USA Youth Soccer

RSL and Red Bulls youth teams win respective Development Academy Titles

Academy 2013

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


Two Major League Soccer club academies took home the hardware in Houston at Sunday’s Development Academy Finals.

For the second successive season, the New York Red Bulls academy won a national title as the U-17/U-18 team defeated Shattuck-Saint Mary’s, 2-1 in overtime. At the U-15/U-16 level, the Real Salt Lake Arizona academy defeated Solar Chelsea SC, 4-2, to win a national championship.

With nine players from last year’s U-15/U-16 title team, the Red Bulls academy had the experience of playing in pressure packed situations as well as playing on such short rest. In both team’s fourth game in seven days, Red Bulls substitute Jhon Estama scored the match-winner in the 115th minute of the match, after teammate Ethan Decker cancelled out Shattuck-Saint Mary’s forward Lesley Nchanji’s 10th minute goal.

The Red Bulls side featured homegrown signing Santiago Castaño in goal and U.S. U-17 starlet Christopher Lema.

Real Salt Lake’s Academy win came via the head of Justen Glad in the 75th minute, scoring the go-ahead goal before his team added a fourth to finish off the game. RSL’s Brooks Lennon was named man of the match, finishing with one goal and a helper. Teammate Sebastian Saucedo finished with a goal and an assist as well. U.S. U-17 player Alan Winn and Bryson Asher scored the goals for Solar Chelsea.

What do you think of these results? Impressed with the success of MLS academies?

Share your thoughts below.


  • gigi

    Decker spent preseason with the first team if I recall correctly…would love to see NY focus more on getting these young players into the first team and getting them some minutes.


    • TomG

      Seems like they are. They always had one of the top systems before the Backe era which devalued that aspect. Look at Altidore and Agudelo. But the MLS rules never really promoted player development so maybe the rule changes in the last few years will start to bear fruit in NJ. They are ideally located and have the cash to spend. They could be monsters in player D in the next decade if they prioritize it.


      • chris

        The red bulls didn’t develop Altidore he played in miami for Boca United while not at IMG. The red bulls only drafted him


      • Alex

        The Red Bulls gave him professional minutes at the age of 16 so I think they played their fair part in developing him. It’s not like he was a finished product when he was drafted; hell, he still isn’t.


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