U18 Academy vs. U17 USMNT
Dan Leahy

U18 Academy falls to U17 US Men's National Team at Red Bull Arena

In a match immediately following the New York Red Bulls draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday, October 9, the Red Bull Academy’s U18 team fell to the U.S. U17 National Team, 4-1.
The U17 U.S. National Team traveled to Red Bull Arena to take on the Academy in an exciting match giving both teams an opportunity to play against tough competition.

“This is our second game here, so it shows that the Red Bulls have something special to offer in getting these sorts of games in the stadium,” explained Academy Head Coach Paul O’Donnell.  “We played Atlas from Mexico, U.S. National team now. So, we’re looking to play the best. In order for our players to get to the next level, we need more matches like this.”

The game got started early when Kyle McCord scored from the top of the box in the seventh minute to bring the Red Bulls out to an early lead. But the U.S. knotted the game soon after with a goal by Marc Pelosi from 12 yards out in the 30th minute. The teams went into the break tied at 1-1.

The U.S. came out strong after halftime with an early second half goal in the 48th minute. The US extended the lead again in the 58th minute with a goal by Mario Rodriguez after he beat both his defender and Red Bulls keeper Santiago Castano. Red Bulls defender Brandon Adler was sent off in the 62nd minute with a red card after pulling down the US forward as the last defender. But Castano made a great save in the free kick that followed. After several quality attempts to even the score by the Red Bulls in the last fifteen minutes of the match, the U.S. win was settled with a 68th minute goal by Rodriguez.

“It was definitely a tough night for us tonight,” said O’Donnell. “In the past we‘ve had some very good games against the National Team. Tonight, for some reason or another, we were not sharp tonight. We need to really figure out where we need to put in more work as a staff, as a group of individual players, and collectively.”

The match brought additional interest for several players. Russell Canouse, National Team Defender, is a member of the New York Red Bulls Academy. Playing for the U.S. has proved to be a great opportunity for him but Canouse still credits his experience with the Academy for much of his success. “Playing with the Red Bulls is great. The intensity is great every practice. It’s a professional environment so the coaches expect a higher level of play and they push you. Once I came down to the residency, it was the same thing almost just a little higher level.”

In addition, Red Bulls Forward Juan Agudelo, made his professional soccer debut when he came into the First Team’s match in the second half. Agudelo made his offensive presence known on the field for the Academy in the first thirty minutes of the match immediately following the Red Bull First Team’s draw with Real Salt Lake.  When asked about his experience playing with both the Academy and the First Team on the same night, Agudelo responded positively about both squads. “It was great. I just made me realize how young I am and how much time I have with myself. So, I just have to be patient and take the chances that are given to me. Tonight, I was given a chance and I thought I did alright when I came in. And hopefully I’ll get another chance soon.”

Starting Line Up: Santiago Castano, Paul Ehrenworth, Kyle Roach, Bryan Gallego, Richmond McCarthy, Sean Davis, Dan Metzger, Mike Innocenzi, Kyle McCord, Brandon Allen, Juan Agudelo.
Subs: Max Brown, Bolu Akinyode, Christian Johnson, Antonio Matarazzo, Sean Sheridan, Brandon Adler, Damien Bziukiewicz, Ross Tetro.