Red Bulls will field USL Pro team in 2015, may play in New York City

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The New York Red Bulls will field a USL Pro team in 2015 — and they may be playing ball in the Big Apple.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Red Bulls will make their USL Pro announcement in the coming days. There will be no affiliation. Instead, New York will have full control of operations and use the platform to offer Red Bull Academy standouts a career path through the organization.

EOS reached out to Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpre for comment. While not offering comment on the specifics, he did acknowledge the coming USL Pro side and its impact for the club.

“We are really excited about it. It’s all coming together. We have a few things we need to hash out, but it is happening.”

De Grandpre would not go into detail as to what issues remained to be resolved. However, one source tells us the only hold up is where they will play. Despite a $2 million dollar expansion to their Hanover training facility, the Red Bulls USL Pro side will not be playing their matches on the grounds. They may never. Instead, the search for a permanent home has led Red Bull towards two separate locations; Red Bull Arena and a facility within New York City.

A separate source tells us that may very well be Columbia University’s Baker Athletic Complex, located at the northern tip of Manhattan.

“For us, it’s clearly a part of our youth development platform and pyramid,” de Grandpre said. “It is making sure there is an area our young players can develop between our Academy, College and the first team. It is going to be a development platform where our young kids can hone in their talents and skills, get in real minutes in a professional environment, and hopefully, this enables us to keep more of our academy players here, develop them and then transition them to the first team

“It is truly part of our future investment in youth development.”