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Red Bulls Expert Guide: August 2, 2021

The Red Bull corporate overlords pay a visit, David Jensen continues his return to the field, and another round of Florin Tănase rumors in this week’s links

Training kick-off RB Leipzig
Red Bull global soccer chief Christoph Mintzlaff has reportedly been in New York...doing what exactly?
Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images

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

Do you have a favorite color? This isn’t a test. You don’t have to give “red” as an answer because you are (probably) a Red Bulls fan. I don’t care what answer you give. In fact, I don’t really care whether you answer at all. I’m not sure why I asked.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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The boss might be in town. I’m not talking about Bruce Springsteen. According to Sport Buzzer, Red Bull global head of soccer Oliver Mintzlaff was “absent” from RB Leipzig camp and “in New York.”

With the transfer window drawing to a close, perhaps his expertise was needed in some way. Maybe he was making a routine visit as part of the regular duties for the global position. Hopefully those responsibilities did not include being forced to watch the match against the Revolution.

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Manager Gerhard Struber spoke with the BBC about transfers. Not New York moves, but instead the topic of discussion was Salzburg and, more notably, Patson Daka. The Zambian attacker recently moved to Leicester City, and the Austrian played a small role in his development while leading reserve side Liefering.

“From the very start, it was obvious Patson was a great talent, but he also had an incredible attitude,” said Struber. “He wanted to learn our style of play, with high pressing and quick transition, and worked tirelessly without the ball. When the other team is in possession, he fights like a defender. His desire to succeed and improve is phenomenal. Salzburg [develops] players in a special way and raised a lot of top footballers… He is a role model for other players.”

Daka recently moved to the Premier League on a reported $30 million transfer. Struber came to New York for a supposed $2 million. That’s probably not relevant.

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Wolverhampton is experiencing some interesting times. Wolves are attempting to hire two new scouts to the recruitment team, bouncing back from some recent staffing changes. According to the Birmingham Mail, Wolves “dismantled its scouting system following the departure of sporting director Kevin Thelwell in 2020 with cost-cutting measures of the pandemic leading to several talent-spotters moving on.”

Perhaps the Red Bulls head of sport made the right decision leaving for MLS when he did. I’ve stayed in jobs for too long, withering away as the world moves past you, trapped by some personal ethos of loyalty to which nobody else adheres. I’m speaking generally, of course.

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The Portuguese version of the official Red Bull website released a Best XI of all four clubs. As expected, Tyler Adams represents Leipzig at the lateral direito position. Playing meia is none other than Cristian Cásseres Jr., arguably New York’s brightest shining talent this season.

“[A] steering wheel with good passing and privileged game reading, Cásseres has everything that modern football requires for a player of his position,” wrote Ricardo Gomes. “He bites when marking, but he also knows how to deliver quality. A New York Red Bulls standout over the past two seasons of the MLS, he has also been gaining ground in the senior Venezuela team.”

Who knows how much longer he will be in MLS? I certainly don’t. This isn’t a hint or anything. I have no idea who would be able to answer that question.

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KVC Westerlo faced off in a preseason friendly against Almere City of the Dutch Eerste Divisie, drawing 1-1. David Jensen, on loan from the Red Bulls, started at goalkeeper. “Just before the final whistle,” Almere had a chance off a corner. The Dane saved the initial shot but was beaten by a rebound.

Westerlo has one more friendly against Club Brugge before beginning the Belgian First Division B season against Virton on Sunday, August 15th.

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Reserve team goalkeeper AJ Marcucci was profiled by the official National Premier Soccer League website. He competed in the league with the West Chester United Soccer Club during the 2019 season. Signing his professional deal was apparently a surprise.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I would be here,” said Marcucci. “But now that I am here, I go about it the same way as I did in college, where I try to get 1% better each day and just try to be the best person I could be first and foremost.”

One of the older members of the young squad, he attempts to “[lead] by example each and every day.” The Connecticut College Camel has made ten appearances this season with Red Bulls II, including in a recent loss to the Sacramento Republic. At the moment, Luca Lewis is said to be with the first team, in case you were wondering.

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It wouldn’t be a transfer window without Florin Tănase being connected with a move to Major League Soccer.

The Romanian attacker with FCSB is totally leaving Liga I this time. His club even received a 5.5 million euro offer from a club in the United States, according to Telekom Sport. After scoring 24 goals last season, that seems like a completely fair transfer fee for the 26-year-old.

However, the player himself does not believe the story. “I don’t know anything about this offer from America,” Tănase told Digi Sport. “I only knew about one offer from the Emirates, which didn’t materialize… The offer from America did not appear.”

The Telekom report does not name the potential suitor, merely stating that he was “also wanted by New York Red Bull” in the past. However, all the way back in 2019, Kristian Dyer reported that the club “has not made an offer” and would not make one. That did not stop the two parties from continuing to be connected by the Romanian press in successive windows.

What’s important is that as sure as the sun will come out tomorrow, Florin Tănase will continue to be linked with a move to MLS, likely for the rest of his career.

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Former reserve player Mike da Fonte has opened a “football and physical education academy,” based in Ossining, New York. The program, co-operated by his brother, already has 90 students “from 4 to 22 years of age” and offers “individual and group sessions.” He believes that graduates will be “prepared to play football on a linear level.”

The 30-year-old played for Red Bulls II in 2015, making 25 appearances.

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While at training camp in the Netherlands, Al-Taawoun lost a preseason friendly to Anderlecht by a 2-1 margin. Shortly after halftime, Kaku scored the first goal of the match, converting a penalty. However, the Belgians responded at the 80th and the 85th minute marks.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Evie of Hazlet.

If Kaku wanted to play for a team that blows leads, he could have stayed with the Red Bulls.

Thank you, Evie. For some reason, I think he had other reasons for his departure.

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