In what should be seen as a landmark moment in MLS player development, the Red Bulls are set to make their youth academies free to all participants. This decision will make the Red Bulls the first MLS team to do so (A source in Chicago tells me the Fire’s program is free but I haven’t gotten confirmation on that. Chivas USA doesn’t charge for its highest age levels, but does charge for U-15 and below).
The standard structure for MLS youth programs has been similar to traditional youth programs, where players pay fees and costs to be a part of the club as well as travel costs for tournaments, but now the Red Bulls have become the first pro club to waive these fees and pick up all costs for all players.
The Red Bulls move should become the standard for all MLS youth programs and it should also give the Red Bulls youth academy a considerable advantage in recruiting top youth prospects in a New York and New Jersey youth market that boasts some nationally-recognized youth programs.
What do you think of this news? Share your thoughts below.