18-year-old Connecticut native earns first MLS Homegrown selection
NEW YORK (July 12, 2018) – New York Red Bulls midfielder Ben Mines was named to his first MLS Homegrown game presented by Energizer, Major League Soccer announced today. Mines, the fifth-youngest player on the Homegrown roster, is one of 16 first-time selections who will compete against Tigres UANL’s Under-20 Team in the fifth annual MLS Homegrown Game on Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m. ET at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground (TV: Univision Deportes / Twitter.com).
Mines, who signed an MLS Homegrown contract on January 8, made an immediate impact for the Red Bulls as he scored his first career MLS goal in New York’s season opener against Portland on March 10. He became the 15th youngest player in league history to score an MLS regular-season goal. Mines ranks third all-time in franchise history behind Eddie Gaven and Jozy Altidore for the franchise’s youngest goal scorer. The Ridgefield, Connecticut, native also became the fifth youngest player to score on his debut in MLS history ,and second-youngest starter in his debut, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Alongside his MLS debut, Mines has started in nine of the 10 USL matches that he has appeared in. The New York midfielder has tallied one goal and one assist in 730 minutes played.
One of the many highly anticipated events during the week of events surrounding 2018 MLS All-Star Atlanta, the MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer® provides an annual platform in which to showcase MLS’ burgeoning young talent and demonstrate the growth of the League’s youth development system. MLS academies continue to attract and cultivate top-flight prospects and have now produced over 170 Homegrown Players who have signed professional contracts with MLS clubs. Vital to the long-term success of their clubs, Homegrown Players now serve more important and visible roles than ever, with academy products logging a record number of goals, assists, minutes and games played in 2017. Of note, the 94 assists compiled by Homegrown Players in 2017 is more than double the total compared to 2016.