After a brief pause at the onset of the pandemic, this fall saw the return of the Regional Development School (RDS) Talent Centers – a relatively new initiative for Red Bulls Youth Programs. The RDS Talent Centers represent the pinnacle of supplementary RDS training by offering an entirely cost-free training opportunity for some of the most talented youth soccer players in the region.
“By eliminating the training registration fee, we are effectively able to remove one of the biggest barriers to entry for players in some communities,” said Simon Barrow, Sr Manager of Player Development. “Also, the cost-free nature of the program encourages some families to drive a little further than they might normally, so the player pool inevitably becomes larger. Ultimately, with more players to choose from, and some unique applicants we may not have seen before, the speed and competitiveness of the training sessions naturally increases, which benefits those fortunate enough to be accepted tremendously.”
RDS Talent Centers offer the same features and benefits of the regular RDS curriculum, with exceptional candidates earning consideration for RDS Showcase Teams, Red Bulls Pre-Academy, and – for the select few – Red Bulls Academy Teams. Additionally, with some Talent Centers offered in partnership with Red Bulls Academy Affiliates, they provide an excellent opportunity for Affiliate players to be fast-tracked within the Red Bulls Academy pathway.
Indeed, this fall, Red Bulls longest standing affiliate partner, Ironbound Soccer Club, as well as their newest, Brooklyn Italians, both played host to an RDS Talent Center.
Steve Amorim, Director of coaching for Ironbound Soccer Club said of the program, “Giving our players the opportunity to participate in the RDS Talent Center is critical for their development. It provides our players with additional training, along with exposure to the Red Bull Academy staff.”
Antonio Superbia, Director of Coaching for Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club added, “The implementation of the RDS Talent Center has been highly successful and has given our young players increased access to high level training and ongoing assessment for the Pre-Academy Teams.” He continued, “Our goal is to continue to attract the best soccer talent in Brooklyn and provide them with a clear pathway to Red Bulls Academy teams.”
RDS Talent Centers successfully hosted over 200 players at cost-free training this fall, and an additional 50 players will benefit from cost-free indoor training this winter season.
For more information on the RDS Talent Centers, and to see upcoming opportunities to participate in this high-level, cost-free training, visit newyorkredbulls.com/youth/rds/talent-centers.