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Running with the Herd: Bonomo's suspension, Najem advances, and Tyler Adams featured

A jam-packed roundup this week as we reset the schedule to Tuesday afternoons.

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Derrick Etienne, Tyler Adams feature in MLS Homegrown game

Following in the footsteps of Connor Lade and Sean Davis, Derrick Etienne and Tyler Adams both featured for the MLS Homegrown team as they fell 2-0 to the Mexican U20 National Team. Neither Adams or Etienne started, instead, both came on in cameo appearances in the second half as the pair entered together in the 62nd minute.

Adams, 17, made his New York Red Bulls debut earlier in the year with a 45-minute appearance against San Jose Earthquakes back in April. Etienne, 19, has yet to make his first-team debut but remains a key player for NYRBII.

Two NYRBII players feature as USL's 20 under 20 rolls on

The USL league website appears to be taking a page out of MLSoccer.com's playbook with a series based on the best 20 players in the USL under 20 year's of age. The series calls in the help of TopDrawerSoccer to scout out the top 20 players under 20 currently in the league, providing an in-depth profile on some.

As it stands, Junior Flemmings has come in at number six on the list while Tyler Adams has just been named as the number five player under 20. Read the profile's here (Flemmings) as well as here and here (Adams).

Anatole Abang and Derrick Etienne have yet to make an appearance on the list.

Arun Basuljevic earns PDL honors

A stellar PDL season for the Georgetown midfielder and New York Red Bull academy graduate has earned NYRB U23 star, Arun Basuljevic, a nomination to the PDL All-Eastern Conference team. Over the course of the PDL season, which saw the normally dominant NYRB U23s play to a lackluster 6-4-4, Basuljevic shined. After a lot turnover from last year's PDL finalist team, Basuljevic played every game for the U23s, leading the team in minutes (1,129), goals (8), and assists (5).

Adam Najem advances to PDL finals

Though the New York Red Bulls U23s will not be in the PDL Championship game this year, the club will have one representative in the form of academy grad, Adam Najem. Instead of playing for the U23s this summer, Najem chose to remain closer to his school, Akron, and joined the Michigan Bucks for the summer.

Najem has played 11 of the team's 14 regular games this summer and leads the team in assists with 9. He has also played in all three playoff games where he has contributed a goal and an assist.

Stefano Bonomo suspended, but should there be more punishment?

Robert Celentano (former OaM contributor, current NPSL commentator):

Some will attest that Bonomo's cold-clock on one of Charleston's own is rightly served through the four-game ban handed to him by the USL. I must disagree. First and foremost, I am not saying that the Californian should be banned from the league as Romeo Parkes was not too long ago. I am however behind the idea that Stefano's ban should be lengthier than the four games served to him. As a professional athlete, one must hold themselves to a higher standard on, and especially off-the-pitch. Many will say this is simply a heat-of-the-moment type action, which is true -€” but it is how one conducts themselves in these moments that help define them as a professional athlete. Though I originally may have said this type of conduct is worthy of him being dropped from the squad, I also must give Bonomo the benefit of the doubt; upon speaking with others before heading to the keyboard. This punch shares the same mentality, though to a lesser extent, as Parkes' kick to Ouimette in May of this year - both to which are much different than throwing an elbow during play. If this happened to Bonomo rather than perpetrated by, we would be up in flames. With that being said, as a New York Red Bull supporter, I believe four games is not enough.

I would offer the following counterpoint to Bobby's argument for a lengthier ban:

A four-game ban is appropriate for Stefano Bonomo's actions. His punch at a Charleston Battery defender is inexcusable and against every fiber of what sports and the game of soccer stand for. He struck out violently against a defenseless opponent in an act of frustration without apparent provocation during the run of play. He deserves the subsequent red card and the additional suspension it carried. However, to compare this action to the likes of Romeo Parkes and other incidents which have carried much heftier penalties is uncalled for and inaccurate. Parkes' kick to the back of Karl Ouimette was after the whistle had blown, after he and Ouimette had been ejected from the game, after Ouimette had turned his back to him, and was perpetrated on a completely unaware and defenseless opponent. Bonomo's clothes line was during the run of play, was against an opponent facing him though in exceptionally close proximity, and Bonomo did negligible lasting damage. Are his actions reprehensible and deplorable? Yes. Are they verging on criminal battery? No.

The Red Bulls organization should not be proud of Bonomo's actions, but they are minimal enough and done within the confines of the game so as to be capable of being used as a teachable moment. Stefano Bonomo should serve his ban, and be responsible for whatever punishments the team chooses to impose on him, but he should not lose his professional contract or face a ban longer than four games.

Roster released for U20's friendly against NYRBII

Earlier last month it was announced that New York Red Bulls II would play the US U20 Youth National Team in a friendly. Recently, the YNT roster for the game was released. The roster is made up of mostly college players, with professional U20 players appearing to stay with their clubs for these games. The games are set to provide Tab Ramos with one last look at college players in the U20 pool before their season starts up in August.

On the roster are two New York Red Bulls Academy graduates. Defenders Andrew Lombard, who recently transferred from Northeastern to Ohio State, and Marcello Borges of Michigan have both featured extensively with the youth national teams in recent years. Both players were on the NYRB U23 team this summer, although Lombard did not clock a minute for the team.

Etienne, Adams, Long set for CCL action?

A recent report by Kristian Dyer seems to hint that New York Red Bulls II regulars Tyler Adams, Derrick Etienne, and Aaron Long could be set for the CONCACAF Champions League action with the first team. Dyer reported that Etienne and Adams were under minutes caps for the team's most recent games, while Long did not travel with the USL team to Richmond. This seems to insinuate that some first team action could be in the players future.

ICYMI

Derrick Etienne starts for Haiti against Argentina, provides an assist

Stefano Bonomo suspended for four games