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Weekly News Bulletin: August 24, 2020

Anatole Abang is scoring in the Champions League, Edson Buddle is eating imported sushi, and a man in Basking Ridge can’t stop collecting jerseys

Sporting Kansas City defense man Ike Opara (3) fights for...
Former Red Bulls forward Anatole Abang continues his world tour in Moldova
Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Welcome to the Weekly News Bulletin presented by Once A Metro. Gathered from New York to Moldova and every new and old place in between, the information is delivered right to your virtual doorstep. Go to sleep Sunday night comforted by the certainty that this site will be here to tell you everything you might want to know… and a few things you don’t.

Let’s kick things off with this week’s top story.

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Former Red Bulls Academy coach Steve Nicholls has been appointed manager of Wellington Amateurs F.C. of the West Midlands (Regional) League Division One, England’s 11th tier. The club appears on the rise, having recently launched a development squad to “act as a bridge between their under-18s and first team” and merging with smaller local outfit Wellington Ketley Bank United.

Nicholls has enjoyed a globetrotting career. He served as a youth coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United, the Red Bulls, Stoke City, and Balestier Khalsa of Singapore. In 2015, he made the jump to first-team football, becoming the assistant manager of Kaya F.C.-Iloilo of the Philippines Football League. The Englishman was hired to lead Mongolian club Ulaanbaatar FC in June of 2018, a position he held until October 2018.

I wish the best of luck to you, Mr. Nicholls. The Weekly News Bulletin will watch your career with great interest. Beat Bromyard Town and Wrens Nest, those bastards.

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Red Bull Bragantino is attempting to emulate not New York, not Salzburg, but Leipzig. According to Pau Ramirez of AFP, the recently rebranded Brazilian club received an $11.5 million investment, which ended a 22-year absence from Série A.

“We were looking for a club with a good story, devoted fans and a strong connection with their home city,” said Bragantino executive director Thiago Scuro. “We were lucky to find all that and more in Bragantino. Red Bull took on Bragantino with the intention of raising the club’s level across the board. We’ve had good results on the pitch. At the same time, we’re also working hard on management, on improving the club’s infrastructure.”

The club recently claimed the 2020 Campeonato Paulista Troféu do Interior. However, the current goal isn’t immediate success, but “to stabilize in the first division,” which likely will take “three years.” Bragantino’s investment in Brazilian players should lead to an infusion of talent into other clubs, one of which might even be New York.

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Anatole Abang cannot stop scoring, this time in the Champions League. The 24-year-old former Red Bulls striker hit the opener in Sheriff Tiraspol’s first qualifying round victory against CS Fola Esch of the Luxembourg National Division. It was a poacher’s finish, as he established position just outside the six-yard box and volleyed in his teammate’s flick-on header.

Abang joined the Moldovan super club in February after a stint in China with Nantong Zhiyun. He is on a tear, with six goals and three assists, and shows no signs of stopping. If this is what it takes for a return to the Cameroon national team, then ideally the scoring will continue next week against Azerbaijani champions Qarabağ.

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Former New York Red Bulls star signing Markus Schopp signed a contract extension with TSV Hartberg, which includes a release clause for international management. The 46-year-old Austrian international was hired by the club prior to the 2018 season. Hartberg finished last season in fifth place in the Austrian Bundesliga. He is seeking to make his squad “more unpredictable, compact, and flexible” after being strengthened by the signing and retention of key talents.

Schopp was connected with a move to AC Milan to become the assistant coach to one Ralf Rangnick. He, of course, played coy and claimed “there weren’t any discussions,” upon which he couldn’t possibly comment. However, the move fell apart in a very public fashion, and Hartberg kept its manager.

Who knows where the future will lead Markus? Not me, I don’t even know where I’m going this afternoon.

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Another former Red Bull wants to make the jump back into the coaching ranks. Amado Guevara, the only MVP in club history, expressed his interest in someday leading Costa Rican power Deportivo Saprissa. “I cannot deny that I ended up in love with Saprissa in many ways,” Guevara told ESPN Deportes. “Today Saprissa is in good hands, but I repeat, I do not rule out that goal of managing one of my favorite teams.”

The former trequartista played with Saprissa in 2002, enjoying a torrid half-year with the club before moving to CD Montagua. From July 2018 through March 2019, Guevara managed Puerto Rico, presiding over a winless four matches. Currently, he “lives with his family in Miami” and is “taking constant training to strengthen his career as a technical director.”

So many former players go into coaching. Just once I’d like to see one do something exciting like data entry.

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English forward and one-time RBNY target Veron Parkes signed with Dutch Eredivisie side Fortuna Sittard as a free agent. The Red Bulls and Parkes were linked in May and there was no follow-up on the initial report, the club appearing to have moved onto other targets.

The 18-year-old English attacker was most recently with West Ham, playing in the reserves. Celtic was considered the favorite for his signature, a common theme in many New York transfer rumors this summer.

And that’s another loop closed. Best of luck in the Netherlands, Veron! It never would have worked for you in New York with that name.

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When the New York Red Bulls sold Tyler Adams to RB Leipzig, the fee was a reported three million dollars paired with an additional 33% sell-on clause. The story caused controversy, as synergy transfers are wont to do, because he was likely worth a lot more money on the open market. However, that sell-on fee is a very calming salve to any emotional wounds. But what if the future transfer never comes to pass?

That’s the question asked by Frederick Clayton and Kristian Walsh of Liverpool.com. If RB Leipzig continues along its path to the top of the global game, then at some point the “don’t be a star player’s last contract” policy may fall by the wayside. A young talent like Tyler Adams could possibly stay at the club instead of making the presumed big move to a top club. No need to chase titles when he’s at a club already doing it. That would, of course, be disastrous for New York, which let him go at a premium with the understanding it would net tens of millions down the road.

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Former Red Bulls II player Andrew Tinari is thriving in the USL with New Mexico United. The 24-year-old was profiled by the Beautiful Game Network, where he discussed his background and current status. In two seasons with John Wolyniec’s side, the West Islip, New York native scored nine goals and assisted on nine more. In 2019, he played with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, which is something of a home for former Red Bulls.

New Mexico currently tops Group C in the USL Championship. Tinari has been one of the team’s leaders, starting every match. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to enjoy participating in group film viewings, describing himself as “a book reader.” That’s the sort of nerd behavior one expects from a graduate of Columbia.

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What if I told you that there’s a man in New Jersey who owns 158 Club Guaraní jerseys? What if I told you this same man is also a Red Bulls fan? Crónica profiled Herik Villalba, a Paraguayan expat who lives in Basking Ridge and loves Club Guaraní of the Paraguayan Primera División. “I have 158 jerseys so far, they are a very nice treasure that I want to enlarge,” he told Jorge Izquierdo. “I started three years ago and I will keep looking for more articles… I have a page on Instagram called Museo Aurinegro, I already have a lot of people who follow me. Many people have already congratulated me on this.”

As one would expect, Villalba is a fan of the Red Bulls’ most famous Paraguayan, Kaku. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he “used to go see MLS games a lot.” Hopefully you’ll get to return to the arena in the near future… and remember to store those jerseys somewhere dry!

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Did you know there are other teams that use the name MetroStars? One such endeavor is the Vienna Metrostars of the first division Baseball League Austria. The team has won a record 14 national championships on the Austrian diamond, most recently in 2018. The Metrostars is the first-team squad of the WBV Homerunners baseball club and is in second place in the Baseball Bundesliga with an 8-4 record.

Vienna belongs to the elite group of sporting organizations using the fabled moniker, including soccer club North Eastern MetroStars SC of the National Premier Leagues South Australia. There was also the Düsseldorfer Eislauf Gemeinschaft Metro Stars hockey team that dropped the nickname, as well as the now-defunct Mississauga MetroStars of the Major Arena Soccer League and Manila Metrostars of the Metropolitan Basketball Association.

Congratulations to all MetroStars, each special and unique in its own way.

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According to the Greenwich Time daily newspaper, Edson Buddle enjoyed a night on the town. The former Red Bulls striker dined at MIKU Sushi Bar – one of the hottest dining establishments in the heart of downtown Greenwich, Connecticut – with the owner and several members of the fashion industry. The restaurant offers traditional Japanese-inspired cuisine and sources much of its fish from the same distributor as “the world-famous Toyosu Seafood Market.”

Buddle played with the Red Bulls in 2006, scoring six goals in 28 appearances. His prolific career included stops at Columbus Crew, the LA Galaxy, Ingolstadt 04, and the Colorado Rapids as well as 11 U.S. national team caps. The New Rochelle native was named manager of the Westchester Flames last October. The club competes in the Northeast Division of USL League Two, but Buddle’s debut season will have to wait due to COVID-19 induced cancelation.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Beatrice of Alamuchy Township.

“It’s a disappointing way to start a coaching career, but that’s the way the tempura crumbles!”

Thank you for reading, Beatrice. You’re a shining beacon of light in a cold, humorless world.

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