The New York Red Bulls Training Programs has a group of over 160 youth coaches who work extremely hard throughout the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter seasons to help spread the Red Bulls Training philosophies and methodologies. Through team and recreational training, Spring Break and Summer camps, Winter Skills Clinics, Urban Soccer Programs, Believe Clinics, and many other activities and training sessions our coaches work nearly non-stop to motivate players to love and enjoy the great game of soccer.
As the main seasons (Spring, Summer and Fall) came to a close, these amazing trainers had the opportunity to prove that they aren’t just great coaches, but good players too, in the Red Bull Training Programs Coaches Cup.
Teams were compiled based on the region they mainly worked in throughout the year. This breaks down to six regions roughly in the following areas:
- Southern and Central New Jersey
- Northwest New Jersey
- Northern New Jersey
- Westchester County and Hudson Valley New York
- Manhattan and Regional Development School (RDS)
- Other NYC Boroughs and Long Island New York
From the get go, the regional managers were taking this very seriously and showed up in their best Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and, yes, even our very own dapper Jesse Marsch impersonations. They were decked out in suits usually reserved for the sidelines of the best leagues in the world, or getting married – as proven by Westchester County and Hudson Valley Head Coach John Birchall who wore his wedding suit.
The teams were divided into two divisions: New Jersey and New York. Northwest Jersey took the NJ Division with 1-0 wins in their two group games. With the Manhattan/RDS taking the NY Division by winning 1-0 over Long Island and 2-0 over the Westchester County and Hudson Valley team.
After the group stages the Southern and Central NJ team and the Westchester County and Hudson Valley team had to call it a day as they did not advance to the playoffs.
The playoffs proved to be just as hard fought with the final ultimately pitting Northern New Jersey against the Manhattan/RDS team. In the end North New Jersey, led by Training Programs representative Steve Jones, took the trophy with a 2-1 win.
The games proved to be as competitive as hoped with some tremendous skill, teamwork and banter from the coaches and players alike.
“Fantastic opportunity for all of our Training Programs coaches within the tri-state area, both partial and full availability, to get together in a competitive free play environment and have an opportunity to demonstrate their playing abilities,” Tournament Commissioner and RBTP Coach Operations Coordinator Grant Findlay said. “This is very different to what we demand from our coaches on a day-to-day basis where they are the ones creating the learning environment and coaching young players within a structured training session. Nonetheless, it was very apparent that many of our coaches play either competitively and/or recreationally on a regular basis out with their Red Bull coaching assignments – as the quality of play across the board was excellent.”
“Additionally, as the high majority of our staff are very competitive in nature, the introduction of the Coaches Cup trophy gave the tournament a lot of edge and thereby resulted in several tense moments; from RDS/Manhattan beating Long Island on penalties, to Northern New Jersey’s last gasp winner in the final. Overall I feel this was a very successful event and it is definitely something we will be hosting at the end of every fall and spring season going forward.”
All-in-all it was great day to see our trainers getting out and enjoying the game that they work in every day. We at New York Red Bulls could not spread the love and passion of the game without these tremendously dedicated coaches and we thank them every day for the hard work and dedication each and every one of you have shown to the Red Bulls and the game of soccer.