Welcome to the Red Bulls Expert Guide presented by Once a Metro.
Do you have a favorite New York Red Bulls match? Is there one that really sticks out in your mind as a definitive personal experience to which you attach soaring emotional reverence? Those are trick questions. A true fan would cherish every match equally.
Here’s this week’s top story.
There is a bit of a strange situation unraveling in Belgium, but I’ll let you be the judge of who is to blame.
During a recent match against Oud-Heverlee Leuven, Sébastien Dewaest decided to provoke Amir Murillo, who responded with an elbow and was sent off. “I touched his buttocks and he did not like [it],” the center back said after the match. “He put an elbow and it deserves to be red. I wanted to tickle, experience, and it worked. I can’t say I was hoping he would hit me but I knew some players don’t like it.”
Hendrik Van Crombrugge appeared to support his teammate. “Murillo lost his temper,” said the Anderlecht goalkeeper. “What Dewaest did, it’s not really part of my philosophy. We know Dewaest: it is part of his game. He did well but I don’t like it.”
The manager was less kind in his assessment. “It’s unacceptable to take a red card like that,” said Vincent Kompany, who never ever in all ever of evers reacted or was booked during his playing career – real choirboy, he was. “A lot happens during a match, but you have to stay within a certain limit at all times. That Dewaest said he stroked his butt? That stays the same. I don’t look at what the opponent is doing. Here goes - without going into detail steps - to be discussed, you can be sure of that.”
Murillo received a multi-match suspension and fine for his actions. Anderlecht will appeal the penalty. That’s a quite serious reprimand for the right back.
Personally, I think maybe Dewaest should face some sort of punishment for admitting to his provocation, but that does not seem to be on the docket. Murillo’s entire situation appears to be headed downward, with Anderlecht looking to acquire right back Marcelo Weigandt of Boca Juniors. Departure may be the best course of action, as a change of scenery can provide a sharp career adjustment.
In a battle at the top of the Belgian First Division B table, KVC Westerlo took on Waasland-Beveren, drawing 1-1. David Jensen started and surrendered a goal in the 89th minute. According to the club’s official website, the finish was “lucky.”
Jensen appears at home with his loan destination. “The club is working on a nice story,” he told HLN. “I’ve heard that there were about 8,000 spectators in the stadium here in the past. I hope those times return soon, because we need the support of the fans more than ever.”
Jean-Christophe Koffi joined FC Sète 34 of the third-tier Championnat National. The midfielder joined the Red Bulls as a Homegrown Player in 2018, after the club sent $75,000 of General Allocation Money to D.C. United. In his one season, he made 27 USL appearances.
Sète currently occupies 14th place in the French third division table. Koffi made his debut on Friday, playing six minutes in a 4-1 victory over FC Chambly. At only 23 years old, this could end up being a shrewd move to enter the European market, as the Championnat National is a decently well-trafficked marketplace for scouting and transfers.
I think Al-Taawoun got their swagger back. Ohhhhhh! Ohhhhhh!
The Wolves defeated Ettifaq FC by a 3-1 margin. No longer in last place, no longer in the relegation zone, the club is rocking a two-match winning streak. Kaku started and played 85 minutes. He has two goals and one assist on the season but none since September following a switch from attacking midfielder to winger.
Former Red Bulls reserve goalkeeper Santiago Castaño is not only surviving but thriving. With standout performances against Independiente Medellín and Jaguares de Córdoba, the Queens native appears to have gained the starting job at Deportivo Pereira for now. El Grande Matecaña is in third place in the Categoría Primera A.
While Castaño was serving as the back-up, he led the club to the final of the Copa Colombia. The 26-year-old saved a penalty in the semifinal against Deportes Tolima. The two-leg championship starts on Wednesday as Pereira takes on Atlético Nacional, the club’s first-ever final appearance.
Hop on board the Ralf Rangnick train tour of Europe! Next stop is Manchester United! All aboard the rumor train!
Yes, the current Lokomotiv Moscow head of sports and development is being connected to the biggest club in the world. Put away those Newcastle United rumors because that’s an old story. Rangnick is “still interested” in Manchester, according to Christian Falk of Bild. The Independent further connects him, which clearly means the move is going to happen.
Yes, I know we said the same thing with AC Milan and Barcelona and 30 other clubs, but this time it’s happening! This is for real. This time I mean it. I’m coming clean. Please, don’t let go. Ralfball is coming to England!
The career of Matt Miazga has been interesting since departing the Red Bulls in January of 2016. Life as a member of the Chelsea loan army is not for the faint of heart, like the corned beef hash at my local diner. Despite finding comfort in the Belgian First Division A last season, his parent club did not make a permanent transfer easy.
“I wanted stability,” he told HLN (via Voetbalkrant). “Anderlecht was an attractive option. I was important there, the coach is fantastic and the club is involved at the top. I spoke with Vincent [Kompany] and Peter [Verbeke], but it quickly became clear that it would not be easy to buy me, which Anderlecht wanted. Chelsea asked too much money, Anderlecht looked for and found alternatives - I can’t blame the club management. That’s just how the football world works.”
Instead, Miazga, once again, went on loan, this time to Deportivo Alavés in La Liga. The Babazorros are in 14th place, with the 26-year-old center back making seven appearances. He has been on the bench for the past three matches.
“I thought they would be higher - there is still a lot of quality,” said the Clifton native, being perhaps slightly too honest. “On the other hand: it took time last season too. Believe me: with Kompany as a trainer it will be fine anyway. And then Anderlecht will end up where it belongs: at the top.”
That’s just kind of how it goes when a player signs for Chelsea. There’s an interesting psychology at play when a young talent meets the fork in the road between elite clubs offering more money and prestige or guaranteed minutes elsewhere at a mid-or-lower-table outfit. For an elite athlete, the very mentality that has for so long enabled success will hardly back down from a challenge or believe that any mountain is too steep to climb. While a more progressive step could be the better choice, the killer instinct can hardly be ignored or quieted, even in an environment demanding logic, such as the transfer market.
After a brief tenure of 15 matches, former New York attacker Markus Schopp was sacked by Barnsley. A string of seven consecutive defeats was judged as the wrong direction, which seems like fair reasoning in a cutthroat world with relegation lurking around every corner. A few names are being thrown around as a replacement, but there does not appear to be a clubhouse favorite.
Do it, Barnsley. Hire Hans Backe. Do it.
Put on your helmets and let’s check in on Frank Rost.
The former Red Bulls goalkeeper and his wife, Felicitas, “run their own riding facility in the heart of the Rotenburg Forest.” The facility has space for eight horses and also features a “romantic pond.” While he might return to soccer, dressage is his life’s main focus.
“The development of a young horse is similar to that of a young athlete,” said Rost. “You can achieve a lot with hard work and character, even if you always need a little luck to be in the right place at the right time… It would be a great wish of ours to see a horse that grew up here in a Grand Prix. A certain amount of madness belongs to horse people and I wouldn’t exclude [us] there.”
I, for one, have certainly never associated anger or madness of any sort with Rost. He also hopes that the youth will become more interested in equestrian activities. One suggested idea is “integrating horse riding into everyday school life.”
Here’s a joke that was submitted by Odette of West Milford.
“I wouldn’t mind having horses in school, except I think they would have some trouble with algebra.”
Thank you, Odette. I don’t think he meant the horses would literally be in classrooms with the children, but that is certainly a humorous mental image.
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