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Red Bulls Expert Guide: October 25, 2021

Amro Tarek steals his brother’s phone, Joel Lindpere climbs up the Estonian poker rankings, and an inside look at the commercial side of the academy in this week’s links

New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union
Joel Lindpere celebrates five years in management by…playing poker against his club’s fans.

Welcome to the Red Bulls Expert Guide presented by Once a Metro.

My daughter asked me if I had any ideas for a Halloween costume. I suggested going as a New York Red Bulls player, to which she demurred. Dismayed by this arrogant show of discourtesy, I informed her that there will be no trick-or-treating this year. Instead, the two of us will spend October 31st re-watching the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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New York Red Bulls senior director of youth programs and academy business operations Dave Jervis wrote a column for Sportico. The long-term club employee provided a basic layout and history of the youth program. Perhaps most revealing is the munificence of running a vertical organization.

“We have learned the significant impact youth programs can have on the club’s commercial side,” writes Jervis. “Revenue boosts via the youth system include integration with ticket sales, marketing partnerships and community outreach. To understand the evolution and scope, it’s fair to say that our club’s revenue derived from youth and academy programs has grown 20-fold since 2007, to the point where the Red Bulls have the largest revenue-producing youth program in MLS. We’ve learned through the years that many brands want to connect with the target demographic, reaching the players and their families, creating sponsor and marketing partnership opportunities. Youth programs have served as valuable assets to provide added value for our marketing partners that prioritize community engagement.”

Everyone knows how much money there is to be made in the American youth soccer scene. Taking advantage of the potential revenue stream adds to the club’s bottom line, which should not be overlooked in a sporting world where many organizations operate at a loss. The academy likely pays for itself and more before a player is ever transferred for a newsworthy sum.

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Al-Taawoun managed to grab a 2-2 draw against mid-table opponents Al-Faisaly. Unfortunately, one point was not enough to move up the standings. The Cooperation remains at last place in the Saudi Professional League, with a 0-5-4 record. Kaku started and played all 90 minutes.

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Did Red Bull change the world or was the company merely ahead of the curve?

Local Brazilian competitors Flamengo are pushing for multi-club ownership, starting with the purchase of C.D. Tondela in Portugal. In an interview with GE, vice president of finance Rodrigo Tostes, he revealed the greater plans, which includes the potential to set up outposts all over the world. New York could even have some competition in the future.

“This is just the first step,” said Tostes. “This strategy will not work if it is a club only outside Brazil. Everyone (possible investors) with whom we are talking puts it, we put it. We want to have a club in Germany, one in Spain, one in France, one in Africa, one in China, one in the United States, in other words, it is not a one-club project. (The time to start the second phase) It depends on the success of the first “case”. We need at least three years to mature this project, take the club to the top positions in the Portuguese Championship, that’s the idea. After that we think about phase two.”

The new club will not be an affiliate but “separate with the brand.” The interview gets more into operations and the decision-making process, which should interest footballing futurists. Perhaps Red Bulls fans should expect to see a Flamengo New York or New York Flamengos on the upcoming schedule.

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While the team may be the star, one of the biggest names at Red Bull Salzburg is the manager, Matthias Jaissle. The 33-year-old German who doesn’t “have a career plan” spoke with Spox in a wide-ranging two-part interview, discussing anything and everything you could want to know about his background. He discussed what unique tweaks are contained in his version of the organization’s somewhat rigid tactical style, a question often asked of Gerhard Struber.

“There are of course the general principles that describe our football: the high pressing, the aggressive forward defense, stressing the opponent as early as possible,” said Jaissle. “And if you, like me, have this RB-DNA inoculated as a player yourself and have it in your blood, then of course it helps a lot with the mediation. Nevertheless, I also want to define my own principles within this philosophy. Sometimes principles are deleted or reformulated. We also want to develop further. This season, for example, we had the topic that we started very dominantly and that the opponents were getting deeper and deeper from matchday to matchday. How do we respond to that? How do we manage to find solutions anyway, to create scoring opportunities, but not to become more vulnerable on the defensive?”

He also discussed his dramatically younger squad that averages 20 years of age, describing the players as “incredibly hungry” with an “outstanding” attitude. Jaissle – who managed the Salzburg U18s from 2019 through 2021 and FC Liefering for the latter half of last season – is considered one of the rising stars on the European coaching scene with good reason. Observers tend to take notice of being undefeated in the Austrian Bundesliga and topping a Champions League group with Sevilla, Lille, and Wolfsburg.

The Salzburg job tends to be of the short-term variety, with immediate success or failure resulting in a quick departure. Jaissle won’t last long, particularly with results of this level. When the position becomes open again, one wonders where the eyes of Red Bull will turn.

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Ralf Rangnick is being connected to Newcastle, and he already has the support of one football notable. Former Red Bull Thierry Henry was quick to praise the gegenpressing guru on Paramount Plus, although their tenures never truly overlapped in New York. The retired striker provided some context on organizational tactics and his opinion on Red Bull’s current status.

“Ralf Rangnick arrived when Jesse Marsch became the coach of the New York Red Bulls,” Henry said on a recent Champions League broadcast [via HITC]. “Rangnick arrived with the Red Bull brand and he started to implement a certain way of play, which obviously Jesse had to take on board. From that point, he had an amazing time with the Red Bulls, he went to Austria, then now he ended being at Leipzig – but it’s impressive to see how he is managing the team. But you have to give a lot of credit to Ralf Rangnick for bringing that idea and philosophy. Since Ralf Rangnick left the Red Bulls system and the whole company, they have been struggling now.”

It appears Mr. Henry is gravely misinformed. Nay, it was Marsch and then-sporting director Ali Curtis who implemented the gegenpressing tactics and general organizational structure, not Rangnick (who pioneered the system and was their boss). Everyone knows that these two exceptional, heroic American soccer cowboys grabbed the reins and are solely responsible for New York’s dramatic cultural shift in 2015.

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There’s a familiar face at a local National Independent Soccer Association side. Former Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul is the head coach at New Amsterdam FC. He spoke with beIN SPORTS about his journey to the club and why you should support The Cannons.

“I’ve known the owner, Laurence Girard, for a long time,” said Coundoul. “We were at the New York Red Bulls together. In 2016 when I returned from playing overseas in Europe he wanted some training and I gave him some lessons. In 2018 he mentioned he was thinking about having a pro team. For the first two seasons I was the goalkeeping coach and then this season he promoted me to be the head coach. I’ve been with this team from day one... I’ve got the chance to coach some of the players who went to my high school, some of them used to watch me play at the Red Bulls, it’s really amazing.”

The former Senegal international hopes that the club will eventually reach the USL Championship or MLS. A third team in New York City would be beneficial because “there’s a lot of talent hiding here.” He also expresses a need for promotion and relegation in this country, claiming implementation of the process is a “must.”

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There was a theft at El Gouna. Someone stole Karim Tarek’s phone while he was taking a video. The culprit turned out to be none other than his brother and teammate, Amro Tarek. According to Awan Masr, the two were imitating a recent event in which a journalist had their device stolen.

In more serious news, The Gounies open the Egyptian Premier League season on Tuesday, October 26th against Ceramica Cleopatra. The club has made a lot of upgrades in the transfer market, looking to improve on last year’s mid-table finish. Perhaps the Tarek brothers will have as much fun on the field as they are having off of it. That, of course, may be a tough task considering El Gouna is an idyllic resort town located on the Red Sea.

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KVC Westerlo kept things rolling with a 2-0 win over Virton. The club is on top of the Belgian First Division B table, opening up a seven-point lead. Goalkeeper David Jensen “kept things under control” and earned his fifth shutout of the season.

Next week is a double-fixture spectacular. First is the Round of 32 in the Belgium Cup against Antwerp, followed by a league match against K.M.S.K. Deinze. Jensen may be asked to play twice, considering his run of success thus far.

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Red Bulls legend Joel Lindpere turned 40 a few weeks back. He also celebrated his fifth year in charge of Estonian club JK Tallinna Kalev. His poker game also remains strong, taking on the club’s fans for charity and ranking 106th on the country’s all-time money list.

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This is fun. What else is going on? Let’s head to Sweden.

Open up your wallets and prepare your gullet. Råå Bryggeri has a new beer mulled wine (vinglögg) coming for the holiday season. Second-year part-owner Markus Holgersson has all of the details on his brewery’s newest product.

“We sat and thought about beer mulled wine last Christmas and wanted to do something fun in that direction,” said the retired center back. “We only found one at Systembolaget and felt that we had a great chance if we could do something good. I miss something with a malty character and we made brown ale, and you get sweet almonds and Christmas from the beginning, and the bubbly. It is made like a beer, but you can drink it both hot and cold. I think it turned out unexpectedly well and is well worth trying both hot and cold.”

In the article, Holgersson claims to prefer his beer cold, but that shouldn’t stop you from consuming and enjoying the vinglögg. Happily, Råå Bryggeri managed to survive the pandemic despite the sharp drop-off in restaurant sales. While production failed to increase, the company “made many savings” and became “more stable. There is also growth in the “organic beers” market, which promises room for expansion.

Perhaps Red Bull Arena will begin carrying Råå Bryggeri products in the near future. I personally don’t consume alcohol, but instead enjoy watching soccer while consuming a tall glass of almond milk, surrounded by friends and family. A toast to you, Mr. Holgersson because both of us are living truly vivid and full lies… I mean lives, truly vivid and full lives.

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Speaking of Swedish people from that era, let’s check in on Hans Backe. The Swedish manager is making good use of his connections, lending his expertise to several companies. He is a “football advisor and board member” for Gameinsight, which “serves the global football community through an innovative digital platform” by “blending social networking, football education, and knowledge sharing to increase the sport’s accessibility to everyone.” The 69-year-old is also a director at 360Player, an “innovative company within sports technology” that “provides an all-in-one platform for sports organizations, where all sporting operations and administrations can be done in one place.”

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Rosalind of Mahwah.

All of that technology sounds too confusing for me. The last time I checked my email, I accidentally closed the garage door on my husband’s car.

Thank you, Rosalind. I’m not sure those two devices are connected.

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