With the New York Red Bulls season coming down to a decision day clash against Nashville SC, it was announced earlier today that one player will be departing the team immediately following the Decision Day match. Caden Clark, along with RBNY II midfielder Daniel Edelman, have been called up to the Under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team for the inaugural Revelations Cup in Mexico.
The tournament, or “sports festival” as it’s self-described, begins this Sunday, November 7, the same day as the regular season final, and will conclude on November 17. However, the first match day is Wednesday, November 10th, meaning Clark will be able to play out the regular season finale and playoff spot decider with his team.
The first year competition, organized by the Mexican Football Federation, will feature the U-20 teams from the host nation and the US team alongside squads from Brazil and Colombia. All games in the round robin are taking place at Estadio Miguel Alemán Valdés in Celaya, Guanajuato and will be broadcast by TUDN. The winner will be decided by points following three match-days.
New Under-20 head coach Mikey Varas, who was only named today in a joint announcement with the roster reveal, will lead the team into Mexico for its first international action since January 2020. Neither Clark nor Edelman have previously played for the under-20 side or any official United States national team.
Following a stellar debut season and a quick start to 2021 Clark has slowed down on Gerhard Struber’s roster. An appendectomy sidelined the Minnesota native for a month this summer and he has fallen out of the regular starting lineup and has frequently been left unpicked as a substitute. But Clark has seen a slight resurgence over the last week, providing an assist on Fábio’s critical game winning header against CF Montréal on October 30 and starting against Atlanta three days later. The 18-year old signed with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig just before his surgery this past June and has been playing in Harrison on a loan deal until the end the season. With previous appearances training with the youth national teams, Clark has been expected to make his senior team debut sooner rather than later. Earlier this summer just before the 2021 Gold Cup, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter mentioned Clark as someone he was “really looking forward to working with”.
Edelman has had a quiet 2021 on the reserve side but ended on a high note, scoring his first goal of the year in the regular season final against Loudon United and earning USL Championship Team of the Week honors. He also became one of just seven players in club history to make 30 appearances in a single season. The Warren Township, NJ native played 90 minutes in all but three of his 28 starts this season and acted as an on-field leader for the Baby Bulls. The team finished 7th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 7-7-18 and missed the playoffs for a second straight season for the first time in club history. The 18-year signed his first professional contract with the team ahead of the 2021 season after appearing in five games last year and scoring once. He has previously appeared for the under-16 national team.
As stated above, the U-20 USMNT will kick off it’s cup ambitions on November 10th, taking on Brazil at 5pm CT. It will follow that up on Saturday against Colombia before closing out against Mexico on Tuesday, November 16th. Should RBNY make the MLS playoffs, the tournament is scheduled to begin on Saturday, November 20th though it isn’t known which team will play when. Clark, however, should be available if needed.
Of note, Celaya FC, the second division team that calls the stadium home, is nicknamed Los Toros (The Bulls). So already there might be a good omen for the Baby Bulls as they finally hit the international scene.