TSF Academy were named as an official founding member of the New York Red Bulls Academy Affiliate Program in January 2021 with the main aim of offering its players a direct pathway to the professional level of soccer in the United States – Major League Soccer (MLS).
Elite player development has always been at the core of the club's philosophy having nurtured many players to the professional level including Alex Muyl (New York Red Bulls), Conor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Eric Klenofsky (D.C. United), Franky Martinez (Sporting KC) and Salvador Pliego (Pumas [Mexico]), to name a few. There are countless others who have also been identified and attended U.S. Soccer Regional Talent Identification Centers.
Since its inception in 2005, TSF Academy has accrued six (6) National Championships in Super Y-League and U.S. Club National Cups, fourteen (14) National Finalists, seven (7) Regional Champions and sixteen (16) State Championships.
The club were previously enrolled into U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2016 at the U-12 age bracket and then additionally with an expansion of the U-13 and U-14 age groups in 2017.
Since 2020, TSF Academy has also been a founding member of MLS’ elite level youth soccer development platform, MLS NEXT.
“We believe MLS NEXT has taken the great work previously laid down by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and built a platform which raises the bar for youth development” said Sporting Director, John Saunders. “The regular meetings with the MLS leadership team and our fellow MLS NEXT clubs provides a voice for all in terms of the direction of the game and through such opportunities to collaborate with like-minded clubs we are seeing the game continue to thrive.
It goes without saying that MLS is the flagship of soccer in the United States, and we could not be more excited for what the future holds under their guidance. To be a founding member of the MLS NEXT Academy League is something we are very proud of.”
The Leadership Team…
Saunders also highlights the strength of the club’s leadership team by stating: “The TSF Academy MLS NEXT staff include former professional and international players. Darrell and Derrick Etienne bring many years of experience and knowledge to the clubs’ young players and teams.
Director of Coaching, Lee Leonard has played a pivotal part in multiple players development and progressing from the local clubs into MLS Academy systems and abroad, most notably, Bento Estrela who he worked with for many years in his previous club before recently being signed as the youngest professional in the history of New York Red Bulls at 14-years of age.
And our Director of Operations and Academy coach, Lee Bakewell, was recently recognized for his efforts both on and off the field and awarded New Jersey Youth Soccer Bob McNulty Coach of the Year award for 2020.”
In terms of the club’s most talented players, Lee Leonard, Director of Coaching, confirmed: “There are four (4) players across the TSF Academy program have been identified as outstanding performers over the course of the 2020-21 season.
Within our Zone 1 program, Sean Hunt has thrived. Sean is a 2013 player who has consistently performed at an elite level with our 2012 team, as well as going on to make various appearances for our 2011 team.
Sean is a real talent who has recently been accepted onto the 2012 Red Bulls Pre-Academy team.
Frankie DeFrancesco, Sebastian Anaya and Simon Gorczowski from our 2006 MLS NEXT team, were recently identified and invited to train with Red Bulls Academy U-15 team. Already showing what players can achieve at TSF if they work hard and impress in training and games.
In the Girls’ program, Kristine and Katelyn Squeglia have thrived. The 2008 twin sisters have constantly been putting in dominant performances’ week-in-week-out both in games and practices.
And last but not least, the TSF Academy MLS NEXT player of the year is Anthony Rogalski. This young man has been at the top of his game within the highest platform of youth soccer in the country. Not only does Anthony lead the line and bang in the goals for our U-13 MLS NEXT side but his leadership, mentality and desire to be the best have really shone through this year.”
To learn more about TSF Academy and the Academy Affiliate Program, click here.