen said after the win.
U-16s split a pair of road games on the weekend: On Saturday, the U-16 Red Bulls beat Match Fit 1-0 as Max Brown went the distance in goal for the shutout victory. On Sunday the U-16 squad created many chances but gave up two late goals to drop a 2-0 decision to NJSA.
U-15s go 1-1 against Match Fit and NJSA: The U-15 Red Bulls played a pair of competitive games against local rivals Match Fit and NJSA on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the Red Bulls gave up two goals against the flow of play and fell behind 2-0 to Match Fit. The Red Bulls dominated possession throughout the match and continued to pressure Match Fit throughout the game. It finally paid off as the Red Bulls scored three goals in the second half to pull out the 3-2 victory. Karl Cesar, Vincent Brunetti and Junior Rosero all scored for the Red Bulls.
Sunday’s contest against NJSA was very similar as the Red Bulls started slowly and NJSA made them pay with two first half goals. The Red Bulls played much better in the second half and created many chances, but were unable to stir up the same kind of second half magic that they did the day before. Vincent Brunetti scored for the Red Bulls but they fell short by a final of 2-1. Their record is now 2-1 on the season.
U-14 Red Bulls sweep weekend games against Match Fit and NJSA: The U14 Red Bull team started off their weekend by defeating Match Fit Academy 2-0 on Saturday. The Red Bulls dominated the game from the start and scored when defender Tyler Pinho drove a left-footed shot low into the net late in the first half. The Red Bulls continued to take the game to Match Fit and they scored again when Malcolm Dixon scored off a cross from Theo Miller to make the score 2-0, which held up as the final score.
On Sunday, the Red Bulls started quickly with three goals in the first 25 minutes against NJSA. Defender Kevin Politz scored two and Joe Swenson added another as the Red Bulls took a 3-0 lead. NJSA scored off a 25 yard free kick to draw closer and make the score 3-1 at halftime. The Red Bulls put the game out of reach as they scored two more in the second half getting goals from Chris Lema and Ezequial Cei-Sandoval to make the final score 5-1.
U-13 Red Bulls defeat Albertson 4-1 on Sunday: The U-13 squad got revenge on Albertson on Sunday by a final of 4-1, as they dominated the match throughout. Albertson had beaten the Red Bulls earlier in the fall season by a 4-1 score. On Sunday, Albertson created some good chances in the first half but goalie Max Lurie made some big saves to keep the score knotted at 0-0 after the first 45 minutes. The Red Bulls came out on the attack in the second half and defender John Antunes was able to open the scoring off a pass from Stephen Elias 10 minutes into the second half. Elias was again involved in the team’s second goal as he was able to get behind the defense and played a ball across for Marcello Borgess who finished it to make it 2-0. Orestis Sousonis scored on a penalty kick to stretch the lead to 3-0 and forward Anthony Sileo was able to finish the scoring after a great combination by midfielder Callum Johnson and forward Malik Steward. "We wanted to turn the possession we had in the first half into opportunities on goal which we were able to do by using the wide play and getting behind their defense, we are very happy with this win against a good team and we need to continue to work hard as we play NJSA next weekend," said U-13 Head Coach Antonio Meza.