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Red Bulls Expert Guide: August 16, 2021

David Jensen finally hits the field again, Barnsley fans chat about Gerhard Struber, and is Amro Tarek still on the way to Cyprus?

MLS: FC Cincinnati at New York Red Bulls
David Jensen is clutching to his new starting status at Westerlo for dear life.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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

Management of this site is constantly at war with this weekly post. I’ve been told to get rid of it. I’ve had my best stories pulled out and turned into work for other people. Despite the constant aggression, I will continue to defend the keep. This is our home, loyal reader.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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A few weeks ago, Amro Tarek was linked with a move to Apollon Limassol FC in Cyprus. The center back has since been a regular presence in the lineup, making his departure quite unlikely. According to somewhat new information, he was much closer to leaving than previously imagined.

“The footballer had agreed with us, but they had some problems in his team, as a result of which they needed him,” Apollon spokesman Fanourios Konstantinou told SPOR FM. “He had a game yesterday, he played 90 minutes, and it is a case that will be clarified by the end of the week. Of course, we do not stay with folded arms. We have other options and another young defender will come.”

The club has yet to sign another center back, so perhaps a deal is still on the menu… eventually. I’m not quite sure I would classify the 29-year-old Tarek as a “young defender,” although Cyprus may have different standards. Perhaps that speaks to the age-defying wonders of the Mediterranean diet.

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The Red Bulls took part in some charity, led by none other than Patryk Klimala.

According to Daniel Gębala of Moja Świdnica, the Polish striker “donated a match jersey with the signatures of his teammates and signed football boots to an online auction.” He is receiving praise for not forgetting his hometown. The cause is supporting fellow Świdnica resident Andrzej Żumanow, who is attempting to purchase a “hyper-modern” prosthetic leg after battling thrombosis.

“This is great news all the way from New York, a touching gesture from Patryk Klimala,” said Wiesław Żurek, president of Łączy nas Football (Football Connects Us). “The jaw really is dropping. Patryk respects a great, good boy. We would like to remind you that we are collecting money… One of the forms of help is an internet auction on Facebook. Items donated by Patryk will be available on it.”

I would also like to wish a belated Happy Birthday to Mr. Klimala’s American Staffordshire Terrier. The now-three-year-old Lambo appears to have enjoyed quite the feast on his special day. His companion of the same breed turned one in early July.

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Jay Stucchio of Breaking the Lines produced a player analysis of Caden Clark. The teenager is described as an “elite presser of the ball in all areas of the pitch,” which is to be expected for a Red Bulls player. His tackling and pass blocking interception are similarly praised, a firm rebuttal to those who consider him to be more of an attacking talent. The writer describes some weaknesses in his game, but that’s probably a click-and-find-out sort of thing.

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Goalkeeper David Jensen started the first match of the Belgian First Division B season for KVC Westerlo. The big Dane notched a shutout in the 2-0 victory against Royal Excelsior Virton. He reportedly “had no problem keeping the ball out of the goal.”

Unfortunately for the hat enthusiasts out there, Jensen was not wearing one.

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Al-Taawoun opened the Saudi Pro League season with a 3-3 against Al-Hazem (sometimes stylized as Al-Hazm or Alhazem), a recently promoted side from the second-tier First Division. Alejandro Gamarra found the back of the net in the 34th minute, giving the Cooperation a two-goal lead that would eventually evaporate. His long-range effort beat the goalkeeper to the near post. According to Koora, he missed “several easy chances to double the score.”

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With New York currently… slumping… to put it kindly, you may wonder what fans of Barnsley FC are thinking about their former manager, Gerhard Struber. You probably weren’t, but I was. So I strolled over to the Barnsley FC Fans Forum and perused around a little.

“Grass isn’t always greener, Gerhard,” writes DN6 Red.

“Glad he went when he did,” shares redrum. “Couldn’t buy a goal in open play, never mind a win, and his tippy tappy [negativity] was boring me to tears.”

“Brilliant job keeping us up, should have left on a high after the Brentford game,” opines Shepley Red. “Instead we had to endure a shocking start to last season with all the tippy tappy nonsense and going nowhere. Can’t believe the compo (compensation) we got for him, so kudos to the board!”

“I love Struber,” counters Baka.

Well… those fans should probably tune into the Red Bulls’ recent matches. No tippy-tappy, play-it-out-of-the-back possession has been seen in these parts for quite some time.

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Former Red Bulls U-23 defender Jean-Claude Billong could be on the move to Clermont Foot 63. According to Saber Desfarges of Téléfoot, the 27-year-old Frenchman is in advanced talks “with the newly-promoted Ligue 1 club.” Considering he has not played for Benevento in years and instead embarked upon a series of loans, this could be a permanent deal that offers a bright new shining future on the plains of Limagne.

Just, uh, be careful before getting any more tattoos, Jean-Claude.

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Former Red Bulls pre-academy coach Radosław Mozyrko has certainly moved up in the world becoming the new sporting director at Warta Poznań in the first-tier Polish Ekstraklasa. He previously worked at Manchester United but was not intimidated because he had “already worked for the New York Red Bulls” which is “one of the best youth clubs in the world.” The 34-year-old was most recently Chelsea’s “main youth scout for Eastern Europe,” but expects his variety of roles to help take Zieloni (The Greens) to new heights.

“I ate bread from different ovens, but an advantage appears only when able to use it” Mozyrko told TVP Sport. “In this role, the most important thing is the ability to cooperate and manage people… We have a similar view of the [sport] with the Warta [ownership]. Everyone fits together and there will be no revolution for sure… The ship is going in the same direction.”

His goal is for the club to stay in the first division “as long as possible.” Warta is currently in eighth place in the 18-team league after a recent 2-0 loss to Legia Warsaw.

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Not sure if this has anything to do with New York, but Oliver Mintzlaff received a contract extension as Chairman of the Board for RB Leipzig. His new deal runs through “at least 2026.” He has held the position since 2014, while also serving as the “head of global soccer,” which are possibly the same roles. The Red Bull corporate structure tends to be a bit opaque.

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Speaking of corporate, there was a big meeting at a hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. All of the leaders of the fiv-… four families were there. Red Bull bigwigs including Oliver Mintzlaff, Florian Scholz, and Christoph Vivell “put their heads together with representatives from Red Bull New York and Bragantino.” According to the inimitable Guido Schäfer of Sportbuzzer, the topic of discussion was “synergies (mutual fertilization) in mutual happiness.”

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Theresa of Guttenberg.

Based on some of the synergy loans New York has received, it’s no surprise that one of the main sources of fertilizer is shi-.

OKAY, thank you, Theresa. I think you’ve made your point.

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