Ben Mines, 17, scored his first Major League Soccer goal in his first MLS start on Saturday night.
“It was an easy addition to put him on the field tonight,” Head Coach Jesse Marsch said after the game.
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The Homegrown Red Bulls Academy product opened the scoring for New York en route to a 4-0 victory over the Portland Timbers. His goal came on a cross from Kaku, who also nabbed his first point in his first MLS start.
“I knew it -- I knew it going into last week that Mines was playing tonight, and I was pretty confident that he was going to play well,” Marsch said.
At just 17 years, nine months and 26 days old, Mines scored his first career MLS goal in his first appearance. He is the fifth-youngest player to earn an MLS start in club history, and the third youngest to score, behind Eddie Gaven and Jozy Altidore.
Mines inked a Homegrown contract with the Red Bulls in the offseason, turning down a scholarship to Stanford University.
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Captain Luis Robles said he’s not surprised by Mines’ play or first goal – all you had to do was look at him during preseason.
“For a 17-year-old in a man's world, he's fit right in,” Marsch said. “He's not intimidated. He's ready for this challenge. He's excited.”