clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Red Bulls Expert Guide: April 19, 2021

Gerhard Struber discusses his only trip to Manhattan so far while Patryk Klimala and Daniel Royer rumors swirl as the Expert Guide moves to Mondays

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at New York Red Bulls
In an interview last week Caden Clark said he wants to be...lethal, so to speak.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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

We’re back to Mondays. Please update your schedules, your day planners, your calendars, your datebooks, and anything else that could possibly help a person keep track of space and time.

Here’s this week’s top story.

***

Do we know the fee for heavily reported signing Patryk Klimala? Not yet, but there have been a lot of numbers thrown around. The latest, by the Herald Times and Sport, clocks in at “€4million with add-ons.” That’s a little under $4,800,000, showing that the Red Bulls will splash the pot whenever the f*** they please. The signing is close to confirmation, the only remaining step a perfunctory medical examination.

Former professional player and current commentator Noel Whelan truly has a lot of opinions on the rumored transfer target. He believes the Polish youth international’s time at Celtic “is up.” Do you have any other fascinating insights?

“I think bridges have been burnt,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Klimala is not needed. He is surplus to requirements so you have got to try and get rid of him this summer. If you are not showing significant signs of improvement then you have to move on, especially at a big club like Celtic.”

Whelan previously commented on Klimala last week, sharing a similar sentiment. Will he go three for three? Tune in next week to find out. Perhaps the Red Bulls will complete the transfer, freeing former players from being forced to make the same observations.

***

Baked into his preseason team rankings, MLSSoccer.com writer Matt Doyle revealed a little tidbit of information. According to the analyst’s sources, the Red Bulls were “shopping [Daniel] Royer’’ the entire offseason. The rumor (which was repeated Sunday by the enigmatic MLS Transfers account on Twitter) is curious for a number of reasons, but also makes sense in an overall team building way.

Since taking the job, manager Gerhard Struber identified Royer as “an important player.” The Austrian midfielder is one of the club’s most reliable options from the simple perspective of goals and assists. However, he is now on the wrong side of 30, taking up a bit of room under the salary cap, and still an intriguing enough talent to attract interest from other clubs. The inability to locate a suitable buyer could be due to a lack of realistic offers or a general failure currently shared by front offices around the world.

The Red Bulls deserve praise for essentially reshaping the squad this season, making ten first-team signings in the winter transfer window. If one were looking to criticize, the seeming inability to move players might be a good place to start. Although perhaps that would be unfair, as clubs worldwide are facing similar issues in a hesitant market.

***

Prior to the season opener, Gerhard Struber did the press rounds with Austrian media. According to Laola1, “all players and the coaching team have already been vaccinated.” He shared his tactical vision for the upcoming matches.

“Many things were going in the right direction, progress can be seen,” said Struber. “But we are only at the starting point for certain tactical aspects. The development of the team will be in focus in the coming weeks and months. The guys are really powerful and show a huge willingness to learn new things every day. It’s a lot of fun to work with the individual players and continuously form the team into a functioning unit.”

In a longer interview with Kurier, he discussed life in the United States. “Of course I’ve been to Manhattan one time and was impressed by the size and the skyline,” revealed the 44-year-old. “There is a lot to be done right now. We have used up a lot of energy in the last few months to get the right guys to join us and now we want to form a team that is powerful and has the power to play for titles later on.”

Struber also explained his idealized version of the press. The team wants to be efficient, “recharging energy through possession of the ball.” The tactics are still “at a starting point,” but he appreciates the mix of players, culled from a worldwide scouting base.

***

On April 11th, AGF Aarhus took on FC Midtjylland in the Danish Superliga, losing by a 4-1 margin. Mathias Jørgensen did not appear in the match. Mathias Jørgensen was not on the bench. Mathias Jørgensen was not a part of the match day squad.

On Thursday, AGF Aarhus took on Randers in the second leg of the Danish Cup semifinals, drawing 1-1 and losing 3-1 on aggregate. Mathias Jørgensen did not appear in the match. Mathias Jørgensen was not on the bench. Mathias Jørgensen was not a part of the match day squad.

On Sunday, AGF took on Brøndby in the Danish Superliga, drawing 2-2. Mathias Jørgensen did not appear in the match. Mathias Jørgensen was not on the bench. Mathias Jørgensen was not a part of the match day squad.

The club is in the midst of an injury crisis with up to eight players suffering from a variety of maladies and issues. Jørgensen is included in this group with an unspecified ailment. This upcoming week, AGF plays FC Randers on Thursday and Copenhagen on Sunday.

***

I was just kidding about those Red Bull Necaxa rumors.

According to Sportico, the Mexican club is being courted by something even better than an energy drink company: celebrities. Alongside a couple of D.C. United executives, a who’s who of Eva Longoria, Mesut Ozil, Kate Upton, and Justin Verlander are set to buy half of Necaxa. The deal “values the club in the low-nine figures.”

Apologies to any New York fans who booked a flight to Aguascalientes based on the previous report. I’m sure you can get a refund on those.

***

The staff continues to grow.

The New York Red Bulls are looking to hire a Performance Analyst that will report to the Head of Performance Analysis, Natasha Patel. The job involves “contributing to the development of best practice databases, producing playing philosophy videos, and developing video at half-time to support the Head Coach’s important messages.” The club’s ideal candidate has three years of experience and knowledge of “the latest performance analysis software.”

HUDL, SportsCode, WyScout… I’ve never even heard of the software systems the club uses, but potential job seekers would probably be fine with a background in Microsoft Paint.

***

Already in the United States, the striker known as Fábio Roberto Gomes Netto spoke briefly with GZH Sports. The towering 23-year-old Brazilian is leaving the country for the second time in his young career. On loan from Oeste, he discussed his hopes for the New York move and the first few days of it.

“I was very anxious to get to the United States and be able to join the team,” said Fábio. “I was very well received by everyone on the board, committee and also by the [team] members. I am very happy in my new home. I want it to be a standout debut, of course. I aim to help and be available to the club at all times. I will do my best to achieve good results and titles.”

He also discussed his time in Japan, a brief spell at J2 League side Albirex Niigata that was cut short after five goals in 19 appearances. “I had an important international experience in Japan,” remarked the 6’4” attacker. “I learned a lot and brought these lessons with me in the United States. And for sure everything that I lived in Brazil was essential to get here. Every game, every championship and every club I’ve been to, I’ve had a different lesson. I will be forever grateful to my country.”

Fábio made his debut on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. He played 72 minutes.

***

Former MetroStar Branco has left the hospital after his fight against COVID-19. The Brazilian fullback was in good spirits following his three month stay. He appeared on the Fantástico television program, broadcast by the Globo network.

“Let’s celebrate life!” proclaimed Branco. “I want to thank the Brazilian people. The prayers they made for me were very beautiful. I was very, very bad. The work of the team of doctors, nurses, I had a spectacular [stay in the hospital].”

Congratulations, Branco!

***

Professional podcast guest and occasional manager Jesse Marsch appeared on the Ramble Meets show, an offshoot of the popular Football Ramble brand. I didn’t listen to the show, but let me take a wild guess: he talked about his journey, his tactical vision, and what it’s like being an American manager in Europe. I’m sure the episode is fascinating.

***

It’s a busy week for interviews. New York Red Bulls II attacker Omar Sowe spoke with the Beautiful Game Network. He discussed preparing for the MLS level and his preseason training with the first team. The native of The Gambia has taken up yoga, working with the club’s instructor, which provides a great opportunity to bond with teammates.

***

Speaking of interviews, center back Sean Nealis appeared on the Schwartz on Sports podcast. What did they discuss? You should listen and find out. It’s only ten minutes.

***

Goalkeeper Luca Lewis also made the media rounds, but he did it in a cool way that is hip with the youts. The former Torino prospect played FIFA 21 with Italian Football TV. The 20-year-old chose to compete in the virtual world with Inter Milan and AC Milan, while also sharing that New York treats him “much better” than clubs in Italy.

***

Former New York Red Bulls II attacker Deri Corfe found a new club. The Chester, England native signed with FC Tucson of USL League One, which finished in sixth place last season. “I am very excited for this new opportunity,” he said after signing. “I am looking forward to showing the fans what I can do and can’t wait to bring a championship to Tucson.”

A former member of the Manchester City academy, Corfe matriculated to the University of Rio Grande and Wright State. The Red Bulls selected him with the 41st overall selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. He scored two goals in 11 USL appearances, and his contract option was declined at the end of the season.

***

Former Red Bull Patrick Seagrist is heading out on loan. He is moving to Indy Eleven in the USL Championship for the 2021 season. The Florida club “retains the right to recall [him] at any time.”

New York selected Seagrist with the 10th overall pick in the 2020 SuperDraft, trading up to get him. He made three appearances and saw his option declined at the end of the season. Miami acquired his rights with a 2021 third-round SuperDraft pick. The Red Bulls elected to pass.

***

The Red Bulls renewed their partnership with New Jersey Youth Soccer. The partnership “aimed at developing youth soccer will also provide a variety of community initiatives.” The program involves the club’s Urban Soccer Program, which “engages children in physical activity and uses soccer as a vehicle to teach life skills.”

***

The list goes Leatherface, Norman Bates, Michael Myers, Hannibal Lecter, and… Caden Clark? The Red Bulls Homegrown attacker spoke with Goal in advance of the season, talking about his aims for the season. Guess what kind of player he wants to be?

“It’s a simple answer for me,” said Clark. “I think it’s kind of simple but it comes with a lot of things. Just being a killer. I just want to be a killer in the final third. I want to be someone that’s just always attacking.”

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Martha of Belmar.

Caden Clark’s pre-match meal is fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

Thank you, Martha. I wonder if he would get that reference. Sure, it’s culturally significant and probably transcends the original work, but would someone his age be able to name the film? Does a driven professional athlete obsessively watch films from 30 years ago?

***

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.