Red Bull Academy goalkeeper Keith Cardona (Glen Rock, NJ) has been called into the U17 Men's National Team Residency Program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for the Fall 2009 Semester, it was announced recently by U.S. Soccer U17 head coach Wilmer Cabrera.
"Keith is well deserving of this invite," commented Bob Montgomery, Director of Youth Programs. "In the past year he has worked hard to achieve many of the individual goals that were set. His dedication and maturity are key factors in his development and a major reason that he is ready for the next level."
Cardona joins fellow Red Bull Academy product John Agudelo (Barnegat, NJ) in the Residency Program, and makes the Red Bull Academy the only program with two players in residency.
"Keith has got a great opportunity ahead of him to continue his development at the highest levels on Youth soccer in the US," stated Red Bull Academy Goalkeeper Coach Andrew Sparkes. "He's a player who takes every step one at a time, whether it be a U16 game, training with the Red Bulls first team or hopefully playing in the FIFA U17 World Cup. He works hard everyday to reach his goals and with his dedication and ability I am sure he will reach them."
The US U-17 Men's National Team has been drawn into Group E of the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria with Spain, Malawi and the United Arab Emirates. The US will play the first two group games against Spain on Oct. 26 and Malawi on Oct. 29, in Kano before moving to Ijebu-Ode to close out the first round against UAE on Nov. 1.
Former Red Bull Jozy Altidore also passed through the U17 Residency Program, which was established in 1999.
Cardona is the 20th player from the New York Red Bull Academy to be invited to participate in National team camps or events. Yannick Salmon (Jamaica), Anthony Vasquez (Puerto Rico), and Matt Uy (USA) played for their respective U20 sides, Johnny Exantus (Haiti), Walter Hines (Costa Rica), and Matt Kassel (USA) represented their countries at the U18 level, Oscar Gonzalez (USA) and Victor Manosalva (Ecuador) played at their countries at the U16 level, Agudelo (USA) at the U15 level, Danny Bartok (USA), Adam Najem (USA), and Matt Mahoney (USA) played the U14 National side, and Santiago Castano (USA), Matt Miazga (USA), Russel Canouse (USA), John Toher (USA), Shane Kronick (USA), and Zack Reed (USA) have recently been called into U14 camp.