After a pilot event in June of this year, the New York Red Bulls Regional Development Schools (RDS) hosted their second RDS Goalie Wars under the lights at Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, NJ. This time around the event was open to parents and spectators, and they came in droves to watch and support.
The evening was action packed, full of thrills, spills, great saves and goals. The event pitched goalies against each other in a 1v1 format, with the highest scoring goalkeeper coming out on top. The action saw approximately 50 keepers going against each other in the U10 to U12 bracket, and just under 40 in the U13 to U15 bracket.
When the dust finally settled in the evening twilight, Dylan Murray of STA and Emanuel Schrey of Red Bull affiliate BW Gottschee were declared champions in the younger and older age groups respectively.
Above: Highlights from Goalie Wars clinic. Click arrow on photo to scroll.
The trophies were presented by New York Red Bulls Academy Goalkeeper Coach Dan Solli, who spent the evening meeting parents and players. According to Solli, “RDS Goalie Wars is a fantastic event that aligns our Youth Programs, RDS, Pre-Academy and Academy in terms of vision, philosophy and education.”
Solli was suitably impressed. He continued to say, “The depth of talent in the Tri-State area – specifically in the goalkeeper position – is tremendous to see, and to have almost 100 keepers showcasing their skills at our training facility is wonderful. We were able to sign an Academy goalkeeper from the inaugural event in the spring, and the goal is to continue doing more for the goalkeepers in the region to accelerate their development and expand opportunities.”
Duane Peña, RDS Regional Coach added, “To host RDS Goalie Wars live in front of spectators was really special for the players involved. Goalkeepers are not often in the limelight, so to perform at the home of our first team, with the music, buzz and atmosphere was an unforgettable experience.”
Peña continues, “This is an exciting new initiative for us that allows us to identify talented young goalkeepers while simultaneously providing a fun and engaging activity for players of all skill levels. The activity places equal emphasis on ball striking and distribution as it does on shot-stopping, which is so important for the modern goalkeeper.”
Based on its huge popularity, RDS Goalie Wars will be back soon. Stay tuned for more details!