Battle of the Biobands: U-15 Academy Sneak Peek

As we’ve emphasized all year, the New York Red Bulls are getting younger everywhere – and the club’s younger levels become all the more important as the age groups get tighter.

The academy’s Under-15 squad will be coached this year by longtime Red Bull Academy figure Simon Nee who, like Jonathan Rhodes, plays in an age category. This will be Nee’s second season with this group of kids, an interesting season as you have a few 08s younger than the typical slice. It’s a really strong class for Red Bull, who have been playing with a lot of that group since last year with a few bio-bandaged players. But it’s also a group that had a big reversal last year so it’s still a very new team in the system.

For the U-15 group, a key component is the bio-bandaged players – using the bio-banding system that measures a young player’s physical development rather than their date of birth in organizing their competition. This team has three bio-bandaged players, Bryan Vazquez, Whye-li Ong and Victor Signes. Vazquez and Ong need more time to mature physically while Signes was out all last year with an injury, but he’s a player the staff really loved before the injury. We will rely on these players to have an impact and be leaders.

“It’s an invaluable initiative because what it allows is play time, they become, you know, big parts of the squad, they have a lot more beginnings in play time than they get. would if they had to play based on their age, ”Nee says of the bio. -bandage. “They have a sense of responsibility because if you are an older player playing with the younger ones you have a responsibility to be more mature and training helps define the intensity and energy levels in the game. training four days a week become little more of a leader and mentor with the younger ones.

Vazquez in particular is a player who really took on the challenge of being a front-line leader during the preseason playing at a high level. A 10 with good vision, the challenge for him will be adding goals to his game, which the Red Bulls are asking their players to provide from role 10.

On the other side, this group consists of 3 08 who play a parenthesis and lead what is a really strong and deep 08 group.

“I think the 08s are probably our most exciting age group in the club, probably the deepest in terms of talent. There are a lot of good prospects. And we’re always looking, you know, we’re still looking week after week to try to promote training more and try to provide them with more playing time, because one of our goals is to speed up development. , to ensure that players who perform at a good level in the younger age group have the opportunity.

Here are some of the stars of this year’s U-15 squad:

Jack Mize

Mize is bleeding red. He has been at the academy for the under-12s and has been playing since the mid-season of last year. A central striker, he is comfortable in all facets of the game and he is someone the club is very attached to.

“He probably caught my eye in the preseason last year, we played an intra-team, 14v13 scrum, last year he was probably the best player on the pitch,” said Nee. “He was promoted mid-season last year and then really took off, you know, prolific in front of goal, good back to goal and a very clean technical player. But he has Red Bull characteristics, in terms of his mentality against the ball and his will to win is incredible. His motivation to improve and every little bit of his game too. He is one of those who arrives early in training and wants to do extra work and is always looking to refine his game and all the little details to finish or separate from the players. So it’s an exciting prospect.

Aiden stokes

With a hole in the goalie after a player decided to leave the academy to play in high school, Stokes was promoted. A bigger child, he has the physical constitution to play at the level but what impresses the most is his ability on the ball. According to Nee, this is well above what is normal for the age level. He has also made great strides as a stopper in the meantime.

Gaven Dehart

Dehart is a left-back who, like Mize, was promoted halfway through last year. He’s a modern full-back and, according to Nee, his physical numbers recorded during games are off the charts.

The 07s can’t be forgotten and while the core group that doesn’t train with the 17s might not be the strongest, there are some names that stand out.

Pipeloore Olanrewaju

Pipeloore is a great physical striker who was clinical last season after leaving Bergen. According to Nee, he scored 30 match play goals last season, which is a pretty insane amount, even at academy level. It will have to be technically cleaner but it can finish well. Being a physically dominant player helps, so it will be important to complete his game as players grow older and can match his size and speed.

Brady Boulanger

An attacking midfielder who joined last season from Cedar Stars Bergen. Boulanger should help tie the game down to the middle and be a key cog in the backbone of the team.

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