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Red Bulls Expert Guide: July 12, 2021

Elite scouts discuss Patryk Klimala, Steven Sserwadda’s holding pattern continues, and more Hans Backe content in this week’s links

German soccer star Lothar Matthaus (L) poses for p
Lothar Matthaus has more nice things to say!
Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

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

What’s your favorite day of the week? Mine is the one upon which the Expert Guide is released. Yours should be too. If it isn’t, then feel free to stop reading this website permanently. Get out of here. Can’t you see we don’t want you anymore? Why can’t you go back where you came from? Now leave us alone.

Here’s this week’s top story.


New York Red Bulls III, also known as Celtic, caused a bit of a stir when signing Patryk Klimala, with the Polish striker having been expected to become a key player in Scotland. That obviously did not happen, and now he’s in Major League Soccer, scoring and assisting at will. The scout that brought him to his previous club has some criticisms regarding his failure to adapt under previous management, believing that there was an absence of a strategy.

“With Klimala, there wasn’t a plan on how to handle that,” European scouting expert Mike Trusson told the Daily Record. “Having been part of his signing, [the absence of a strategy] concerned me to a fair degree. Klimala got put in the squad but hardly ever played.”

Trusson, who also spent time on staff at Sheffield Wednesday and West Bromwich Albion, believes that young players were not given a chance to gain experience at Celtic. There were some criticisms made during Klimala’s signing, but perhaps those were missing some context regarding what a mess the Scottish giants had created. The transfer fee to bring him to New York was still a bit much, but, hey, you can’t overpay for production.


Don’t look now, but Red Bull Bragantino is close to the top of the table in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, undefeated through 11 matches. The world is beginning to take notice with Diario AS describing the club as an “unstoppable leader.” Winning the domestic league and the Copa Sudamericana would certainly cause some waves, perhaps persuading a few more entities to invest in South America, to say nothing of the potential transfers.

Universo Online delved further into the new super club, attempting to determine what brought success in such a quick time. “One of the main points of this efficient management is to hire young players, with growth potential that can yield profit in future sales of economic rights,” writes Tinga. “Red Bull likes to propose the game, in an intense but simple way. Players are usually free to act. They are free to dribble, recompose, [and] attack. While presenting an organized system, Bragantino plays in a very Brazilian way, with defensive midfielders appearing in different sectors of the field, but everyone is aware of their responsibilities throughout the match.”

The company’s management style was further explored and explained by a variety of experts and analysts. According to professor of sports marketing Marcelo Palaia, the focus on “investing in a teenage audience” is supported by “aggressiveness in the ability to invest.” Business executive Renê Salviano believes Red Bull’s innovation is a welcome addition in Brazilian football, although cautions that success is not guaranteed.

I didn’t even know Brazil was a real country. I thought they invented it for the Fast and the Furious films.


For the second of two friendlies against Saudi Arabia, Uganda was defeated 2-0 in Riyadh. New York Red Bull II-ish attacker Steven Sserwadda was in the starting lineup. According to manager Morley Byekwaso, the team “dominated the second half” but was not “clinical” in the final third.

Also, there is a slight correction to last week’s Expert Guide. The CECAFA Challenge Cup will be held from July 17th through the 31st, still in Ethiopia. Due to difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda has pulled out of the competition,


Ignore that story from last week. Ralf Rangnick is the new head of sports and development at FC Lokomotiv Moscow.

The timeline is a little wonky, to say the least. There were refusals that this move was happening. In an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Rangnick shared that he is moving away from management and starting a consulting company, designed to help clubs streamline their transfer and development processes. This will not be a large organization, with a motto of “Small but nice.”

“I’m setting up a GmbH, a football consultancy,” said Rangnick. “It’s not about promoting careers primarily commercially. It’s about content development, from players, coaches, managers, and experts.”

However, then word came in from a variety of sources, announcing the move to the Russian Premier League outfit. The news is a little jumbled because Lokomotiv was supposed to be the first customer of this newly-formed consultancy. Things change fast in the world of football.


Following Germany’s departure in the Round of 16 at the EURO 2020, fingers are being pointed in all sorts of directions. Former MetroStar Lothar Matthäus has his target, directing criticism at Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos. What did the 60-year-old have to say?

“He lacked passion, fire, and vertical passes,” wrote Matthäus in his Bild column. “At the European Championships, however, his performance was disappointing. He could not lead the team… Kroos took too little responsibility. He also lacked conviction.”

Now, I don’t want to be an Obvious Oliver, but the jokes about passion might write themselves on this one.


Samuel Tetteh has a new club, moving to Turkey on a permanent move. The 24-year-old Ghanaian attacker signed with Adanaspor of the second-tier TFF First League. Toros Kaplanlari (The Taurus Tigers – named for a mountain range in the southern part of the country and the previous inhabitants, the now extinct Caspian tiger breed) finished at 14th in the table last season.

Tetteh initially joined Red Bull Salzburg from West African Football Academy in the summer of 2016, but his career trajectory has largely been altered by injury issues. He made ten total appearances for New York during his half-season on loan in 2020. “I hope that Samuel shows what he can do after a lot of club changes recently at Adanaspor,” said sporting director Christoph Freund. “We wish him all the best!”

Exclamation points always come off as sarcastic, but I’m sure that’s a “me problem.”


The people of Sweden demand more Hans Backe content, which has been dutifully delivered by the media. In a recent interview with Expressen, he discussed his family and life. Did you know that his dog is named Chelsea after his favorite team? This was a “requirement” when the adorable lagotto was adopted.

There was even a COVID-19 diagnosis, but thankfully long-term effects haven’t surfaced. “I [had] it in December,” said the 69-year-old. “I was quite rickety, nothing to worry about. My pains sat in my back. I had to lie in an armchair for eight days. It took a few more weeks before I was on the track again.”

Backe even discussed his partner, Sofia, a former soccer player with Café Opera (now named the much more boring AFC Eskilstuna). “This autumn it is 14 years since we met,” he shared, expressing a level of comfort and satisfaction I’ve never felt with another person. “She likes to play more than watch matches. No, [she never gets mad] when it comes to football, but much more when it comes to [horse] trotting. She sometimes rots when there is too much horse talk.”

The whole article is full of information about his life and career, for those curious about the former and forever Red Bulls manager. There is even a teaser that he might be returning to coaching. The offer is from outside of Europe and considered “a serious request.” Everything will be decided “in a few weeks.”

Once a Metro will keep you updated on any progress, largely by repurposing the reporting of actual journalists.


Speaking of former players, Amado Guevara appeared on Hablemos Soccer. The only MLS Most Valuable Player in club history discussed his time in the league and with the MetroStars. There was also a discussion on the Honduras national team, for those who are interested.

I would attempt to provide a rough translation of the video, pero mis habilidades como hispanohablante son mierda de perro.


Former Red Bull Šaćir Hot was interviewed on the Atmosphre Fútbol Channel. He discussed his time with the Red Bulls, including the sudden journey that elevated him from low-rated Academy product to Homegrown signing. Now coaching at FC Motown, the 30-year-old plans on transitioning into a sporting director role, hoping to build out the club at the youth level and in the business sphere.

Also, apparently his best friend is Mehdi Ballouchy. Please update your flowcharts.


Swedish club AIK may have reportedly been insulted by the New York Red Bulls’ $600,000 offer for left back Eric Kahl, but apparently a better one never arrived. The 19-year-old is still with Gnaget (The Gnaw), having dealt with a foot injury during the spring. The emergence of another solid performer at the position has prompted discussion as to which will be sold. However, ownership had taken out significant loans to avoid being forced into any negotiations.

“Today we have no bids for any player,” said AIK sports manager Henrik Jurelius. “So far we have not been in any negotiations about [Kahl]… The money is mainly intended for us to be able to stand firm in this pandemic… We wanted security to be able to withstand bids and be stable based on that. We have a plan for what we want to do and then we will see at what pace we can implement it.”

So there you have it: Kevin Thelwell maybe could have signed Kahl if not for AIK taking out a loan, although I’m sure it was a little more complicated than that.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Minerva of Metuchen.

The Red Bulls haven’t been this screwed over by a loan since Brian Nielsen.

Thank you, Minerva. That’s not very nice. In case you’re wondering, he recently retired from Vaerebro BK but will continue coaching at the club.


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