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New York Red Bulls’ youngsters John Tolkin, Daniel Edelman eye futures with the U.S. and beyond

The two roommates have developed real chemistry for club and country, which could pay off for the U.S. at this summer’s Olympics.

9 min read
Design: Peyton Gallaher

“It’s an everyday thing here. I try to find him and I just can never find him. I don’t know where he goes,” Daniel Edelman complains. John Tolkin laughs, not denying this alleged elusiveness, and lets him continue. 

“I look, and there’s literally six rooms here, and then he’s just never in any of the rooms. I don’t know where he goes around the facility, but it’s so annoying because I actually have urgent questions for him sometimes, or something to talk to him [about] and I’m going on a hike and a journey to find him.” 

“Honestly, even to find each other to come find you, we couldn’t,” Tolkin said with a chuckle. 

Edelman now can’t help but laugh. “Yeah, that’s a fine example. I was like, ‘Where did he go?’”  

Practice has just ended, and we’re sitting in the corner of the cafeteria at the New York Red Bulls’ training complex in northern New Jersey. Tolkin’s hometown, Chatham, is an easy fifteen minute drive south, although he recently moved out of his family’s house to nearby Morristown, another beautiful yet more lively New York metro area suburb. 

“He’s got that money, man,” Edelman jokes. The Warren, New Jersey native still lives at home, about twenty miles southwest. 

Edelman recently turned 21, and Tolkin will be 22 in July. They first met five years ago, but already knew of each other. Before Edelman left New Jersey youth soccer powerhouse PDA to join the Red Bulls academy, he’d heard about their latest gem. Today, they both find themselves to be pillars in the starting lineup for a trophy contender in MLS and could also end up representing the United States together at the Paris Olympics this summer. 

The pair spoke to Backheeled about life, club, and country. 

Tolkin during his time with New York Red Bulls II

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