Recruit Report: Dugan Zier Mainstay for Northeast Division Champion NY Red Bulls Academy
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Red Bulls U-18 defender and incoming Gaucho Dugan Zier just wrapped up his final season with the New York-based club – which featured a heartwrenching ending – but a solid overall campaign for both the New York native and his team show the promise that the young right back shows as he begins his collegiate career.
The Red Bulls ended the 2013-14 regular season as the Northeast Division champions, finishing seven points ahead of Montreal Impact FC by virtue of a 19-3-4 record, earning the squad a top seed in last week's USSF Academy Playoffs group stage.
After defeating the DC United and Nomads SC academies in their first two group stages, New York faced another unbeaten squad in Shattuck-Saint Mary's, a prestigious boarding school in Minnesota known for producing top level soccer and hockey athletes.
New York and Shattuck-Saint Mary's battled to a 1-1 tie in the group-deciding clash on Jun. 26, ending the round-robin stage with identical 2-0-1 records and +3 goal differentials. However, Shattuck-Saint Mary's ended up winning the group after holding the slighest edge in goals for (7-6), sending the Red Bulls home despite going undefeated in the tournament.
Zier, part of a talented defensive corps that allowed a division-low 24 goals over the course of the season, appeared in 15 games for the Red Bulls, mostly as a right back. His strong 2013-14 campaign concluded a successful youth career with New York, including a 2012 national championship with the U16 side.
The defender's versatility and strong instincts led to interest from a number of pro teams, including a trial with Italiian giant Inter Milan (AKA Internazionale).
Zier's aforementioned versatility and years of experience with one of the top academies in the country should do him favors as he tries to establish himself with a Gaucho team that graduated two players this past season who spent time at outside back in Mathew Glodack and Daniel Welsh and may be starting a completely different back four than last season's opening day lineup of Glodack-Schmetz-Welsh-Brockway.
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