While many dismissed the result as a team far out of competitive shape losing to a fit and eager side in a meaningless match, the performances of players such as Adams indicated that the United States was on the path to finding a proper system to develop its young talent. Seven years later the New York Red Bulls 2 continue to function as an excellent place for the club’s young talents to earn their first professional playing experience before transitioning to Major League Soccer or other higher levels. Adams is now playing under Jesse Marsch at Leeds United in England after previously moving on to Red Bull Leipzig. Former Philadelphia Union star Brenden Aaronson is playing at Leeds with Adams after getting his first professional experience with Union reserve side Bethlehem Steel. In 2022 every Major League Soccer team now has a reserve team in the model of New York Red Bulls 2 with the launch of the MLS Next Pro league, introduced by Major League Soccer to act as that essential level for young professionals to play their first minutes at a level that will challenge them physically and mentally for not only young American players but also international talents brought in.
Another young player currently at New York Red Bulls who is making that transition from the reserve to the first team is 20-year-old midfielder Steven Sserwadda. The Uganda national team player earned a move to the United States in September 2021 thanks to his performances at the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations and is on a similar path to Adams, earning his first appearances for the senior team in 2022 including a friendly match against FC Barcelona on July 30. Sserwadda’s Uganda teammates from the AFCON U-20 side, Musa Ramathan and Aziz Kayondo, joined the reserve teams of FC Cincinnati and Real Salt Lake respectively and are making regular appearances in the inaugural season of MLS Next Pro.