source: Audi of America
- All-access five-part series, presented by Audi, will debut on the Bleacher Report app and across B/R Football Channels on April 27
- Series chronicles lives of New York Red Bulls’ Academy stars vying to become MLS’ next homegrown pro
Audi, along with Bleacher Report and Major League Soccer (MLS), today announced the return of the five-part, all-access documentary series, “THE ACADEMY”, with an all-new youth development academy of future stars in the spotlight – the New York Red Bulls MLS Academy. The series provides in-depth, behind-the-scenes coverage of the next generation of soccer stars on and off the field as they compete to join the ranks of MLS professional athletes. The second season of “THE ACADEMY”, made possible by Audi, will debut exclusively on the Bleacher Report app and across B/R Football channels on Tuesday, April 27 at 11 a.m. ET.
“THE ACADEMY” provides an all-access look at the commitments and raw talent of young athletes as they follow their dreams to become professional soccer players. Highlighting the youth talent development system used by every MLS youth Academy in North America, the series gives fans a first-hand account of top players who join an MLS club as early as 12 years old, and with hard work and determination, rise through the ranks to play professionally in MLS and abroad. These unique stories demonstrate how Audi and MLS youth Academies are working to ensure this next generation of athletes is ready to compete at an elite level.
Following last season’s focus on Sporting KC Youth Academy in Kansas City, the second season will take a deeper look at one of the most followed and publicized clubs in North America, spotlighting the often intense and competitive stakes required to development talent.
Prominent New York Red Bulls personalities featured this coming season include New York Red Bulls Head Coach Gerhard Struber, Academy Director Sean McCafferty, Academy Coach Samuel Castellanos, academy stars like Tyler Adams and Sean Davis, along with Academy players Austin Brummett, Sam Joseph, Serge Ngoma, and Nicholas Rabiu.
In addition to “THE ACADEMY”, Audi also funds the Audi Goals Drive Progress program to help make MLS Academies more accessible and inclusive to youth players of all backgrounds from anywhere in North America. This program’s goal is to help remove barriers that would otherwise impede reach and success, such as limited access to transportation and housing in MLS markets. These funds also support players’ educations to ensure their success off the field.
As of April 2021, Audi has committed more than $2 million dollars to MLS Academies across North America to create a better future through soccer. The impact of this funding has been immediate – since March 2020, sixteen MLS Academy players who benefitted from the program have been signed to First team, Homegrown pro contracts. In addition, more than 130 players have benefitted from increased housing options near MLS Academies, and more than 1,600 players are utilizing expanded education resources including tutoring and improved education infrastructure known as Audi Performance Centers.
For more information on “THE ACADEMY”, visit BleacherReport and MLSsoccer.com. Join the conversation and excitement surrounding each episode by following @MLS, @NewYorkRedBulls, @Audi and @BleacherReport on social media and using the hashtag #GoalsDriveProgress.