With the Development Academy season nearing an end, U.S. Soccer announced its yearly Best XI for the U-16 and U-18 age groups. As is the norm with this sort of thing, there are Red Bulls players involved.
For the U-16s, defender Mason Deeds and striker Brian Saramago were named to the Best XI for the Eastern Conference.
Goalkeeper: Trey Miller (New England Revolution)
Midfielders: Chris Durkin (Richmond United), Raul Aguilera (Orlando City SC), Jose Carranza (D.C. United)
Forwards: Patrick Okonkwo (Georgia United), Colby Agu (Capital Area RailHawks Academy-CASL), Brian Saramago (New York Red Bulls)
Deeds, a class of 2016 graduate, is committed to attend Georgetown. Saramago has scored 28 goals in 29 Academy matches including five in the Academy playoffs.
The U-16s are ranked first nationally after storming through the regular season with a 23-1-2 record and won the Premier Group at the Generation adidas Cup, defeating Independiente Medellín in the final. They won their group at the Academy playoffs, going 3-0, and will be playing Chivas USA in the quarterfinals on July 8th at the Red Bull Training Facility. If they win, they advance to the semifinals on July 16th at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California.
For the U-18s, defenders Kyle Duncan and Andrew Lombard and striker Juan Sebastian Sanchez were named to the Best XI for the Eastern Conference.
Goalkeeper: Mason Stadjuhar (Orlando City SC)
Defenders: Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls), Nicholas Hinds (Kendall SC), Andrew Lombard (New York Red Bulls), DJ Mason (Capital Area RailHawks Academy-CASL)
Midfielders: Zach Herivaux (New England Revolution), James Murphy (Players Development Academy), Jorge Calix (D.C. United)
Forwards: Juan Sanchez (New York Red Bulls), McKinley Curran (PA Classics), Lucas Mendes (D.C. United)
Duncan, a Brooklyn resident who has played with the U.S. U-18 National team, is set to attend Monmouth in the fall and was rumored to be training with Paris Saint-Germain in the winter. Lombard, who has also appeared with the U.S. U-18s, is committed to attend Northeastern. Sanchez, who has appeared for New York Red Bulls II and the U.S. U-18 National team, is committed to Tulsa and scored 18 goals during the 2014-2015 Academy season.
The Red Bull U-18s finished their season with a 19-4-3 record and won the Atlantic Division in the Development Academy league. They went 1-1-1 during the Academy Playoffs and did not advance to the knockout rounds.