The New York Red Bulls played nearly everyone in their first preseason game on Friday night, but some of the young players really stood out to Head Coach Jesse Marsch.
"I thought we had a bunch of good performances," Marsch said after the 2-0 win over Portland Timbers. "Florian Valot played really well and I thought Tyler Adams was really good in there."
Marsch went on to praise second-round 2017 SuperDraft pick Ethan Kutler, who started the game playing right back.
"Kutler, he’s not played right back much, and we’ve thrown him into a new system, but I thought he played really well and adjusted," the head coach said. "For the young guys, when they first come in, there’s a new style they have to adapt to and for the most part, he did a really good job."
New York got goals off an own-goal, crossed by Kemar Lawrence, and later converted on a penalty kick, scored by Vincent Bezecourt.
Aaron Long also started the game at center back, paired with recently re-signed Aurelien Collin.
"We’re counting on Aaron Long in a big way this year," Marsch said. "We think he really proved himself with USL last year, he won Defender of the Year in that league. He helped us win the championship. We think he’s made a really good adjustment. He’s a bright kid, he’s athletic, he’s got good soccer IQ. We expect some big things out of him."
The youth movement should come as no surprise to closer-followers of the team and organization, the head coach said.
"We’ve decided, in this club to develop youth, to invest in youth," he said.