Back in October, New York Red Bulls' Sporting Director, Ali Curtis, said the club had an eye on two young players it was hoping to sign to deals in the near future - and ever since then, Once A Metro has been trying to figure out who he might have been talking about.
OaM contributor Jake Evans produced a shortlist of possible targets, to which one might add Jamaican Junior Flemmings and Cameroonian Hassan Ndam - young players who trained with RBNY this year and departed with suggestion they might be seen again.
Now we have another name to add to the list: Trinidad and Tobago youth international Noah Powder.
As highlighted by BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer, Powder's name came up in RBNY's concluding press conference of the 2015 season. RBNY head coach Jesse Marsch mentioned Powder in the context of throwing out names of some of the players to have benefited from the club's increasing integration of its Academy and development squads with the first team:
You know we've had, even now down the stretch in the playoffs, we've had at training, some of you have been out there, some days we have almost 35 players out at training and we've had Mason Deeds and Noah Powder and Tyler Adams and all these young players around our team that is at supposedly the most important time of year where many clubs would say we're going to protect the First Team the most, but this is all part of our process.
Just a name tossed out there to illustrate a point.
But perhaps it is telling that Powder's name came to mind so readily. Adams is already signed to a first team contract for 2016. Deeds has effectively been on a year-long trial all over the Red Bull soccer organization. Powder was last heard of playing for Trinidad and Tobago in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. But perhaps he is a more highly-rated prospect - with more immediate chance of a pro contract - than had previously been thought.
At the same end-of-season press conference, Ali Curtis reiterated the fact that he has identified fresh talent, saying he had a "couple of signings" lined up that he expected to see made "as early as the first part of January".
Until those signings are announced, and the many more expected as RBNY fills both its USL and MLS rosters for 2016, all we can do is make note of the players that appear to be on the club's radar. Add Powder to that list of players.