Red Bulls’ Daniel Edelman hoping strong start to 2024 can win him spot on USA Olympic Team

Daniel Edelman Red Bulls
Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls


Daniel Edelman does not need extra motivation, but he is happy to take it when presented to him. 

The 20-year-old midfielder of the New York Red Bulls was often an afterthought growing up due to his smaller stature, though a burgeoning technical ability has made him an integral cog in the MLS side’s machine. It also caught the eye of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

Edelman was once the captain of the Under-20 club that won the CONCACAF U-20 championship two summers ago but missed out on the first two Olympic camps organized by head coach Marko Mitrovic as he prepares to build a 23-man U-23 side to represent the United States at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. 

Following a strong start to the MLS season with New York, Edelman got the call into Mitrovic’s third Olympic camp last month, appearing in the final 27 minutes of the USA’s 3-0 victory in a friendly against Guinea on March 22.

“It was a great experience for me just to get involved with this group,” Edelman told amNewYork. “It was definitely a completely different experience than with the U20s… I was super grateful to have this opportunity. The U-23 Olympic camp is super important in building toward the Olympics in the summer.”

Daniel Edelman Red Bulls
Daniel Edelman (Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls)

Having missed those two previous camps in October and January, Edelman admitted that there was a considerable bit of time spent “trying to catch up to speed.” Consider that extra motivation to heap within that never-ending chip on his shoulder.

“There was a little bit of relief: ‘OK, I started off the season pretty well.’ The coaches and the US staff saw that I definitely made strides from the end of last year but I think there’s always that chip on the shoulder adding fuel to the fire,” Edelman said. “I just want to be a part of this team and I want to make the roster. Not making the first two camps and being there from the original start of this cycle, that made me more hungry and added more chips on my shoulder, which is making me more hungry because this is a huge opportunity.”

This summer will be the first time since 2008 that the United States men’s team has made the Olympics. However, there has not been representation from the Red Bulls franchise since 2000, when the team was still the MetroStars.

Defender John Tolkin is expected to break that drought but there is a chance that the Red Bulls’ influence could be doubled if Edelman is able to continue performing at a high level that has become customary over the past year.

“It would be a really cool story and it’d be really full circle for me to be a part of this team,” Edelman said. “It’s something that I’m going to keep working toward. It’s not going to be easy, but I just have to keep focusing on playing well with Red Bulls and keep making strides. 

“I don’t think I really look too far ahead. It’s more so that I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to make this team… It was a big chance for me to get called in. I wanted to make a good first impression”

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