HARRISON, N.J. (February 1, 2023) – The New York Red Bulls announced today a new tuition-free Pre-Academy program for their U-11 Pre-Academy teams, beginning in the fall of 2023.
“This significant evolution of our Pre-Academy platform will continue to elevate and optimize the performance environment for our youngest players” says Academy Director, Sean McCafferty. “By more closely replicating the Academy structure for our Pre-Academy players, these platforms will be more aligned than ever, and our top prospects will experience a uniquely competitive training environment designed to accelerate their development like no other.”
Since 2006, Red Bulls Academy have offered a cost-free Academy program from the U-12 age group and up, with this system developing more than 20 homegrown players to feature in Major League Soccer. Some of the nation’s most promising young talents have emerged from this system, including current first-team standout John Tolkin, and United States Men’s National Team captain, Tyler Adams.
The Pre-Academy teams were established in 2016 at the U-10 and U-11 level, to provide a stepping stone between Red Bulls’ world-class grassroots programming, and one of the league’s most prolific and respected Academy systems. With this development, and by removing all tuition fees associated with participation at the U-11 level, the most significant barrier to participation is eliminated, and access to the area’s most storied Academy pathway is now open to all, irrespective of means.
“It has long been our mission to remove the training fees associated with participation in the Pre-Academy teams, and in achieving this objective with our U11 age group, we’re taking a huge step towards our ultimate goal” says Simon Barrow, Sr Manager of Player Development. “We feel that the best players should have access to the best facilities, coaches, and support network - irrespective of their own resources - and by eliminating the pay-to-play model we are making this opportunity a reality for those who previously thought it out of reach.”
An initial series of ID events are planned for mid-February, and further details can be found here.
A second round of events will be held in April, with further details released closer to the time.
Participation in Red Bulls Pre-Academy teams includes a comprehensive year-round travel team experience, with three training sessions per week, league and tournament play, as well as access to a range of unique opportunities that only an MLS team can provide. Applications are encouraged only from the very highest caliber youth players born in 2013 and 2014, looking for a truly world-class youth soccer experience.