Welcome to the Red Bulls Expert Guide presented by Once a Metro.
An Expert Guide is never late, nor is it early. It arrives precisely when it means to. The timeframe of “when it means to” is usually late on Monday but only after I forgot to write the post and scramble to throw together some links.
Here’s this week’s top story.
Al-Taawoun dropped a crucial 1-0 fixture to league leaders Al-Hilal, missing out on three important points that would have greatly aided in AFC Champions League qualification. Kaku played 90 minutes but was unable to find the back of the net. The Wolves return to action on Thursday for the King Cup of Champions final, taking on Al-Faisaly.
Aarhus Gymnastikforening took on Brøndby in the Danish Superliga, losing 2-1. Mathias Jørgensen did not play. Mathias Jørgensen was not on the bench. Mathias Jørgensen did not make the match day roster.
AGF has one fixture remaining this season, playing FC Midtjylland on Monday, May 24th. The club is out of contention for European competition but can spoil the opponent’s qualification. Jørgensen has appeared in one match while on loan, playing 22 minutes in February against FC Copenhagen.
With Jesse Marsch assuming the managerial position at one of the biggest clubs in Europe, publications are naturally searching for every detail they can find on the Wisconsin native. Eurosport sought out two people from his past: midfielder Florian Valot and strength coach Tony Jouaux, both of the New York Red Bulls. Naturally, they have nothing but effusive praise for the man.
“He always had confidence in me, even in difficult times,” said the French midfielder, who struggled with injuries while climbing from the U-23s to the MLS side. “He told me again that I had the level to win in the first team and that my problem was simply in the head. He is someone very close to the players, a confidant, who manages to galvanize his troops. You can’t imagine what he did for me.”
Jouaux, who joined the Red Bulls in 2015, shares a similar sentiment. “He recruited me because he wanted someone who could assimilate the Red Bull method, made of high intensity races and pressing,” he told writer Maxime Aubin. “I was impressed both by his intelligence, his good nature and his leadership. He’s someone you want to work for, who gives you a banana every morning.”
Currently a person of interest in multiple run-by fruiting incidents, Marsch is described as capable of speaking to players in French, English, Spanish, and German, which is a useful skill for a global manager. As has been reported in the past, the establishment of a player’s council provided opinions on various day-to-day operations. Sometimes it seems like his entire career (well, at least the last half-decade) has been building to the Leipzig job.
Also, did you know he went to Princeton?
Speaking of Red Bull and former New York employees, Ralf Rangnick had “a conversation” with Tottenham. According to David Hytner of The Guardian, “It is unclear whether that was about the manager’s job or the director’s position.” He was previously connected to the North London club in April.
Rangnick’s most recent technical area experience with Leipzig ended in June of 2019. He’s been connected to a string of jobs, each reported negotiation failing for one reason or another. At some point, you have to stop looking for the perfect situation and make the best of things because time will continue passing with or without you.
Take heed of Shirley Knight’s guidance in As Good as It Gets: “Everybody wants that, dear. It doesn’t exist.”
Everyone wants to hire former Red Bulls manager Juan Carlos Osorio. The 59-year-old is currently being courted by América de Cali of the Colombian Categoría Primera A. The only thing that is missing is his signature and he reportedly assures that “everything is settled.”
While Osorio appears set to stick around Colombia, there is an interesting report linking him to Crystal Palace. With Roy Hodgson set to depart Selhurst Park, the Premier League club is looking anywhere and everywhere for new managers. Though Osorio did go to coaching school in Liverpool at John Moores University, actually working in England would be an interesting challenge for someone who has never been employed outside of the Western Hemisphere - but the matter appears settled for now.
Stay tuned because this is one hot story. If there is one thing Red Bulls fans care about, it’s constant updates on a manager from 12 years ago. Speaking of that sort of news, let’s move to Germany.
Hopefully nobody gets their news from the Expert Guide, but in case you do, Werder Bremen was relegated for the first time in 40 years. Gerhard Struber was recently connected to the manager position as the club hopes to return to the glories of yesteryear. The drop to the second tier seems to end any rumored flirtation.
Then again, after a few more performances like the one against the Revolution, perhaps he’ll want to leave.
Did you know that former Red Bull Jared Stroud plays for Austin FC? In case you hadn’t, former Red Bull Jared Stroud plays for Austin FC. Other than missing New York pizza, the hardest part of living in Texas is being away from his family.
“It was awesome seeing them [at the Minnesota United match] because it had been a couple of months,” Stroud told the Austin American-Statesman. “It was just nice coming out of a pandemic because it was the first time they had seen my game in over a year and a half. It was special that they were there and luckily we got a good win.”
The native of Chester, New Jersey has been a key player for the expansion club, dishing out a few assists. Will the Red Bulls regret letting him go? Perhaps soccer is not a zero-sum game and multiple people and entities can simultaneously thrive.
Congratulations to A.J. Marcucci. The reserve team goalkeeper won Connecticut College’s Anita L. DeFrantz award, given to the school’s top male senior athlete “whose athletic ability, leadership, and sportsmanship best exemplify the qualities of Olympic medalist Anita L. DeFrantz.” After three years of incredible play at the Division III level, he was unable to play his final NCAA season due to the New England Small College Athletic Conference cancelling the fall 2020 soccer season.
The Red Bulls drafted Marcucci with the 67th overall selection in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft and signed him to the USL squad, a curious find at a time when most front offices are moving focus away from college players. He’s played the last two matches and impressed with his shot-stopping abilities, a key figure in securing three points against Loudoun United. According to Nicholas Murray, the 21-year-old has the league’s best “G-xG.” I have no idea what that means, but it’s probably good.
There’s a youth movement in Major League Soccer, according to the Associated Press, and the New York Red Bulls are “emblematic” of its furthering. Some guy named Caden Clark was asked about the attention his performances have received. “All the media is great,” he said. “I think it’s really cool to see someone talk about your name on ESPN. It’s cool, but to be honest, I don’t think, ‘Wow.’ I just kind of stick to it, stick to the game.”
Here’s a joke that was submitted by Lavinia of Clifton.
“The most surprising revelation from the story is that young people still watch ESPN.”
Thank you, Lavinia. While ESPN no longer has a complete hold on sports entertainment, the company is a cultural institution and holds an important place in the hearts and minds of athletes and fans.
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