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Red Bulls transfer Caden Clark to RB Leipzig, will join in January 2022


Caden Clark’s rapid rise in MLS has garnered the interest of several top European clubs and the young midfielder will officially make his move to Germany in January 2022.

The New York Red Bulls announced Thursday that Clark will join sister club RB Leipzig in January on a permanent transfer. Clark will remain with the Red Bulls for the remainder of the 2021 MLS season before becoming the latest American to move overseas.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that the New York Red Bulls have given me,” said Clark. “Being able to not only develop but play significant minutes at USL and MLS here has truly helped me grow professionally. I will continue to do what I can to help this team win its first MLS Cup.

Clark joined the Red Bulls at 16-years-old and has since jumped into the first team fold as a regular contributor. The Minnesota native made an early positive impression in his first professional season, recording three goals and a team-high five assists in just 12 appearances for Red Bulls II.
Clark scored two goals for the Red Bulls in seven appearances in 2020 and since has totaled four goals and two assists this season. The midfielder was unavailable for Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to New England due to an emergency appendectomy earlier this week.
“Everyone at the club is very excited for Caden to take the next step in his professional journey,” said Red Bulls Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. “From the time Caden joined us, I think we all recognized that if he continued to work hard and take advantage of his opportunities, Caden had the potential to move to Europe. We’re delighted to have played a role and helped him make the jump to a top-five league like the Bundesliga.”
Clark, 18, will join up with former Red Bulls head coach and current RB Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch in the winter along with fellow American midfielder Tyler Adams.
RB Leipzig finished second in the Bundesliga table last season, clinching a spot in the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League this fall.


  1. Did you know Clark is a Minnesota native, and MNU didn’t have his age group in their academy system? He was in the Barca residency in Az like JR pointed out, but didn’t have a European passport so he couldn’t sign. Then he tried out for RB Leipzig, they liked him but couldn’t sign because of the passport. Leipzig told him to look at the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls had to pay MNU for his rights and walah, another American in a pipeline of a top5 league. I know he had a serious surgery but his pops has been training pro athletes for years. Conditioning , rest&recovery, nutrition, diet, are things his pops taught him at a young age. Clark’s transfer news comes a year earlier than expected!! Great news for the sport in America!

  2. I suspect that the other young player with a similar name, Cade Cowell of San Jose,is also attracting attention overseas. I haven’t seen as much of Clark as Cowell, but I think that Cowell shows real promise too.

    • Having seen both I’d say Cowell is faster, but Clark is more technical and has a higher soccer IQ. I looked at some stats from FBref.
      Clark 4g 1a. Cowell 2g 3a.
      Clark has a better shot on target percentage 73% to 55, but Cowell shoots more 2.6 to 1.5 per 90. Clark scores a goal for every 2 shots on target while Cowell only a goal every 5 SoT. Their xG is almost equal at 2 for Cowell to 1.8, but Clark outperforms his xG whereas Cowell matches his. Clark has a better passing percentage but his 3 assists exceed his expected assists or xA. I was surprised Clark had 10 more completed passes in the final third but some of that is probably difference in position. Both are about equal in shot creation actions and goal created actions, Clark closes the gap by taking free kicks or corners. Clark has better defensive numbers as you’d expect for a MF to a W/F. Cowell has a better dribble % but Clark has a better pass receiving %. Another surprise to me was Clark has a better Aerial dual percentage but maybe that’s because he’s going against MFs and Cowell is facing taller CBs.
      Clark comes out of Barca Academy in Arizona whereas Cowell is out of San Jose’s academy. Clark also had a better debut last season with 3 g in 8 appearances. Cowell will certainly have interest but it might be a tier lower. He’s a player that could have really used U20 WC to announce himself to European clubs.

    • I got curious about Cowell like I did Clark. After the GC prelim roster was announced started doing a little research, since I’ve only seen a few matches of both players. Did you know, Cowell’s pops was a D1 WR. Cowell ran track a 100m in a 11 seconds. ….as an 8th grader… a freaking 8th grader!! (I’ve been watching Olympic trials in track and field. I don’t think people realize how fast 11 seconds is!) He played football and like Tessmann could’ve been a D1 baller. He’s another dual-national. El Tri!! …just to put that out there. I hope Gen Z will END the conversations of the ‘best athletes in America don’t play soccer/futbol!’ Weah, Reyna, Pulisic come from athletic families. Hopefully, Cowell can be on that list of athletic players with technical ability than years past!! I hope he gets to showcase his talent in the GC next month.

  3. Wow! I’m high on the kid, but I’ve got to admit I’m surprised he was able to totally leapfrog Red Bull Salzburg. What an exciting development, and I wonder if it has any implications at all for Brenden Aaronson.

    • Clark has been a better finisher than Aaronson in MLS. 6 g in 950 MLS minutes to 7 g in 3600 minutes in MLS. Plus being coached by Stuber this season means he’s already familiar with the RB system whereas Aaronson had to learn it.


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