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THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: Regional Development School

Tyler Adams - Red Bulls RDS graduate

The New York Red Bulls are committed to developing and improving the level of youth soccer in the tri-state area. From an early age, the Red Bulls offer coaching and instruction to youth players of all skill levels. Whether that means providing a fun, safe environment to play the beautiful game, to developing the next Homegrown MLS star, the Red Bulls’ multi-layered youth program offers something for everyone. 

In The Future is Bright series, takes a closer look at the organization’s youth development platform.

Regional Development School

The New York Red Bulls set the pace for elite soccer training in the tri-state area being the first MLS team to have a satellite based, pre-academy feeder system.  The RDS offers advanced soccer players, both boys and girls between the ages 7 to 14, the opportunity to develop their game and receive training from Red Bulls’ professional trainers. 

The program is intended solely for competitive and elite travel level soccer players and the advanced curriculum is specially designed to target individual and technical aspects of the game.

RDS has several programs that include programs during the spring, winter and fall, summer day camps, residential camps, goalkeeper programs and the Futbolinho Program, which focuses on skills in futsal. 

“In a four-word nutshell, RDS is individual, supplementary, technical training,” Simon Barrow, manager of the Red Bulls’ RDS, said.  “The ultimate goal is to prepare players for selection to the Red Bulls’ full academy teams at the U13 level.  RDS is fully funded and recognized as one of the strongest academy set-ups in the country.”

RDS was the original supplementary training program in MLS, and served as the blueprint for many other MLS teams to replicate. It is the only supplementary training program in the area to directly feed a recognized professional Academy, and therefore makes it the most legitimate route to the pro levels.  

Around 60 percent of all players in the Academy are direct graduates of the RDS, with the number as high as 90 percent among the older age groups. Many players have moved on to earn DI scholarships and multiple RDS grads have represented Red Bulls II and the USL U23’s. RDS graduates have even signed pro deals abroad, with Matt Olusunde signing with Manchester United.

“Tyler Adams is the true poster boy of the program as the first RDS graduate to sign with RBNY and play with the first team,” Barrow said.  “His goal against Chelsea was a proud moment for our staff.”

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