June 4, 2013
A NEW HOME, SWEET HOME
Red Bulls ready to move into Hanover facility on June 18
By Michael Lewis
|Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh calls the team new training facility in Hanover, N.J. "fantastic."
Photo by Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. -- By the time the Red Bulls start preparing for their next Major League Soccer encounter, they won't be practicing at Montclair State University, but rather in their long awaited and anticipated new home at their training facility.
Long forced to train either at Giants Stadium, local colleges and other soccer fields, the Red Bulls will move into their new facility in Hanover, N.J. on June 18.
"That's fantastic," Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said of the new training site on Saturday. "I've been over there recently. It's looking really good. It's our home. We've got our own home where we could really prepare. And we've got everything there from meeting rooms to ice baths to a gymnastium, eveyrthing. We've got three pitches there. two grass ones, [one] articial. The grass pitch is under sod heating. we've already thought of that as well. The place will be great."
The Red Bulls have trained at Montclair State since 2006.
The Red Bulls, who are on a break through June 8, will prepare for their Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup encounter with the New England Revolution on June 12 in Cambridge, Mass. Their next MLS match is at the Philadelphia Union on June 23.
The first team won't be the only Red Bulls side that will call the facility home. The club's academy teams will begin training there soon as well.
"By the middle of July we'll have at least half the academy in the place," Roxburgh said prior to the Red Bulls' 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
"It will be really, really advantageous for us."
The Red Bulls have rented two houses for seven of its younger players on the first and reserves teams.
"I'm very concerned about taking care of the welfare and the education of our younger players," Roxburgh said. "We're also working with their education as well."
Roxburgh stressed that the facility is not a residential facility.
"It's not like Barcelona's residence," he said of the Spanish powerhouse's famed youth academy.
"It would be nice someday to have that. Right now, this is a very positive step," he said, adding that the team is trying "to do as much as we possibly can to make everything we do professional and to improve the professional level. And that goes for everything -- scouting is definitley like that. We watch everything. Even the cup match we played during the week."
Roxburgh was referring to the Red Bull's 2-0 Open Cup win over Reading United last Wednesday.
"A professional scout watched that team twice before we played them," he said. "There are people who are going to say, 'Why did you do that?' Because that's being professional. The same we take care of the welfare and education of the kids. The same with the training ground."
The sporting director added that the team had added some new wrinkles in practice and game preparation in 3-D animation.
"The coaches can sit and discuss or you can show it to the players before they go onto the pitch," Roxburgh said. "That's another example of making it more and more professional. Everything we can do to help with that, from diets to treatment, everything with the backroom staff."