HARRISON, N.J. (July 29, 2019) – The New York Red Bulls have named Sean McCafferty Director of Red Bulls Academy, the club announced today. McCafferty joins the Red Bulls organization from FC Barcelona's Barca Residency Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, where he served as Academy Director since December of 2016.
“We are very pleased to welcome Sean to the organization,” New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlet said. “We took our time with this search and vetted a lot of candidates. Having spent a lot of time with Sean, we are confident that he has the experience and know-how to lead our academy. I expect him to set a high standard and help our coaches and players continue their development and achieve their full potential.”
McCafferty will oversee all technical aspects of Red Bulls Academy, with a focus on player development and coaching among the Red Bulls five cost-free academy programs from U-12 to U-18, as well as the Red Bulls U-23 team that competes in USL League Two during the summer months. McCafferty will also work closely with the Red Bulls First Team staff to ensure that the same philosophy, playing style and training principles are taught throughout all levels of the academy. New positions within Red Bulls Academy have been created to support off-field operations, business and player welfare.
“We will look to Sean to lead continued development around our academy structure," Hamlett said. "Alongside his knowledge of the sport and ability to lead players and coaches, Sean has excellent experience in building programs and undertaking new initiatives. We know he is the right person to continue to evolve our academy and produce top players.”
McCafferty, a native of Derry, Ireland, was tapped to lead the Barca’s residential academy in the U.S. before it opened in 2017. The Barca Academy holds U.S. Soccer Development Academy status and competed alongside Red Bulls Academy in the highest division of USSDA. McCafferty also coached the Barca U-17 and U-19 Residency Academy teams in Casa Grande. McCafferty coached both Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy) and Matthew Hoppe (Shalke) during their time with the Barca Residency Program.
Prior to joining the Barca Residency Program, McCafferty spent four years as the Technical & Academy Director for Continental FC Delco in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. McCafferty’s experience as a youth academy director dates back to 2001.
As a player, McCafferty got his start with England’s Peterborough United in the early 1990s, and also played professionally for Finn Harps FC and Limavady United.
"I am humbled to have been appointed as the Academy Director of such a world-class organization as the New York Red Bulls,” McCafferty said. “The work that has been done at the Academy level up to this point has been fantastic, especially given the number of players that have gone on to play meaningful minutes for our First Team as well as represent their respective countries at the International level. It is my goal, along with the hard-working and talented staff, to improve on the success we have had and create a learning environment that is second to none.
“Our objective will be to ensure we identify and develop more players like Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, Alex Muyl, Connor Lade and Derrick Etienne Jr., whilst staying true to the Red Bulls philosophy and style of play," McCafferty said. "I have no doubt we will be successful in reaching our goal of being the most innovative and productive Academy in the United States and I look forward to being a part of the future successes of our players & teams both on and off the field."
The Red Bulls have been at the forefront of youth development in North America, finding and developing talents across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that have had an impact in MLS, with the U.S. National Team, and beyond. In 2018, the Red Bulls got just over 25% of all minutes played from graduates of Red Bulls Academy, en route to MLS all-time records for wins (22) and points (71) in a season. The Red Bulls currently have eight academy products on the MLS roster, with notable alumni such as Tyler Adams and Matt Miazga playing in Europe.
The Fall 2019 USSDA Academy season kicks off in early September. McCafferty will accompany the Red Bulls U-15 team that will travel to the 2019 Next Generation Trophy tournament in Salzburg this August.