Red Bulls sign two U.S. Under-18 MNT players to Homegrown Player deals

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New York Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh has made it clear that he wants to change the Red Bulls’ reputation as a team that doesn’t focus on developing young local talent, and on Tuesday the Red Bulls took a major step toward trying to change that reputation.

The Red Bulls have signed 17-year-old academy products Santiago Castano and Armando Moreno to Homegrown Player contracts. Castano, a goalkeeper, and Moreno, a forward, have been added to the Red Bulls senior roster.

Castano, pictured above, is a former member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team residency program, and has been part of the U.S. Under-18 national team set-up. Moreno is also a U.S. Under-18 national team player, who impressed in recent appearances with the national team.

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32 Responses to Red Bulls sign two U.S. Under-18 MNT players to Homegrown Player deals

  1. Sabella says:


  2. T-lover says:

    I hope MLS can increase the reserve league, so these players can get more time to develop. Garber, in a interview said MLS looking closely at their reserve league, Ives do you have any more information, about what changes might happen.

    • Gnarls says:

      I’d like to see an expansion of the regional aspect of the reserve league. Integrate the MLS reserves with USL, USASA, etc. Keep the teams within the local area to contains travel costs, but increase the number of games overall.

  3. patrick says:

    as has been said on twitter, both these guys had been practicing with the team for the later half of the 2012 season, and were scheduled to join the South American trip that was cancelled.

  4. wilyboy says:

    Knowing the Red Bulls, they will never be heard from again.

  5. White Kix says:

    They should be signing Andy Najeem. I saw him play with the U-17’s a few years ago and he was the best player on the field.

  6. What are these guys’ heritage?

  7. Vic says:

    Good news in terms of player development for Red Bulls and USA. However, people need to keep things in perspective. 17-18 years olds are generally a few years away from being a first team contributor. In addition, just because a player is a top 17 year doesn’t mean he’ll be a top 22 year old in a few years. You need to train many young players at a high level with the hope that a few will make it.

    • Nytshade says:

      I couldn’t agree more, which is why I really like the move. What the rest of the world learned long ago, is that you have to throw these guys to the wolves early on, or they lose out significantly in their formative years. You hear it over and over again, that the US college ranks do little good in nurturing the growth of US soccer talent. By surrounding these guys with top ranked professionals will allow those with true potential to rise that much higher, that much sooner and hopefully create the next great Wunderkind.

  8. Hmmmm says:

    Nice to see.

    Hopefully they sign Brandon Allen from Georgetown next. He looks like he’s MLS-ready.

  9. DDT5583 says:

    I read on that Ian Christiansen is not being treated as a potential homegrown player for Chicago. Given that he (I believe) played for the Fire academy, the PDL, and the Super-20s, what reasoning is behind this ruling? are the Fire up in arms about this?

    • Andrew says:

      It’s because he’s a senior. Players can be signed under the homegrown player rule if they still have college eligibility, but if they play the full four years of college soccer they go through the draft.

  10. fischy says:

    Interesting. I didn’t know about Castano. I’d assumed that Cardona might be the team’s future in goal, but after watching him in the College Cup semis….color me unimpressed.

    • fischy says:

      My comment is awaiting moderation? Too bad. I’ve got strong opinions. No moderation will be forthcoming.

  11. Steve says:

    Santiago Castano and Armando Moreno were said to be happy with the move until they realized they signed with the Red Bulls