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Red Bulls Round-Up: October 12, 2020

Barnsley fans lament loss of Gerhard Struber, Cristian Cásseres gets his first Venezuela cap, and Amando Moreno switches international allegiance in this week’s links

US Open Cup - Philadelphia Union v New York Red Bull Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls

Welcome to the Red Bulls Round-Up presented by Once a Metro.

This site’s management doesn’t want me to write these weekly news posts. They tell me that the readers don’t deserve to be briefed on obscure Red Bulls knowledge, collected from one corner of the globe to the next and delivered fresh to your internet doorstep every Monday morning. I fight against this edict, these trumped up charges, barricading the doors and not coming out until the post is completed and uploaded. The editors and managers can do whatever they want to stop me, but they’re not going to win. I am fighting for you, the readers, to bring the information I believe in the depth of my soul you need to know.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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Barnsley fans reacted to the departure of manager Gerhard Struber with resigned frustration. Carlo van de Watering, presenter of Reds Report shared, “[The move] is a symptom of something deeper within the club, there’s unrest in the boardroom.” The host of Tykes TV is “disappointed” but “can’t fault [Struber]” and “isn’t as gutted” as he was for past manager departures. “We know our board doesn’t back our managers… they knew he would leave one way or another with that buyout clause,” claims the voice of Barnsley on Tour.

The commentators of Red All Over were slightly less conciliatory toward the departing manager. “Against Middlesbrough, [Struber] started with five players he’s brought in, that’s half the team that he’s brought in, so I don’t entirely buy that they don’t back him,” said co-host Alan Smith. The New York Red Bulls manager’s departing comments questioning Barnsley’s ambition were described as “distasteful,” particularly considering the club’s ownership is tasked with keeping the club financially afloat and solvent during these turbulent COVID times.

Barnsley is currently on the hunt for a replacement. Jack Kitson of The Sack Race reports that Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore is the current favorite. The 46-year-old previously managed West Bromwich Albion. Former New York Red Bull Markus Schopp, currently leading TSV Hartberg, is also considered a potential option.

If Moore performs well and saves Barnsley from relegation, maybe he too can be the next Red Bulls manager. That’s not funny. I’m sorry.

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There has been a breakthrough. Cristian Cásseres Jr. made his senior debut for the Venezuela national team in a 3-0 loss to Colombia. He entered the World Cup qualifier in the 78th minute, replacing Darwin Machis. The Red Bulls midfielder’s father, Cristian Cásseres Sr., was also a Venezuelan international and is reportedly “very proud” of his son.

Prior to the match, Cásseres spoke with Triángulo Deportivo about his time in MLS. He claims the Red Bulls have “helped him in all aspects” by “giving him knowledge and teaching him things he did not know.” The club has surrounded him with “excellent players” and faced off against “demanding rivals.” Despite being only 20 years old, he’s already made 41 league appearances, but his future status, along with every one of his teammates, remains unknown with the hiring of a new manager.

Cristian and La Vinotinto’s next match is on Tuesday, October 13th against Paraguay which features some player named Kaku who didn’t appear in a 2-2 draw with Peru.

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New York Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett - now second-in-command to Kevin Thelwell in the RBNY technical office - was interviewed on SportsJam with Doug Doyle, hosted by WGBO 88.3 FM. He discussed the recently constructed Black Players for Change mini-pitches at Newark’s West Side High School and went in-depth on his background. The small-sided fields include “state-of-the-art LED lighting, fencing, goals, and lockable storage” in the hopes of providing young players “easier access” to learn and participate in the sport.

The interview also touched on Hamlett’s career choices, including the decision to become the New York sporting director in 2017. After working as a coach for so long, he embraced the challenge of a new, more difficult role because “life is all about growing.” Additionally, the former player assured that while the club’s tactics had “taken a step back” in previous years, new manager Gerhard Struber will be bringing back the “high-octane press… in full effect.”

It’s a compelling interview featuring a figure at the club who is rarely in the spotlight.

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Here’s a story that was submitted to the Round-Up by Jake of Chestnut Hill.

After a slow start to the season, former rumored Red Bulls transfer target Ivan Toney has begun his domination of the English Championship. The 24-year-old striker has three goals in his last two games for Brentford, including a first half brace in the Bees’ 4-2 loss to Preston North End. The former Peterborough and Newcastle man spent the past five years in League One, but it seems the jump in quality has not been an insurmountable challenge.

Toney was linked with the Red Bulls in June, with Peterborough rejecting a £4 million bid. The club was fruitlessly connected with a host of attacking players after the departure of Bradley Wright-Phillips, eventually landing on synergy signing Samuel Tetteh from Red Bull Salzburg. While the failure to sign Toney is a regular part of transfer dealings, fans should view his success with optimism and as an indication that the RBNY front office knows a thing or two about talent identification.

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Remember when Australia defeated Germany, 2-1, in a friendly? That was in the Before Time, in the Long, Long Ago, all the way back in 2011. And do you know who scored for the Socceroos in that match? Why, it was David Carney, of course. The seemingly retired midfielder-defender recently sat down to reminisce on his famous goal.

“I was just lucky enough I had the run on the defenders at the time to get past them,” he said in conversation with Luke Wilkshire, the match’s other scorer. “Then, the keeper’s come out and I sort of tried to put it under him and he tried to come out and scissor-kick me. Lucky enough it went in.”

It was a fantastic goal that led to an even more fantastic win for the Red Bulls’ one-season wonder. The now-36-year-old Carney was a member of the 2013 team that claimed the historic Supporters’ Shield, making nine appearances down the stretch. Following his time in America, the Sydney native returned to the A-League, playing with the Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC from 2014 through 2018.

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Here’s one for the people who love to say, “This makes me feel old.” The Guardian named Tomás Ángel to its annual Next Generation list, featuring a compilation of 60 talented young players. The 17-year-old attacker is none other than the son of former Designated Player Juan Pablo Ángel.

The younger Ángel has already been making a name for himself in Colombia, training with the Atlético Nacional first team under former Red Bulls manager Juan Carlos Osorio. However, his former superstar father is letting him earn it on his own merits, only providing input “when he asks” and “when he wants advice.” According to local journalist Santiago Aristizábal, “[Ángel] has demonstrated his talent playing in official tournaments and this has confirmed he’s a footballer with a bright future.”

It is a bright future for the young player with a sterling pedigree. And, yes, we heard you. You feel old. Congratulations on making this about you.

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New York Red Bulls general counsel Kari Cohen appeared on the Lunchtime Conversation uploaded to the Kick It by EP YouTube channel. According to the team’s lawyer, employees in the soccer world have to “grind a little bit harder” than in other sports. Challenges of her job include the increased dealing with regulatory matters due to the amount of governing bodies (FIFA, CONCACAF) and transfer rules that differ from league to league.

Cohen was hired by the Red Bulls as general counsel in January, joining the club’s Executive Leadership Team. Her role entails overseeing “all legal matters pertaining to Red Bull New York, Red Bull Arena, and the RBNY Academy.” She was recently named a “Game Changer” by Sports Business Journal, recognized as one of the “top women in the sports business.”

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The El Salvador national team has a new talent in its arsenal, and he’s a familiar name for Red Bulls fans. Amando Moreno is switching his allegiance from the United States and spurning Mexico to suit up for La Selección. According to Marca, the 25-year-old attacker is eligible to switch his national team due to only having appeared at the youth international level and “has made it clear he would play for El Salvador.”

Moreno joined the Red Bulls as a Homegrown player in 2013. After making two appearances, the Perth Amboy native moved to Tijuana, where he stayed until 2017. A brief return to New York Red Bulls II in 2018 was followed by a year with the Chicago Fire, which in turn led to his current, productive tenure with New Mexico United in the USL.

Within reason, players should be allowed to pursue international soccer regardless of past meaningless friendly appearances. Hopefully Moreno receives a call-up in the near future.

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A former Red Bulls Designated Player has a new club. Gonzalo Verón has reportedly signed with Club Sol de América of the Paraguayan Primera División. Los Danzarines, based in Villa Elisa, will start the Torneo Clasura on October 16th, after a 10th place finish in the Apertura.

Following his departure from the Red Bulls, Verón moved to Argentine side Club Atlético Independiente. He went on loan to Aldosivi in 2019. The 30-year-old reportedly ended his contract and sued his former club, claiming both lack of payment and the failure of Independiente to recompense his Red Bulls release clause, which he paid out of pocket.

Thus, Verón is in Paraguay, undoubtedly pursuing a fresh start. Say what you will about his career, but he keeps things interesting.

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Where is Brian Nielsen these days? I’m glad you asked. The former Red Bull is playing with Værebro Boldklub of the Danish fifth-tier Sjællandsserien or Zealand Series, featuring home matches at the Skovbrynet Elementary School. The club is currently in fourth place in Pool 1 with 20 points from nine matches. Værebro or VB 1968 touts itself as an “inclusive club” and the “best amateur team in the Gladsaxe Municipality.” The club recently made it back to the fifth division after being relegated from the league five years ago due to “the use of illegal players.”

Nielsen played with the Red Bulls in 2010 and 2011, intended to incubate until he could make the move to Salzburg. Unfortunately, the Danish youth international never quite hit the desired and expected heights promised by his potential. However, that’s all in the past and he now seems to be enjoying his time at Værebro. The 33-year-old has even begun taking on a coaching role with the club.

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Kemar Lawrence made his return to the match day roster, appearing on the bench for Anderlecht’s 3-0 loss to Club Brugge. He’s looked strong in training, showing no signs of rust after his extended time away from the sport. However, the 28-year-old Jamaican did not manage to enter into the match.

It’s going to be a struggle for playing time, as the left back position has been wholly claimed by Bogdan Mykhaylichenko. The 23-year-old Ukrainian was signed in August for $1.65 million and has been heavily praised for his defensive abilities, showing no signs of requiring rest or even a substitution. Lawrence will have to wait his turn for a chance, with his best opportunities for playing time prior to the winter break appearing to be upcoming “short rest” matches against K.V. Kortrijk on October 23rd and K.V. Oostende on December 22nd. In the meantime, he’s receiving support from his countryman, Royal Charleroi striker Shamar Nicholson.

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One person who remained unconnected during the Red Bulls coaching search was Shep Messing. The commentator for MSG Networks wasn’t mentioned among what was surely a cacophony of names linked to the rule, perhaps remaining an unturned stone. The former Cosmos goalkeeper was briefly the coach of the New York Arrows of the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1983, taking on the interim job while sitting out due to a bruised kidney.

Despite his deep knowledge of the sport and respected position in the American soccer community, Messing has never seriously pursued a manager role. What has stopped the 70-year-old Harvard alum from stepping into the technical area? As revealed on Twitter, he never considered coaching “because he never made it in before curfew… so how could he expect [his] players to?”

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Dolores of Hackensack:

“The reason Shep isn’t a manager is because he would always be messing around.”

Thank you, Dolores. You add more color to the world than an entire box of crayons.

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Do you have a story you’d like to submit to the Weekly News Bulletin? Email us at bencorkOAM@gmail.com or send a DM to @Once_A_Metro on Twitter.