Red Bulls to invest $2 million on training grounds for Academy, possible division three side

The New York Red Bulls have gone from a team without a training pitch to a side ready to expand their operations.

That is the word from Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh who revealed team ownership was looking into investing up to $2 million in construction to build a new home for the club’s academy system – and a possible third division side – on the same parcel of land as their current training grounds.

“The academy had nowhere to go from one day to the next. We were all over the place,” Roxburgh said. “The academy will have now it’s own house – it’s own place.”

Red Bull Academy, one of the most prestigious developmental systems in the country, has produced seven Homegrown Talents for New York; Connor Lade, Matt Miazga, Amado Moreno, Santiago Castano, Matt Kassel, Giorgi Chiargadze and of course, Juan Agudelo. Even though the team will continue to put importance into the College Draft, Roxburgh sees the Academy as a place where New York can cultivate talent and continue to reinforce their side.

“You can see the way things are drifting,” he said. “They are part of the family. They are part of the New York Red Bulls family and we want to make sure they are integrated.”

To do so, the academy will now have a home within the same training grounds as the first team. Red Bull will erect a building with lockers, training areas, treatment areas, lounges and other facilities specifically for their youth players. Part of those plans include creating more parking area for players and their families and “flatten an area for another pitch” – the fourth one on the property.

The integration doesn’t stop there. The Red Bulls’ Sporting Director hopes to have some of the academy’s brightest stars join the first team for their offseason training as well.

“The heart of the academy is not there yet but it is coming together,” Roxburgh said. “I am very hopeful the academy side do things to continue to develop.”

The new land will also allow New York flexibility with another ambitious endeavor. According to Roxburgh, the team is anxious to begin a third division side (USLPro) which would act as a substitute for the much-maligned MLS reserve system, giving academy players and spot starters the chance to keep up to fitness in case their name is called upon by the first team.

As of now, that remains only a long term goal.

“Because of the risks and regulations haven’t been resolved – not by us, but generally – our aim is to do it by the end of next year,” he said.

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