In the next five years, there will likely be a team that fields an all-homegrown starting lineup. It may be LA, it might be Vancouver, it will probably be Dallas, but what if it was New York? It couldn't happen tomorrow, but it isn't unreasonable to imagine it might at least be possible for the New York Red Bulls to be ready to field a starting eleven entirely made up of homegrown, academy players within the next few years.
Now, what would that starting XI look like? Assuming New York keeps its current tactical preferences, it could look a little like this.
Six of the players in this lineup are already on the New York Red Bulls. Sean Davis, Connor Lade, and Alex Muyl are the team's first choices off the bench. Tyler Adams has played first team minutes at only 17, and Brandon Allen and Derrick Etienne have played extensively for New York Red Bulls II this year.
Two players are currently on NYRB II. Konrad Plewa is II's all-time minutes leader. After playing in New York's academy in high school and then four years at Seton Hall, Plewa signed to II last year and has been exceptionally consistent ever since despite playing at right mid, defensive mid, center back, and now right back. Dan Metzger, now fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered midway through last season, was supposed to be one of the top midfielders coming out of college last year but his combine and preseason with DC United (who drafted and then released him) were hampered by injuries. If he stays healthy, Metzger is more than capable of improving to becoming an MLS-level defensive midfielder.
Two players are currently in college. Goalkeeper is a homegrown hole now that Santi Castaño has departed, but Evan Louro, an academy graduate now at Michigan, could be at MLS level in a few years. Kevin Politz has started at center back for Wake Forest during his freshman and sophomore years. For the Morganville native to get so much playing time for one of the very best teams in college at such a young age, he'll certainly be MLS ready in another two years.
Lastly, Mason Deeds is still currently in the academy. The young center back has already appeared for NYRBII on an amateur contract and has long been considered one of the best players in New York's academy setup. He's already trained at Salzburg and Leipzig, and despite appearing to be joining Georgetown in a few months, the team is incredibly interested in his progress.
Who could be there?
Adam Najem- Akron midfielder widely considered the best midfielder in college and one of the best college players period. His brother David recently signed for NYRBII, mending bridges that once appeared to have been burned.
Arun Basuljevic- Rising-sophomore at Georgetown now. Two-way midfielder who won the national freshman of the year and was one of the last cuts from Tab Ramos' U20 World Cup team that featured Gedion Zelalem, Kellyn Acosta, and Emerson Hyndman in the midfield.
Noah Powder- 17 year-old left back currently playing for NYRBII and the U18's. Impressing many with his USL play and doesn't yet have a college commitment.
Who's not there?
No former homegrown players were used in the making of this roster. No one who has been cut - e.g. Scott Thomsen, Mael Corboz, Chris Thorsheim, Santi Castaño - transferred, or traded has been included. However, if Matt Miazga or Juan Agudelo wanted to return to the team, they could certainly crack this roster. Additionally, there are academy alums now in Europe at clubs like PSG and Manchester United. The likes Russel Canouse, Matt Olosunde, Timothy Weah, or Kyle Duncan would be a welcome addition to New York in the coming years.