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Red Bulls Expert Guide: July 19, 2021

David Jensen finally hits the field again, Tim Cahill burnishes his video game biz credentials, and a rumor links Paulinho to New York in this week’s links

FIFA Soccer 13 Launch Tournament
Tim Cahill’s long-term relationship with EA Sports soldiers on.
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

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

Some fans read this weekly post. Some fans do not. Some people like to stay informed on the most tangential of stories involving the Red Bulls. Others have far, far better things to do with their time. You decide which one you want to be.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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Goalkeeper David Jensen played his first friendly for KVC Westerlo. The towering Dane appeared in the second 60-minute half against Sint-Truidense. He gave up one goal. His competition, the 32-year-old Koen Van Langendonck, started in the first half.

Jensen also played in the first half of the second friendly, a 3-1 win over K.V. Mechelen. He made a “very good save” on a corner but was unable to keep out the rebound. Van Langendonck, who entered the match at halftime, was substituted out in the 73rd minute due to an injury.

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The Uganda Kobs (U-23) took to the skies aboard Ethiopian Airways, ready to compete in the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup. The team, featuring probable Red Bulls II signing Steven Sserwadda, was drawn into Group A with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Sunday, July 18th) and rivals Tanzania (Sunday, July 25th).

Uganda played to a scoreless draw in the first fixture, a “physical duel.” Sserwadda started but left the match with an injury in the 38th minute. According to the Federation of Uganda Football Associations, the 18-year-old “limped out” and was replaced by another loosely connected Red Bulls transfer target of windows past, Bright Anukani.

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Writer Chaka Simbeye produced another fantastic breakdown at Left Back Football, this time profiling Red Bulls midfielder Frankie Amaya. His transition from FC Cincinnati to the wholly different system in New York has been quite the progression, for a player who was arguably the club’s best over the first month or two. The 20-year-old California native is praised as an “effective ball-carrier” and “incise passer,” although his game may be limited “under Gerhard Struber.”

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One of the many young talents with the reserve team, John Carlos Cortez spoke with Migrantes del Balon. The 17-year-old Peruvian-American has made four appearances this season in the USL Championship. His main focus is, understandably, reaching the first team.

“I was surprised [to appear with the professional team], but I’m happy it happened,” Cortez told writer Renzo Galiano. “All my hard work paid off. I will continue to work hard in training and matches. To go up, you have to be an outstanding player in the academy. I think being captain of several of my teams helped me… Once I settle down I will try to play with the main squad.”

Click the link and continue reading to learn how often he speaks with the Peruvian Football Federation.

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Man about town Tim Cahill has been added to FIFA 22 as a FIFA Ultimate Team Hero. The Australian has been a long-term partner with EA Sports, being frequently involved with the game. He spoke with Stephen Farrelly for the official Red Bull website (“A-oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh.”) about all of this stuff.

“I think I was very fortunate that I had 15 years in England with two amazing clubs,” said Cahill. “I am very loyal. I also had the chance to go to the New York Red Bulls. I think that’s what pretty much changed my mindset on how I attack the new world: commercial, business, partnerships, taking equity in companies, signing massive deals globally. EA Sports played a massive part in that, and as a player then, I realized my value.”

Let’s see, is there anything else going on in his life? Oh, here’s a nice story. Cahill serves as an ambassador for Greyhounds As Pets New South Wales, an organization attempting to connect these delightful animals with new homes. He encouraged residents to come check out an adoption day.

“There is absolutely no pressure to take a greyhound home, but if you come and spend some time with them, you will get to understand what amazing animals they are and fall in love with them as I have,” Cahill told the Camden Advertiser. “Adopting Lumo has been such a great decision for all of us… I’ve met so many people at adoption days who live with their greyhounds in apartments or in small spaces… They really do suit every household – from couples, through to families and retirees like my parents.”

Lumo, short for Luna Moana, was adopted in 2020. Cahill could not adopt a greyhound “without doing it [himself] first,” bringing the then-eight-year-old dog into his family. He confesses that his mother may occasionally slip the former racer “extra treats.”

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Probably not at all related to the Red Bulls, but the Vancouver Whitecaps are signing former top Scotland prospect Ryan Gauld. According to Barry Anderson of the Edinburgh News, he is signing a “three-year deal at £1m/year,” which is quite the decent salary for MLS. Only… the process is being held up by his current and/or former club.

Tell me if this sounds vaguely familiar. Portuguese outfit Sporting Club Farense claims to have activated a contract extension clause through 2022. Gauld counters that “the clause is invalid” because the Leões de Faro (Lions of Faro) were relegated.

Now, I am clearly not a lawyer, but perhaps the league will be treading very lightly considering the ongoing legal case involving another contract extension and Kaku. However, these are probably different situations. Again, I’m not a legal professional, much to the chagrin of my parents.

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A bit of an odd one came across the rumor wire. I believe the readers of this website should be presented with all available information, whether accurate or potentially false. It’s on them to decide how to interpret the validity.

Twitter account Informante Fiel (“First-hand information about Corinthians you see here.”) shared an interesting story, claiming that Brazilian player Paulinho had an offer from Red Bull Bragantino. This is not unexpected as the 32-year-old former Barcelona midfielder has been training with the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club due to a break in the Chinese Super League. Recently, Guangzhou Evergrande released him because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mutual decision.

What does this have to do with the MLS team? According to Informante Fiel, this Bragantino was for one season, after which Paulinho would have moved to New York. While he is a talented player, his age and likely salary does seem to make this an unlikely story.

Paulinho is said to have offers from a wide variety of clubs in Europe and the Middle East, with the “greater financial power” to meet his demands. Put as much or as little stock in this story as you choose. The world is what you make of it.

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After suffering a devastating knee injury, former Red Bulls defender Ambroise Oyongo has returned to the gym. The 30-year-old was seen…working out in the gym, hoping to get back into the team picture at Montpellier and be ready for next January’s Africa Cup of Nations. He is at an odd part of his career, having been sent on loan last season and now looking to catch the eye of new manager Olivier Dall’Oglio.

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Congratulations on the nuptials, Anatole Abang.

The former Red Bulls striker tied the knot. Now with Keşla FK in the Azerbaijan Premier League, the 25-year-old also won the Azerbaijan Cup last season. He begins UEFA Conference League qualifying this week, taking on Russian outfit PFC Sochi.

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Where in the world is former Red Bulls midfielder Marc Rzatkowski? That’s what Mopo would like to know. He has been without a team since being released by New York at the end of the 2020 season. Since then, the 31-year-old has yet to sign with a new club, only briefly popping up on the message board dedicated to discussing Heart of Midlothian.

Now, obviously Rzatkowski did not end up signing for the Scottish outfit. There has been nary a rumor or story of his whereabouts, a confusing prospect for a still quite capable and not unreasonably aged professional player. Surely some club will offer him a trial, enticed by his long-distance goals.

Lately, he’s apparently been hanging out at padelworld Bochum, which is a racquet club of sorts for the delightful sport of padel. This is not the same as the “paddle tennis” played by us heathens in the Colonies. This particular business is owned by former VfL Bochum player Marcel Maltritz. The two were teammates from 2010 through 2013.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Audrey of Lakewood.

Padel sounds like a great way to avoid ho-hum boredom in Bochum.

Thank you, Audrey. The company should use that as the slogan.

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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.