This is not the first time that Jeremy Rafanello has been around the New York Red Bulls organization. The first time was when Rafanello attended RDS camps for two years.
“I did the RDS camps for about two years from 2012 to 2014,” Rafanello said. “The camps definitely helped me grow my knowledge for the game at such a young age.”
While attending RDS camps, Rafanello was able to gain an opportunity to attend a New York Red Bulls match and be a ball boy on the sideline.
“I remember holding the ball in my hand and I thinking how amazing it would be play in that Arena someday,” Rafanello said. “Being able to see those players, it is a moment I will never forget because of all the emotions that were running through me.”
The Delran, New Jersey, native played club soccer at Continental FC Delco, where he met current Academy Director Sean McCafferty, who was his head coach at the time.
“Sean [McCafferty] helped me learn a lot of things with my time at FC Continental [Delco],” Rafanello said. “He was a great head coach to have, and he helped us out if we ever needed anything.”
The 20-year-old forward went on to play at Philadelphia Union Academy for one year, before heading to State College, PA to attend Penn State University.
After one season there, he signed his first professional contract for FC Helsingør in Denmark. Six months later, he returned back to the United States to play for Indy Eleven, where he made nine appearances and scored one goal.
Now that Rafanello is back in his home state of New Jersey, he is glad to be able to play close to home, wear the NYRB II kit, and get back to playing the sport he loves.
“It will be great to play in front of my family, and to be able to play for the club that I have always looked up to,” Rafanello said. “I ‘m excited to get the season started and hopefully bring the fans a lot of wins.”