They already had Ben Mines and Cristian Casseres Jr. on their roster but on Tuesday, New York Red Bulls added one more teenager who fits perfectly into their system, Mathias Jorgensen.
They usually wait until a bull is 20 years old in human age (four years old in bull age) to take them bullfighting, but not in New York. The New York Red Bulls have three teenagers on their roster: Mathias Jorgensen, Cristian Casseres Jr. and Ben Mines.
It’s too early to tell if those three youngsters’ early days with the Red Bulls will be as glamorous as Tyler Adams’ or Jozy Altidore’s teen days in New York. Altogether, the three players only played in four matches with NYRB’s first team—Jorgensen has been a Red Bull player for two days.
They had to do something quite remarkable for one of the best MLS clubs to sign them at such a young age: they fit the club’s style of play. Let’s take a look at how exactly the three teenagers gel into New York’s system. We’ll start with the youngest one:
Mathias Jorgensen [18-year-old/FWD]
The Red Bulls signed Mathias Jorgensen on Tuesday from Danish side Odense Boldklub for $2.5 million. Jorgensen broke into Odense’s first team after scoring seven goals in four league appearances for their U-19 squad at 17 years of age.
The forward couldn’t roll his extraordinary goalscoring record into the first team. Jorgensen only netted three goals in 18 games with OB’s senior team. Outside his club career, the teenager only found the net once with Denmark U-18 and U-19 side in 10 appearances.
However head coach Chris Armas told Pro Soccer USA reporter Dylan Butler that the Danish forward was “on their radar for some time.” Why were The Metros so interested in him?
Jorgensen’s style of play clicks with the Red Bulls’ system. The Danish striker is an explosive payer, on and off the ball, an attribute that goes with NYRB’s pressing game-plan like white on rice.
“He fits the profile of a Red Bull player and person that we look for,” Armas told Pro Soccer USA.
“As a striker, Mathias gives us another dynamic option up the field with his speed, clever movements, and willingness to run behind defenses. In addition to his talent though, we love his attitude, humbleness, and his desire to work for the team.”
Ben Mines [18-year-old/RM, FWD]
Ben Mines was thrilled Jorgensen joined the club on Tuesday because he’s no longer the youngest player on the team.
“Finally someone younger than me. Welcome bro,” Mines tweeted on Tuesday. The Connecticut native is only 24 days older than Jorgensen.
Mines tallied 25 goals in 54 outings within NYRB’s Development Academy before joining the club’s second team. Over to his Red Bulls II’s career, the wide midfielder found the net three times and racked three assists in 29 appearances in the USL.
Similar to Jorgensen, Mines’ stats before going pro wasn’t something astonishing. But there was something special about the youngster. He was very attacking minded, wasn’t afraid to bolt down the line at his opponents—like a true Red Bull player. That caught the eyes of former RBNY’s coach Jesse Marsch.
The club signed Mines on Jan. 8, 2018. The 18-year-old lived up to his high expectations as early as the club’s 2018 pre-season training camp.
“He was the best player. He scored the most goals and he was the most dangerous, every day,” Marsch said via SBI.
Mines’ performances in the camp earned him a surprising start in last season’s opener versus Portland Timbers. The teenager yet again stood tall amongst the older, experienced professional players. He scored in his debut as a 17-year-old.
Despite finding the net, New York’s MLS season opener against Portland was the only game Mines played in with the first team last year.
The midfielder was loaned to Red Bulls II last campaign but going into this upcoming season his name is back on the first team’s roster.
Will the teenager’s dream start from his professional debut resume this year?
An unbelievable atmosphere last night and amazing to make my debut. Buzzing to have scored as well but couldn’t have done it without my incredible teammates who have helped bring me into this team. Thank you so much to everyone for making this a night to remember #RBNY pic.twitter.com/UwJX2FbboH
— Ben Mines (@bmines10) March 11, 2018
Cristian Casseres Jr. [19-year-old/CM]
The 2018 Supporters’ Shield champions acquired Cristian Casseres Jr. last year mainly because he matches the team’s playing style—nothing new. Casseres is a direct central midfielder and a runner who will cover up a large amount of space in the midfield.
Prior to joining the Red Bulls, the 19-year-old played for Venezuelan club Deportivo La Guaira. He made his debut for Guaira at 16 and played in 15 matches with them, recording one goal.
Casseres couldn’t break into New York’s starting lineup last season. The midfielder only played in three matches with the first team. He spent most of the season with NYRB II, playing 26 matches with them in which he scored three goals.
The Venezuela U-20 starlet will have to go past two solid midfielders in order to become a starter: Sean Davis, who’s been a regular starter for two years and notched eight league-assists last season, Marc Rzatkowski, a former Bundesliga player and Kaku, who led the team in goal-passes last year.
Tough task for young Casseres, but after all Adams became a starter at 18.