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New York Red Bulls announce launch of USL Pro team

Connor Lade (ISI)


The New York Red Bulls have at last made their USL Pro plans for 2015 known, and they’re joining in on the start-up team fun.

The Red Bulls will go the route of launching a USL Pro side this season, it was announced on Wednesday morning, making them the eighth MLS team to have its own club in the third division of the United States and Canada. SBI first reported the news back in December.

The USL Pro team will practice at the training facility in Hanover, New Jersey, but the club’s name, home venue and coaching staff will all be announced at a later date.

“We are proud about this important moment in the history of our organization,” said Sporting Director Ali Curtis in a statement. “This platform will integrate coaches, players and staff at all levels from the academy, USL Pro and first team as we are excited to start competing at the USL Pro level this season.

“We are extremely committed to excellence as a club, investing in all areas of player development and providing a pathway such that our sporting operations have a more efficient opportunity to align tactically, technically and philosophically.”

The Red Bulls join the LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact as the first members of MLS to have a start-up team instead of an affiliate partnership with a USL Pro club.

MLS has mandated that its clubs either launch start-up USL Pro teams or have affiliates in that league as of this year.


What do you think of the Red Bulls announcing plans for a USL Pro team? What should the club’s name be? Who should be the head coach?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Guys I honestly thought my own club the fire was a mess . The red bulls no matter what they do with the USL or signing US player are a complete mess. I grew up in Brooklyn and clearly remember the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn without even a word to thousands of loyal fans. What Old Ali did to the red bull group is just about the same. As soon as I get my fire season ticket package I am going to tear up the red bull ticket and send it to the red bull offices in Europe. They can stick it were the sun does not shine.

  2. this should be marsch’s team. no offense.

    i think, in the future, it will be normal for new/upcoming mls coaches to learn the job and prove themselves in usl pro and nasl.

  3. anyone else find it interesting that they haven’t announced the team name as NY Red Bulls II? It would seem pretty obvious that if Red Bull was here for the long haul the name would be a no brainer, just like all their other clubs are named.

    • They announced early last year they would do it this year, then said they wouldn’t, then it was rumored they would but they didn’t officially announce it until today.

      • No, the decision was made before that, just not announced. Ali and his 300 page plan don’t deserve any of the credit.

      • RBNY announced they would this before hiring Curtis, but this is the first official announcement. Curtis also mentioned that they had received a signed contract on the day they held the “town hall” meeting.

    • I know the Dynamo were looking into a lower division second team in the Valley here and I think the hang up was that you had to secure a stadium meeting the rules for that league, to make the application. The Dynamo haven’t done it because they don’t like the existing options and haven’t gotten a new thing funded. So they did a USL linkup.

      But perhaps NY has secured at least a Plan B, and maybe is looking at Plan A also, and thus they could apply saying we’ll play at Plan B Park no matter what but long term are looking at Plan A Stadium.

  4. What are the pros and cons of establishing a USL Pro team versus just having the reserves compete (as FCD does)? Bigger squad size perhaps?

    • I think there is an age limit with reserves? Also
      I dont think they can be recalled in the same way that the NHL uses the AHL though.

      • I think this is the key. Partnership, you send out a few players, but then style of play and such is up to the other team still. With your own team, you can put as many youngsters on the team as you want and you can integrate the system and style of play so they are ready specifically for your senior team.

        Also, you don’t have to worry about results necessarily, whereas another team does. You can get more minutes for your youngsters without that extra pressure and worry.

    • USL you can theoretically play a full schedule — whatever the minor league team plays — but you are only guaranteed five players. Reserves you can allocate all you want to the task but I’m not sure if they play much of a schedule. Part of MLS’ reserve problem is how often they play and whether worthwhile development can occur if you sometimes dress sometimes don’t and have maybe 10-12 reserve games all year.

      The ideal hybrid is the “German or Spanish II” team like Galaxy II where it’s physically separate and you can farm a bunch of people but they have a full league and schedule but at a more appropriate level of play.

      • I should clarify, there is a USL linkup, a USL II team, and a reserve team. This is akin to the II team. The downside on a II team may be the costs of owning and operating an additional team that may draw major league wages but be in front of minor league crowds.

        A USL linking deal is I think 5 players usually.

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