David Najem

Red Bulls Academy Update: May 10

The Red Bull U23s are not in season.

U18s:  On Saturday, May 8, the U18 Red Bulls recorded a come-from-behind, 3-1, victory over U18 FC Greater Boston Bolts in US Development Academy play. The U18s fell behind, 1-0, from a Bolts corner kick in the ninth minute. However, it did not take long for the Red Bulls to equalize. In the 13th minute, George Velasquez (Union City, NJ) played a neat combo with Christian Battistesa (Bound Brook, NJ). Velasquez then found Young Ahn (Edison, NJ) at the top of the 18 yard box, and Ahn’s shot forced the Bolts keeper into a diving save and Mike Innocenzi (Franklin Lakes, NJ) slammed in the rebound for his fourth goal of the season. The Red Bulls continued to apply pressure in the second half but could not find the winner until the 82nd minute. David Najem (Clifton, NJ) found Juan Agudelo (Barnegat, NJ) at the back post with a beautifully served ball. Agudelo headed back across goal for Oscar Gonzalez (Clifton, NJ) to finish from a tight angle. The Red Bulls sealed the victory in the 90th minute when Dylan Mencia (Honesdale, PA) slipped the ball to Najem at the top of the box and his shot rifled into the top right corner.

“We managed to put some better soccer together in the second half and create more chances on goal,” stated U18 head coach Paul O’Donnell. “The changes we made in the second half were very influential. The depth of our squad really showed today as several top notch players entered the game and had an impact on the final result.”

Lineup: Bonder, Freeman, Gallego, Adler, Nicholas (Hot 45’), Davis, O. Gonzalez, Ahn (Agudelo 69’), Velasquez (Lyle 58’ (McCarthy 89’), Innocenzi (Mencia  85’), Battistesa (Najem 58’).
Subs not used: Cardona.
Goals: Mike Innocenzi (Young Ahn) 13’, Oscar Gonzalez (Juan Agudelo) 82’,  David Najem (Dylan Mencia) 90’.

The Red Bulls capped a solid weekend with a 1-0 over MLS Academy rival U18 New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, May 9 in an US Developmental Academy match. The Revolution were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute for an off the ball incident. However, the Red Bulls did not create many great scoring chances as the Revolution played very defensively.

“At half-time we talked about how we had to take better advantage of playing against 10 men”, commented O’Donnell. “We managed to get our fullbacks into the attack more in the second half and we created more quality chances.”

In the 63rd minute Sacir Hot (Fair Lawn, NJ) played a great ball to Agudelo at the top of the box. Agudelo chested the ball to Najem who hit a screamer from 25 yards that banged off the right post and into the net. The Red Bulls came close to going up two on several occasions after the Revolution were reduced to nine men for violent conduct in the 85th minute. Keith Cardona (Glen Rock, NJ) went the distance in goal for the shutout.

Lineup: Cardona, Ehrenworth, Gallego, Hot (Adler 89’), Garcia, Davis, O. Gonzalez (Gurel 80’), Najem,  Mencia, Agudelo (McCarthy 89’), Lyle (Velasquez 89’).
Subs not used: Bonder, Freeman.
Goal: David Najem (Juan Agudelo) 63’

U16s:  The Red Bull U16 drew, 1-1, at U16 FC Greater Boston on Saturday, May 8 in US Developmental Academy play. It was a tightly contested game with neither team creating many chances. FC Greater Boston took the lead, but Freddy Elliot (Roseland, NJ) scored to tie the game in the second half to give the Red Bulls a point on the road.

Lineup: Brown, Ceron, Alvarado, Kryzsik, Miazga, Akinyode, Munoz (Reed), Bziukiewicz (Cruz), Haskel, (Raytsin), Elliot (Bartok), Wantchekon (Lagg).
Subs not used: Cerrone
Goal: Freddy Elliot 43’

The U16s generated several quality chances at Gillette Stadium but failed to convert enough of them, falling to U16 New England Revolution, 2-1, on Sunday, May 9 in US Developmental Academy action. Just before halftime a defensive mistake led to the Revolution going 1-0 up. Travis Wantchekon (New York, NY) equalized just after halftime on a pass from Luis Munoz (New York, NY), but the Revolutions scored with 15 minutes left to win the game.

Lineup: Brown, Ceron, Alvarado, Orsaris, Kryzsik (Dorador), Akinyode, Munoz, Haskel (Castillo), Bziukiewicz, Elliot (Lagg), Wantchekon (Bartok).
Subs not used: Cerrone
Goal: Travis Wantchekon 48’

U14 Pre-Academy:  The Red Bulls Pre-Academy team traveled to Boston and came away 3-0 winners against U14 FC Greater Boston Bolts on Saturday, May 8 in a Northeast Pre-Academy League match. The Red Bulls went ahead in the first half with Amando Moreno (Perth Amboy, NJ) and Nick Innocenzi (Franklin Lakes, NJ) scoring to give the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead at halftime. The Red Bulls continued to put pressure on the Bolts and scored the third on a goal by Clay Taylor (Mendham, NJ) to make the final score 3-0. Alek Gogic (Fort Lee, NJ) went the distance in goal for the shutout.

U14 1996:  The U14 1996 Red Bulls recorded a 0-0 draw away to U14 Den of Lions. The Red Bulls enjoyed most of the possession but could not find a way through the Lions defense. Jake Leahy (Brick, NJ) made some key saves and went the distance in goal in his first start for the team. 

“We need to do a better job combining around the box and finishing our chances”, said U14 1996 head coach Antonio Meza.

The Red Bull 1996s completed their unbeaten weekend with a hard fought, 2-0, win over U14 Pasco on Sunday, May 9. Patrick Bialy (Lodi, NJ) opened the scoring for the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls continued to play well and were rewarded after some great work from Derrick Ettiene (Paterson, NJ) who set up Juan Pablo Rojas (Piscataway, NJ), who scored the Red Bulls second goal to provide the final margin.  Gogic was solid in goal for his second clean sheet of the weekend.

“It was a good result for the team today,” noted Meza following the victory.  “We finished our chances well and played some great soccer.”

Sunday May 16

U16 Red Bulls vs. U16 Albertson 1:00 pm at NJIT (US Development Academy League)
U18 Red Bulls vs.U18 Albertson 3:00 pm at NJIT (US Development Academy League)
U14 Pre-Academy Red Bulls vs. U14 Albertson at NJIT (Northeast Pre-Academy League)
U14 1996 Red Bulls @ New York Soccer Club