Hall and Rosborough set to be the next RBNY homegrows to breakthrough
December 01, 2023
THE NEW YORK RED Bulls are preparing to move forward in a new direction with a new coach, new leadership, and several new players. But one approach the club seems intent on continuing is the approach towards playing young homegrown players.
Even before the modern era of the league, the Red Bulls/Metrostars were the home to Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore as teenagers. Then in more modern times, it was Matt Miazga and Tyler Adams who led the team to Supporters' Shields. That has continued steadily into the current era where U.S. U-20 captain Daniel Edelman and U.S. U-23 left back John Tolkin were regular starters in 2023.
But looking ahead into the next era of the Red Bulls, the team has promising talent coming through the pipeline and it stems from two of the prospects from within the academy who were both on the United States U-15 team that won the CONCACAF Championships in August. In September, the team was able to sign both to homegrown deals. Forward Tanner Rosborough was signed to the second team with a first team deal going into effect in 2025 and forward Julian Hall signed to a homegrown deal effective immediately.
While both players are still very young at 15, the club has big expectations for the duo. Specifically, Hall’s signing was an important moment for the club because he is seen as a top talent for his age group. On October 7, he was even given his first team debut in a 1-0 home loss to Chicago. In doing so, he became the youngest debutant in club history.
Troy Lesesne, who was the head coach at the time, did not hold back on the significance of the moment and noted how there was a lot of competition from European teams to sign him.
“The signing of Julian is one of the biggest moments in this club's history in terms of the attention and the clubs that were after him are on the highest level,” Lesesne said after the Chicago game. “For us to secure a young talent like that, and him to have the trust in us, is very important, and I think it sends a clear signal about what we're building now. Julian is going to be a big part of what we build in the future.”
Hall had a big year in 2023. He won the MVP for the U-15 MLS NEXT Cup, he won MVP honors with five goals leading the Red Bulls to the title. He also won the Golden Boot at the 2023 Generation Adidas Cup with four goals including two in a win over Chelsea.
Despite the list of impressive teams pursuing Hall, he insists the decision was clear to begin his professional career at home.
“It was a clear decision for me that I wanted to be at Red Bull,” Hall told American Soccer Now. “It was mostly just like in terms of where I felt comfortable, in terms of the coaching staff and just everything that helped me get to that point. There was no other option for me, really.”
It wasn’t just his experiences at the club that led him to the decision, it was also looking at the players who came before him through the academy and the youth teams.
“Tyler Adams and the people who came before me are definite role models for me, especially when I joined the club, because a lot of the coaching staff in the academy, they gave us examples which gave us that hope that we could be the next ones to make it. So those, those guys that came before were definitely big roles models for me, especially when I was younger.”
But now with his debut already behind him, Hall will now push for more opportunities next year as he turns 16. While he is still extremely young, he believes first team minutes are possible.
“I definitely want to become a regular on the team,” Hall said. “Obviously, it might take a while and it's going to take a lot of work, especially personally coming from me. I think their training does a really good job of putting us, or at least exposing us to first team environments They talk about people that have excelled at a level coming through academy and then and moving on to like a bigger career. But with all of us, I think they just like to put us in that environment and get us ready to what's next.”
For Rosborough, the situation is a little bit different. His homegrown deal will not go into effect for another year but he hopes to push to make inroads next year with the first team under the new staff.
This past year, Rosborough was one of the top players for the club’s U-15 team and he scored the winning goal of the U-15 MLS Next Cup Final in a 2-1 win over CF Montreal.
But unlike Hall, Rosborough is not from the tri-state area. He is a native of the Pittsburgh area and needed to relocate to join the Red Bulls. Prior to that he was with the Beadling Soccer Club but impressed while playing with Cincinnati at the Patterson Cup which convinced the Red Bulls to bring him within their organization.
“Ultimately, I knew it was a big step to move six hours away from home, but I knew that the Red Bulls would be the best team to develop me and would bring out the best in me,” Rosborough told ASN. “So ultimately, that is what made me decide to come here.”
“A big thing that they talked about is just how much they trust young players and how much they bring young players up and adequately develop them,” he added. “I'm trying to get to the top as quick as I can. By them saying that and seeing examples such as like Serge Ngoma, Tyler Adams, that's proof right there that they do that. I'm trying to do the same thing as those guys. That was a big part, a big part of the decision.”
Next year should see both Hall and Rosborough play next year in MLS Next Pro while potentially training with the first team and maybe occasional performances. But both players will be interesting cases as to how the next coaching and front office staff begins developing top players from within.
“Since I joined I've improved a ton on things I didn't even know I had to work on,” Rosborough explained. “The coaching helped a ton and then jumping up to the [Red Bulls II] here, just the speed of play, the cleanness of everything, it really helps develop your game technically and just the speed of playing in your mind and everything. I dropped down to the play game with the 17s the other day and the difference in level and speed is unreal… it really showed how much playing just a month or practicing and playing with the second team, how much it's helped my growth and development.”
Rosborough and Hall are close and will likely be taking several strides together for the next few years. In addition to the Red Bulls, both are part of the talented 2008 birth-year in American soccer (born three days apart in March 2008).
The two were teammates as the U.S. team won the CONCACAF U-15 title with Hall scoring in the 4-2 win over Mexico in the final and Rosborough scoring four goals in the entire tournament. Up next could be the U.S. U-17 national team or a chance to play with the U.S. U-20 team up a cycle.
It was a very special experience. Winning a trophy with USA and playing on the national team has been a huge goal of mine for forever. Playing for your country is just a desire,” Rosborough said of the experience with the U.S. U-15 team. “It's exciting, especially to start out with beating Mexico in the finals. That's kind of how the rivalry has always been - us vs. Mexico in the finals. We started with the upper hand on that and hoping to keep that up. I don't want to lose to them now once. So hopefully we keep that going.”
Hall agreed and, while he is also eligible to represent Poland internationally through his month, it was very important for him to be playing with the United States.
“It was a really big honor for me to be able to wear the U.S. badge,” Hall said. “It definitely played a role in terms of not even my development, but I think just in terms of getting to where I am now. It was definitely a big moment for me and all the guys there. We really fought for that. It was great to experience that with my fellow teammates.”