Jonathan Rhodes: U-17 Head Coach, Red Bulls Academy
Review of the Fall Season:
The U-17’s had a strong overall record in League play during the fall season with a record of 14 games played, nine (9) wins, three (3) ties, and two (2) losses). With this record, we start the spring season in first position in the Mid-Atlantic division.
Additionally, the squad took part in another 16 fixtures throughout the fall season. By playing against a diverse group of opponents, we created a variety of challenges for the U-17’s to deal with both physically and tactically – ensuring an accelerated rate of development and a much steeper learning curve for each player.
At the MLS NEXT winter showcase event, the U-17’s finished with a record of 1-1-1 against top-quality opposition: St. Louis City FC, Chicago Fire, and Portland Timbers.
Finally, five (5) U-17 players selected in the New York Red Bulls II USL Championship roster – with three (3) of those able to make significant contributions on the field: Serge Ngoma (19 appearances, three (3) goals scored, 825 minutes played); Curtis Ofori (14 appearances, 377 minutes played); and Sam Williams (18 appearances and 727 minutes played).
Aims & Objectives:
There are three (3) aims for the U-17 age group this season.
One, create a culture that is aligned with the professional pathway within our organization to provide as seamless a transition for the players when they are ready to make the step up.
Two, demonstrate the importance of having single-minded focus and accountability in order to step up to the next level, whilst also showing how important it is to be a successfully functioning part of the team.
And three, continue to focus on the process of development with the ability to show an aptitude to win. All facets of a player’s development must be taken into consideration at this age level. However, at the same time, the ability and understanding of what it takes to win games also becomes increasingly important in our evaluation of performance.