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Red Bulls Expert Guide: May 17, 2021

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Kaku is thriving at his new club while Jørgensen, Escobar, and Abang...are not

MLS: U.S. Open Cup Final-New York Red Bulls at Sporting KC
Former Red Bulls defender Fidel Escobar has been sat down on the bench for over a month at AD Alcorcón
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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

There are plenty of places where you could find periodic updates on Jean-Claude Billong, and it means a lot that you’ve chosen this New York Red Bulls news and rumors column above all others.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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Aarhus Gymnastikforening took on FC Nordsjælland in the Danish Superliga, winning by a 3-1 margin. Mathias Jørgensen did not play. Mathias Jørgensen was not on the bench. Mathias Jørgensen did not make the match day roster.

However, he did talk to Bold (again). The Danish striker discussed his “extremely uncertain future,” as there have been no discussions about the option to buy. With only two matches remaining, there is little opportunity to make an impact this season.

“I talked to my family about it, and the hope is that the next place I go to, there I have to play football and I have to be continuously involved training and get rid of injuries,” shared Jørgensen. “Where it will be, time will tell… Whether it will remain in the US, in AGF or elsewhere, time will tell… I do not rule anything out. It could be other Superliga clubs, back in the US, and it could be anything.”

That’s the great thing about life: every small decision one makes could lead to a catastrophe… or something good, I suppose.

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The latest edition of the Al-Qassim Derby ended favorably for Al-Taawoun. The Wolves secured a 2-1 win over Al-Ra’ed, their ground sharing partners at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium. Alejandro Sebastián Romero Gamarra put on a show, registering a goal and an assist. In first half stoppage time, he played a lovely ball behind the back line to Sumayhan Al-Nabit, who finished with ease. The Argentine-Paraguayan playmaker then scored what would ultimately be the match-winner in the 47th minute, intercepting a pass from the opposition goalkeeper and slotting his shot into the back of the net.

Interestingly enough, the latest news involving Kaku’s MLS contract made nary a peep in Saudi Arabian media.

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Any conscientious fan is curious as to the nature of the connections between the clubs under the Red Bull umbrella. Bragantino Head of Football Operations Thiago Scuro sat down for an interview with sportswriter Jorge Nicola of Yahoo and Canal do Nicola to discuss anything and everything about the Brazilian side. He even touched on how his scouting benefits New York, Salzburg, and Leipzig.

“We have a recruitment area where we monitor everything that takes place in South America to seek the youngest talent possible,” said Scuro. “We generate information not only for Red Bull Bragantino but also for [Campeonato Paulista Série A2 club Red Bull Brasil], Leipzig, and Red Bull New York.”

The MLS club has clearly benefited from the scouting, securing striker Fábio on loan. Will there be further collaboration between the two sides? Bet on it.

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Barnsley FC defender Michael Sollbauer took the time to speak with Transfermarkt ahead of the Championship promotion playoffs. The 31-year-old Austrian was brought to England by Gerhard Struber, after the manager’s stint at Wolfsberger AC. He is “very grateful” for the move and harbors no resentment over the MLS switch.

“Not at all [do I feel a little led down by Struber,” said Sollbauer. “A superb opportunity has opened up for him. Of course, I would have liked to work with him longer. I learned a lot under him – not only on the pitch – and I am really grateful for him for that. We were very successful together, both at Wolfsberg and Barnsley, and we are still in contact. Our paths have parted, but I would be happy if they crossed again – in whatever form.”

Staying in contact with various people seems to be a constant theme of Struber’s career, as his web of influence yields a steady stream of potential players and assistant coaches. On the wrong side of 30, Sollbauer eventually joining the Red Bulls seems highly unlikely, but one never knows. A reliable defender is always welcome on any back line, regardless of age.

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I know you want an update on Thomas Dooley, so here it is.

The former MetroStar recently turned 60 and is enjoying his time in Malaysia despite being let go from his recent head coaching position at Sri Pahang. Only holding the role for two months, he does not hold a grudge over the ending. In fact, if he sticks around long enough, the job may be his again.

“I wanted to bring in more professionalism,” Dooley told Die Rheinpfalz. “I have a good connection to one of the [Malaysian] princes, who is supposed to take over the lead at the club. We’ll have another conversation in 14 days. Wait and see. It is quite possible that I will stay in Malaysia for a few more years.”

The German-born Dooley ended his playing career with the MetroStars, playing 24 total matches in 2000. After retiring, the U.S. international managed 1. FC Saarbrücken and the Philippines national team, as well as serving as sporting director at Viettel Football Club in Vietnam. He hopes to continue “floating around the world” and coaching for the next two or three years.

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Former Red Bull Fidel Escobar is back to the bench. After a long stretch of starts at center back and defensive midfielder, the Panamanian international has not played in a month for AD Alcorcón in the Spanish second tier. The club is currently in 17th in the table, a mere two points above the relegation zone with three matches left to play.

His contract lasts through June of 2023 and, uh, good luck with this one, Fidel.

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Things are both good and bad for Keşla FK. The club is last place in the Azerbaijan Premier League table with 23 points from 27 matches, needing a victory and some help in the final fixture against Gabala FK to avoid relegation… I think. The club has also qualified for the final of the Azerbaijan Cup against Sumgayit FK after a wild 4-4 aggregate victory over Zira FK in the semifinal round.

In these crazy times, one expects former Red Bull Anatole Abang to be at the center of the drama. And he is, kind of. According to Soccerway, the Cameroonian striker has scored one goal in 16 total appearances for Keşla, which is not a lot, but his presence is certainly active in the highlight videos I’ve watched.

If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject of Azerbaijani soccer, feel free to write to Once a Metro.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Theodora of Spotswood.

Anatole Abang has only scored one goal in Azerbaijan, but at least he doesn’t have to worry about which one is his favorite.

Thank you, Theodora. That is certainly a positive spin.

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