Welcome to the Weekly New Bulletin presented by Once a Metro.
If I had a dog, I would name him Patches. He’d wear a bandana whenever we went to the park to play. I’d take care of him, but, in reality, Patches would be the one taking care of me. I don’t have a dog, probably never will. This regular post imparting knowledge onto readers is my purpose, the thing I look after and attempt to nurture.
Here’s this week’s top story.
The development path continues for Cristian Cásseres. Fresh off his inclusion in the preliminary roster for Venezuela’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the midfielder sat for an interview with Balonazos to discuss both club and country. He touched on Bradley Carnell’s tactics and attempts at motivation.
“We have the same philosophy as the two teams in Europe, but our coach adds something distinctive to it,” the 20-year-old opined. “We play to wait a bit behind, push and make quick transitions, which is what the team has always worked for and how it is at Red Bull... He is a coach who likes to give the players confidence, to do what we know. He gives me that freedom to be able to reach both areas, since he knows that I have the faculties to do so.”
In addition to revealing that the high press’ line of engagement is now at midfield, Cásseres described the desire to play for the senior national team as “something [he’s] been working on for a long time.” He has been building toward his debut, with the upcoming fixtures presenting the opportunity for a breakthrough. Unfortunately, based on a report from the New York Times detailing Major League Soccer’s attempt to avoid the international window in some cases, Cásseres might be forced to wait a little longer.
Change is coming to Harrison. There will be an environmental cleanup at the site of the former manufactured gas plant located on Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard. The job is set to begin in three months and run through December of 2022.
According to Harrison mayor James Fife, the town would like to redevelop the property with office space and apartment rentals. The area continues to modernize and change, with Red Bull Arena the crown jewel. Hopefully when restrictions are lifted, people will be able to fully embrace the changes and enjoy the picturesque downtown area.
He’s back. Former Red Bulls fullback Kemar Lawrence returned to training with Anderlecht following some time off. The Jamaican international struggled following the death of his brother, but he was convinced to return by manager Vincent Kompany, who showered the player with compliments of “strong, motivated,” and in possession of an “impeccable” attitude.
According to Het Nieuwsblad, Lawrence looks “sharp” and very fit after the three month layoff, but he will have his work cut out for him to join the starting rotation. Starting left back Bogdan Mykhaylichenko, signed in August, is being lauded as a fantastic player who has earned his spot in the lineup. However, Anderlecht paid a relatively significant fee for Lawrence, so the club is expected to recover some value for him on the field or in the transfer market. If there is a move to back to the U.S., MLSSoccer.com’s Tom Bogert says to not expect it during this current window.
And, also, Once A Metro wishes a belated “Happy Birthday” to Kemar.
Tim Parker got down and dirty on the Blueprint Soccer Podcast. In a long, all-encompassing discussion with former Red Bulls academy player Clint Caso, the 27-year-old center back went step-by-step through his entire life on and off the field. The episode was truly everything you could ever want to learn about Tim Parker.
Did you know that the fitness regimen for the St. John’s men’s soccer program is so intense that preparations for the Red Bulls’ high press seemed pedestrian by comparison? Here’s a fun fact: Parker almost played college lacrosse and gave up on soccer because the former sport had a much earlier recruitment period. He also almost left college early after his junior season to play for the New York Cosmos and Gio Savarese, but the desire to finish a bachelor’s degree trumped any professional contract. All of that and more, from growing up on Long Island to forming a partnership with a center back named Long, awaits your ears on what is routinely one of the best podcasts for Red Bulls fans.
Of course, that’s not the only podcast on which he merited a mention. At 44:48 of the September 21st episode on MLS ExtraTime, Andrew Wiebe remarked, “We keep hearing about Tim Parker [on the trading block].” For now, he’s still a Red Bull, but the window remains open until October 29th.
Former RB Bragantino manager Felipe Conceição is speaking out on the situation at his former club. The 41-year-old was fired in August after a run of bad results to start the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A season. In his point of view, the club’s infrastructure changed dramatically over the past year, shifting from being closely aligned with Europe to more isolated.
“The first phase of Paulista was very good, except during the pandemic the entire international Red Bull technical staff left and Ralf [Rangnick] asked for the termination,” Conceição told Alexandre Lozetti (via Google Translate). “From that, I felt that the path was no longer that of having a young team, to reformulate, I no longer had the support to make some movements that a coach needs to implement a philosophy. Then, it was a matter of having two or three negative results to make the decision.”
According to Conceição, he felt there was a lack of support, pointing to the disappearance of video meetings and “support from above.” Bragantino was attempting to implement a high energy, high pressing strategy, but the former manager claims the long-term project became more challenging after the local technical staff took over. The club has continued to struggle, but recently picked up a 4-2 win over Ceará.
Perhaps Conceição’s perception of a lack of oversight and deviation from the Red Bull ethos is temporary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps it’s the new normal following the departure of Ralf Rangnick. Watch New York closely and observe which way the wind blows.
One of the last MetroStars has crossed the bridge. LAFC defender Danilo Aparecido da Silva announced his retirement after a 16-year career. The Brazilian began his professional career with the MetroStars in 2005, making five appearances.
Following his departure from the club, he returned to Brazil, playing for Guarani, São Paulo, and Internacional. Silva then had a prolific run with Dynamo Kyiv from 2010 through 2017, collecting a smattering of trophies. He returned to Internacional in 2017 before joining LAFC and his old MetroStars manager Bob Bradley. Unable to push through injuries, he was forced to step aside and close the book on his playing days.
It was quite the career for Silva who joined MLS as a teenager. Few would have predicted the level he reached and his eventual return. Now the nation’s eyes turn to the Last of the MetroStars: Michael Bradley, Joselito Vaca, and Tim Howard.
As the slogan goes, “Metro Makes, The World Takes.” Former Red Bulls Academy player Noah Powder is signing an MLS contract with Real Salt Lake for the 2021 season. The Trinidadian defender has been with Real Monarchs since 2019, locking down the left back position.
Powder, 21, played for New York Red Bulls II in 2016 and 2017. He spent a season with Orange County SC before winning the USL Cup with Real Monarchs in 2019. Powder expressed how grateful he is to have been given a chance in Utah. While the Red Bulls are not in desperate need for fullbacks, even after sending two to Belgium, there’s always some minor feeling of frustration or loss when a player from the Academy ascends and succeeds at another club.
Empty stadiums present an interesting challenge for clubs attempting to present an appealing product for television. Instead of displaying a congregation of empty chairs, the Red Bulls opted for “stadium seat covers printed in a specific hue for a green screen effect.” These bleacher backgrounds are provided by Covermaster, a company trumpeting itself as “America’s leader in Sports Surface Protection.”
Since Red Bull Arena is being shared by both New York area clubs, the green screen allows the seats to be displayed as red during some matches and blue during others. The club has also taken advantage of the marketing possibilities by projecting advertisements and sponsors onto the covers. It’s a credit to the Red Bulls that the front office was able to turn lemons into lemonade instead of being presented with the slightest of problems and wallowing in eternal misery like I do.
Put away the streamers and cancel that cake. Roy Miller will not be retiring. The former Red Bull signed with Santos de Guápiles on the last day of Costa Rican player registration. Despite reported interest from Alajuelense, it was the club from Limón that secured the veteran’s signature.
It’s been a long career for the Costa Rican international that took him from Norway to Sweden to both coasts of the United States. Miller spent last season with Liga FPD Clasura champions Deportivo Saprissa but his playing time was cut short by injuries. Santos is currently in fifth place in Group A with six points, facing off against Municipal Grecia (after the Weekly News heads to print on Friday night).
At 35 years young, it appears that Miller is only just getting started. Okay, not really, but hopefully he enjoys another season of soccer before hanging up the boots.
New York Red Bulls II midfielder Barry Sharifi chatted with the Loyola Greyhounds Podcast. The 22-year-old played for the MAAC school from 2016 through 2019. He discussed how Loyola prepared him for the next step and the joys of his nascent professional career.
“A lot of my friends are in jobs and working at desks,” Sharifi told host Jason Johnson. “I get to wake up in the morning and go to the field to do what I really love. Every day I realize that and take that into my list of things I’m grateful for. It makes me work even harder.”
Sharifi was drafted with the 67th pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. The former Academy and U-23s player has made 11 USL appearances with eight starts. May he continue to avoid the soul-crushing drudgery of the cubicle farm, at this club or next.
How did Johnathan McKinstry get hired as the Uganda national team manager? He experienced success with their rival. “I was coach of Rwanda sometime back, and Uganda and Rwanda are historical rivals,” the 35-year-old former Red Bulls Academy coach said in an interview. “I did well in Rwanda and set some new milestones, and then we came up against Uganda a couple of times. Uganda came out on top, but we pushed them really hard to their limits, and I think that stayed with them.”
After working with the Red Bulls pre-academy teams and the Right to Dream Academy, McKinstry began his international coaching career at the tender age of 27, taking over the Sierra Leone national team. He also managed Lithuanian club Kauno Žalgiris and Saif SC of the Bangladesh Football Premier League. It’s been a rapid rise through the ranks for McKinstry, who is already a veteran with unique experiences at an age when many are only beginning to break into the coaching ranks.
I’m sure you were wondering, “What is the financial firm of choice for Tim Cahill?” Look no further than the recently endorsed ACY Securities, which is the “official trading partner” of the former Australian international. The company, based in New South Wales, describes itself as a “multi-regulated leading forex broker.”
According to ACY head of branding & communications Justin Pooni, Cahill “is keen to learn how to trade the markets and grow his investment options.” I wish a firm “best of luck” to the former Designated Player. May he experience as much success in the market as he did leading the Red Bulls to the first Supporters’ Shield.
Once A Metro urges all readers to do their own research if they choose to engage in any financial endeavors.
Here’s a joke that was submitted by Lilith of Roseland.
“Forex trading? With all of those headed goals, Cahill should be doing forehead trading.”
Thank you, Lilith. You’re a witty flower blooming through the cold, hard ground in a cruel and desperate autumn.
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.