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Red Bulls Expert Guide: August 30, 2021

Issiar Dramé watch continues, David Jensen and Kaku continue to rack up appearances overseas, and Cameron Harper hits Manhattan in this week’s links

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake
Kaku is still playing in Saudi Arabia as a free man.
Melissa Majchrzak-USA TODAY Sports

Once A Metro Red Bulls Expert Guide: August 30, 2021

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

I try to find one story from every day of the week for this curated collection. Unfortunately, sometimes the news simply isn’t there. I search high and low, to and fro, but cannot find the buried treasure. Is it a conspiracy? I think there’s a massive, unseen cabal preventing me from filling the Expert Guide with need-to-know information.

Here’s this week’s top story.


I don’t know if Issiar Dramé is signing for the New York Red Bulls. The French-Malian defender left Ukrainian club Olimpik Donetsk in June, his two-year contract “terminated” by mutual agreement. He has recently landed on the radar of SK Sturm Graz of the Austrian Bundesliga, if local media is to be believed.

According to Vorarlberger Nachrichten, linked Dramé to the squad and claimed that “an African with a French passport” would be signing soon. He is already at Sturm Graz for “a medical check-up and transfer talks.” Liga Portal tells a different story claiming that while the club is interested in him, the immediate signing might instead be Pape-Alioune Ndiaye, who, coincidentally, is a 6’8” French-Senegalese center back that played in the Ukraine last season.

Further obscuring matters, information from Sky Sports through Laola1 through Boerse-Express indicates that Dramé is the “dream” player for Altach. That did not stop the club from ultimately signing Ndiaye. Are you confused yet? The MLS Roster Freeze Date is September 15th, 2021.


KVC Westerlo took on Lierse Kempenzonen in a “beautiful derby” at the Het Kuipje, coming away with a 3-2 victory. David Jensen had little chance of stopping the opponent’s goals. He made a “brilliant’’ save right before halftime.

With seven points in three matches, Westerlo tops the eight-team Belgian First Division B table.


It was a rough day at the office for Al-Taawoun. The Cooperation faced off against Al-Nassr and managed to take the lead in the 88th minute via a penalty conversion from Kaku. Proceedings quickly turned pear-shaped, as the 10-player opponents managed to score in the 91st, 98th, and 104th minutes to secure a 3-1 victory.

The second and game-winning goal was, in fact, a penalty caused by Kaku. The former/possibly-legally-current Red Bull finds himself in the relegation zone after three matches, but the season is still young. The club recently switched head coaches and is reportedly facing “many challenges” under a new front office.

In what would perhaps be a welcome distraction, the playmaker is headed to South America for international duty with Paraguay and three crucial fixtures against Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.


It’s the… hand of the tiger.

It’s the thrill of the fight.

Superstar Homegrown John Tolkin got some ink according to a post on social media platform Instagram. Market Street Tattoo Company of Morristown, New Jersey affixed the midfielder’s left hand with a “realistic tiger.” The body art is “black and grey with some purple eyes.”

Will there be a future tattoo involving a lion? What about the one after featuring a bear? When reached for comment, noted Once a Metro correspondent George Takei remarked, “Oh myyy.”


Senior director of field marketing Christina Giunta-Quarino appeared on WDHA-FM (“The Rock of New Jersey”) to discuss the New York Red Bulls’ “11 Days of Service Initiative” which “runs in conjunction with September 11th.” The club is engaging in 11 acts of service. Despite many players not being from the United States, they are “always willing to help their community” after “adopting New York and New Jersey as their homes.” Goalkeeper Ryan Meara is “instrumental in explaining what 9/11 was” to his teammates, taking several younger members of the squad on a trip to the 9/11 Memorial.


Adding to his growing collection of jobs, investments, and endorsements, Tim Cahill was named to the board of directors for KAS Eupen. Becoming yet another Red Bull in Belgium, the 41-year-old joins the club owned by Aspire Zone Foundation, located in Doha, Qatar. He is, of course, the sporting director of the organization.

“I am proud and delighted to be part of the board of directors of KAS Eupen,” said everyone’s favorite Socceroo. “Having spent some time at the club before the season and having studied it from a distance last season, I see enormous potential in it, not only because there are collaborators who work hard and as a tight-knit team for the good of the club, which I believe is crucial for success on and off the pitch. I look forward to working very intensely with the board, management as well as with the sports department, to help to develop the identity of the club and contribute to its growth and future development.”

The Pandas are currently atop the table in Belgian First Division A after a 12th place finish last season. Eupen is located in the German area of the country, not to be confused with the French or Dutch areas. No doubt, the club and country will benefit from the presence and expertise of Cahill, a man of many qualities.


It’s always nice to show love to a former club.

Cameron Harper hung out with Celtic fan group, the New York Fenian Bhoys, watching the Europa League qualifier against AZ Alkmaar at Jack Dempsey’s in Manhattan. According to this social media post, he will be “back in on Sunday” for the Scottish Premiership match against Rangers. That should be quite the fun day after scoring a hat trick against the Chicago Fire*.

*I wrote this on Friday.


Speaking of men about town, Patryk Klimala made an appearance at the Kazimierz Deyna Memorial Tournament. He was a “special guest” at 20th Century Park in Garfield, New Jersey, meeting fans and attendees. The competition is named for the famous Polish soccer player who died in a car accident at the age of 41.

The day’s festivities also featured a friendly soccer match between teams led by boxers Tomasz Adamek (former WBC light heavyweight, Ring cruiserweight, IBF cruiserweight, and IBO cruiserweight champion) and Adam Kownacki (former IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight champion).


Speaking of men not about town, Steven Sserwadda recently celebrated his 19th birthday. Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club recently announced that the Ugandan midfielder is joining the New York Red Bulls. The latter organization has yet to make mention of his acquisition.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Goldie of Woodland Park.

Where is this guy? Uganda be kidding me!

Thank you, Goldie. Based on how this season is going, NYRB II could probably use the help.


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