Riley Strassner (Avon, Conn.) and Kyle Zajec (Westport, Conn.) followed starkly different paths in their youth soccer career.
For Strassner, raised in the middle of Connecticut, Major League Soccer academies were at least a two-and-a-half hour drive away. Naturally, his next option was playing club for FSA, save for a brief stint with Oakwood in the Development Academy.
As for Zajec, he began playing at a high level with Beachside. Left wanting something more and closer to New York City, he joined the Red Bulls’ youth system as U-13 player, having previously appeared in their regional development camps.