Kendall McIntosh
ESNY Graphic

The New York Red Bulls selected keeper Kendall McIntosh in the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Nov. 26 as the 13th pick. Here’s a look at his career before joining RBNY.

Onz Chery

Playing in a World Cup game isn’t an easy task mentally. Imagine doing so as a 17-year-old at your rivals’ home.

“Mexico! Mexico!” thundered out of Nuevo Estadio Corona during the United States’ opening match of the U-17 World Cup in 2011. They weren’t even playing Mexico; they were playing the Czech Republic.

Alejandro Guido still managed to score the opener for the Yanks as soon as in the fifth minute. But later in the first half, Czech almost netted an equalizer. Patrick Svoboda made an elegant run down the right flank before delivering a low-cross to Lukas Julis.

Julis one-timed a shot toward the far post, which brought an exciting roar out of the crowd. U.S. keeper Kendall McIntosh was at the near post. Surely Julis’ shot was going to find its way in the net.

McIntosh side-stepped to his right and was about to dive but misjudged the trajectory of the ball, hence he took one more step then threw himself down to deflect the ball away from the net with his fingers.

The California native did the nearly-impossible, hopping from the near post to the far post to save a shot. It was one of the best saves of the 2011 U-17 World Cup.

Eight years later, that young committed American keeper was selected by the New York Red Bulls in the MLS Re-Entry Draft as the 13th pick–just four days after the club parted ways with their legendary keeper, Luis Robles.

Robles wasn’t only RBNY’s captain but he holds the record for the most games played in a Red Bull jersey. Needless to say, the Arizona native meant a lot to the club. McIntosh joined New York during a sorrowful period.

RBNY said good-bye to their all-time leading scorer as well, Bradley Wright-Phillips, four days before they signed the former U.S. U-17 keeper. Two of the most honorable players in the history of The Metros left in one day and who did New York sign in the MLS Re-Entry Draft after their departure? Right, McIntosh. Who is he?

He’s a California native who from his youth days to his MLS days has been playing for teams on the West side–coming to New York will be a huge change. McIntosh is not the tallest keeper nor the shortest, standing at 6’ 0”. He’s an agile gloveman with remarkable stretching capability.

The American spent his youth career with San Jose Earthquakes while playing for the U.S. under-17 team. McIntosh reached the quarterfinals of the U-17 WC in 2011 with U.S.A., losing to Germany, 4-0. He notched two clean sheets in the tournament and conceded five goals in four games.

A year after the World Cup, McIntosh took his talent to the collegiate level with Santa Clara Broncos. He only appeared in one game during his freshman year as the team’s number one keeper was the 2012 West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, Larry Jackson.

In the summer of 2013, McIntosh made the U.S. U-20 World Cup squad. However, keeper Cody Cropper was favored over him. The Americans didn’t exit the group stages of the WC.

During the new Red Bulls keeper’s sophomore year in college, Jackson graduated so he became Santa Clara’s starting shot-stopper. He racked six clean sheets and earned West Coast Conference Honorable Mention. During his junior year, the San Jose product had a .762 save percentage and notched four clean sheets.

McIntosh’s senior year was his strongest collegiate season. He won the WCC Goalkeeper of the Year and helped Santa concede just 1.13 goal a game. Despite this stellar season, he wasn’t drafted in 2016.

But Portland Timbers II did sign him on Mar. 18 2016. The first team signed him three months later but he never played for them. McIntosh played in 18 of Portland II’s 30 games in 2016, allowing 20 goals. The team failed to make the playoffs on goal differential.

In 2017, the 25-year-old started to captain Portland’s second team. The team suffered a rough season that year, ending the campaign in the last place of the Western Conference.

In 2018, McIntosh bounced between the MLS and the USL. The former U.S youth international was only a backup keeper in the MLS but in the USL he collected five clean sheets in 17 outings. He won Save of the Week once in the USL during that season.

The Timbers’ second unit reached the playoffs and lost to Phoenix Rising F.C. 3-0 with McIntosh in goal.

The former Santa Clara keeper started the 2019 season with a thigh injury that kept him out for two months. After his injury, McIntosh only played five games in the USL and spent most of the season as the first team’s backup keeper.

McIntosh didn’t have the most glamorous career before joining the Red Bulls but has shown some flashes of brilliance, has the experience of captaining a USL team, played in the U-17 World Cup and he’s still at the tender age of 25.

He’s likely to start his days in New York with the second team or as the senior team’s backup keeper behind Ryan Meara. Either way, McIntosh is thrilled to be with the Red Bulls.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.