Georgetown Soccer Benefiting from Relationship with NY Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls

Georgetown Soccer Benefiting from Relationship with NY Red Bulls

When Georgetown visited South Orange, New Jersey for their Big East matchup against Seton Hall, it gave the New York Red Bulls Player Development Coordinator John Wolyneic an opportunity to watch seven academy graduates first hand. “It was good to see some Red Bull guys go at it. I know they’re pretty familiar with one another so it added a little twist to the game,” said Wolyneic.

Seton Hall and their Red Bulls upperclassmen, seniors Victor Manosalvas, Bolu Akinyode, and Konrad Plewa got the best of Georgetown’s four underclassmen when Seton Hall scored the 1-0 upset against then #3 Hoyas. With Seton Hall’s campus only 30 minutes from Red Bull Arena, it is not surprising to find several academy players on the Pirates’ roster. The recent influx from the New Jersey based academy to Georgetown is a bit more surprising.

“We got something of a Red Bull familiarity with the program. We put a number of players in there, four now and I believe two or three more in next year,” said Wolyneic. “They seem to keep coming back so I guess they like our players.”

How could they not. Georgetown has one of the best forward pairing in the country graduating only one year apart from the academy. Junior forward and Old Bridge, NJ native Brandon Allen is one of the top attackers in the nation. A member of the Hermann’s Trophy Preseason watch list, Allen has 9 goals and 20 points this season. Sophomore forward Alex Muyl from New York City is a withdrawn playmaker with 6 assist and 10 points.

Georgetown Head Coach Brian Weise credits the university’s quality of education for his ability to bring in talented student-athletes. “When we talk to players from that part of the country (Mid-Atlantic to New England) there’s always some interest due to the academic reputation of the school,” said Coach Weise. “To be blunt that’s a major foot in the door for everybody we talk to.”

The first of the Red Bull arrivals was Allen, who as a freshman during the 2012 season earned several conference and national honors on the Hoyas squad that reach the College Cup Finals. “The first Red Bulls kid we got was Brandon Allen,” explains Coach Weise. “He’s just a kid that got excited about what we were doing and played a significant role in our success over the last two and a half seasons.”

The bonds between the two organizations has only strengthen as the captain of that 2012 Hoyas team, Ian Christianson, was drafted by the Red Bulls in 2013 Super Draft. During the preseason, Christopher Lema of Ridgefield, NJ and Arun Basuljevic of Mahopac, NY, both part of the Red Bulls U-18 and U-16 Development Academy National Champions and now freshmen at Georgetown trained with the first team and reserves.

“Both are very good players, they trained with us in the summer and played with the U-23 as well,” said Christianson. “Obviously there is a really strong connection with Red Bulls and Georgetown. Red Bulls produces a lot of talent, and the way Georgetown plays attracts a lot of talent.”

Both Lema and Basuljevic have contributed as first year players starting multiple matches including Saturday’s game at Seton Hall. Basuljevic has 2 goals on the year as a wide midfielder. Lema plays a two-way central midfield role and is good in possession.

Coach Weise acknowledges that talent begets talent. “Brandon may have helped us with Alex which may have helped us with Arun and Chris. And to be honest we may have a couple that are verbal committed that are just as good players.” Those verbal commitments are midfielder Kyle Zajec and forward Ethan Lochner.

Georgetown seems to be finding this unofficial partnership beneficial. Before last week, which saw the Hoyas suffer back-to-back losses in Big East play, the Hoyas were establishing themselves as one of the top teams in the nation.

In his second season Christianson have yet to break through the Red Bulls’ veteran laden squad. If Allen gets a Homegrown contract from the Red Bulls next season, he may be able to contribute immediately. Christianson on Allen’s goal scoring ability, “(he) can make a goal out of nothing. Always seems to be at the right place at the right time, which isn’t luck when you do it over and over again.”

While not a Red Bulls academy player, Joshua Yaro is on New York’s radar. It is a shock to no one as the sophomore centerback has great speed and athleticism for has position. It is not uncommon to see him make an overlapping run along the outside or jet forward late in matches.

Georgetown attempts to right the ship against a one-loss Creighton team that is atop the Big East standing and most national polls. “It’s maybe the hardest fixture on the schedule playing on the road against Creighton.”

But Coach Weise is eager to face the Blue Jays in one the marquee matches on the Big East calendar. “Creighton’s going to play and they’re going to come after you and so it’s going be proper game where you’re going to have to line up and do some things.”