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Red Bulls Expert Guide: August 9, 2021

Jesse Marsch discusses his New York interviews, Anatole Abang ties the knot in Azerbaijan, and another wave of Florin Tănase rumors? You bet!

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SOCCER: JUL 01 US Open Cup - Fifth Round - New York Cosmos at Red Bulls
Former Red Bulls striker Anatole Abang’s wedding last month was quite the media sensation.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

Sometimes there are a lot of stories about the Red Bulls. Sometimes there are not a lot of stories about the Red Bulls. These are the two states of being.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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The start of the Belgian season is rapidly approaching. KVC Westerlo goalkeeper David Jensen spoke to HLN about this and that. One topic of discussion was his time with the Red Bulls.

“After four years in Utrecht, it was time for a new challenge,” said the Dane. “The Red Bulls gave me the opportunity to work at a higher level. It’s true what they say about America: everything there is bigger, both on and off the field. The MLS is growing strongly and I am happy that I was able to experience a dozen matches.”

His family is happy in Belgium, having already experienced what he describes as a similar Dutch lifestyle. He is excited about Westerlo’s plans and believes the club can return to the top division next season. Unfortunately the goalkeeper did not appear in the final preseason friendly. Club Brugge, last year’s first division champions, claimed a 2-1 victory.

***

This is my fault. I called for rain, and now my basement is flooded.

*Drum roll*

According to Antena Sport, Florin Tănase is connected to… the New York Red Bulls, again. The publication acknowledges that “it is not the first time that [his] name is on the lips of the [club].” FCSB wants 5,000,000 euros for their captain who is under contract through December of 2022. He also has offers from Belgium, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

As you probably realized, the transfer window closed without the 26-year-old attacker joining the Red Bulls. What a surprise! How shocking! See you in the winter rumor mill, Florin Tănase!

***

With the German season underway (the DFB-Pokal started this past weekend), everyone wants to talk to the new manager of one of the world’s biggest clubs. Jesse Marsch is causing quite the stir at RB Leipzig and rightly so. He spoke with the ever-entertaining Guido Schäfer on a variety of topics. Of possible interest to New York readers is yet another recounting of his initial hiring and such.

“I had two interviews in New York, and Oliver Mintzlaff was there for the second,” said Marsch. “He saw something in me… We had success with a comparatively small budget and a lot of young players… Yes, [Salzburg was a consideration in 2016], but my work in New York wasn’t finished. I had only been there a year. I didn’t want to abandon the club that gave me this great opportunity.”

That would have been something if he left after a single season or more likely a one-and-a-half. As for whether Tyler Adams has an advantage under his former manager, Marsch demurred, claiming that all players are in his good books. So, welcome to Leizpig, Gonzalo Verón!

***

Speaking of the former Designated Player, everything’s coming up Gonzalo! That’s right. Gonzalo Verón is reportedly crushing it on the field and in the courtroom.

In his first match with Liga Pro Ecuador Serie A side S.D. Aucus, the Argentine attacker notched a goal and an assist in a 3-0 victory over Guayaquil City FC. He was forced to miss the next fixture with a “muscular ailment,” but was once again in the lineup for consecutive draws with Emelec and Orense. Don’t worry about relegation because El Ídolo del Pueblo (The Idol of the People) is currently at ninth out of 16 teams in the overall table.

As for the even more exciting news, it seems like Verón could be due a lot of money from Club Atlético Independiente. The Argentine outfit is reportedly said to have released him due to lack of payment, after the player spent $750,000 to terminate his contract with the Red Bulls. He sued for six million dollars, with the court ruling in his favor and denying the appeal. The two parties are allegedly meeting, discussing a settlement of one million dollars.

This story has been reported in Spanish, a language in which I am not remotely fluent. So please, please do not take any of this as gospel. It’s quite possible that I got most of the details wrong, so feel free to click the links and read the stories for yourself.

***

The Daily Star released a list of the “top ten richest football club owners from around the club.” Clocking in at number two is Dietrich Mateschitz, one spot below Sheikh Mansour of City Football Group. The money appears to be put to good use, as FC Barcelona reportedly earned “almost half a million euros” (or one quarter of a Gerhard Struber) for a friendly against Red Bull Salzburg. The Catalans lost 2-1.

***

You might not have been invited to the wedding of former Red Bulls forward Anatole Abang, but thankfully Azerbaijani television outlet CBC Sports has you covered for what appears to have been the social event of the summer. Presenter Sadig Guliyev profiled the Keşlə Futbol Klubu striker and his wife in a half-hour special for Foto+ (and thankfully posted the show to what I believe is his personal YouTube channel). Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the couple on their special day, replete with dancing, drums, and more dancing.

***

Former academy player Alexander Bahr has joined F.C. Motagua of the Honduras Liga Nacional. The 20-year-old defender was most recently at Georgia State University. The Ciclón Azul (Blue Cyclone) opened the Apertura season with a 3-0 win against Platense. The newest signing did not appear.

***

The current season of The Bachelorette may be winding down, but the summer’s most exciting game of suitors continues.

Former Red Bulls winger Josh Sims is connected to Sheffield Wednesday. According to Yorkshire Live, the Owls are in talks with the winger, having recently hired his manager from Doncaster Rovers. The club was relegated from the Championship last season after finishing 24th out of 24 teams.

League One restarted last weekend, but the move has yet to happen. Sims is certainly taking his time to find the right environment for his future. It’s hard to blame him after a pear-shaped MLS loan and generally dismal ending to his time at Southampton.

***

Former Red Bull Markus Schopp has taken over at Barnsley, leading the Tykes to a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City in his first match. Recently, he spoke with Der Standard about his expectations for the season and his place in the club’s pantheon of Austrian managers. According to the 47-year-old, Gerhard Struber “allowed a lot of creativity” while in the Championship.

Schopp separates himself from past Barnsley managers, claiming his “own idea of football.” He prefers “to have possession but also wants to work aggressively against the ball in defense.” Despite his Red Bull history, the Graz native does not “have a Salzburg stamp,” charting his own course away from the organization’s trademark tactics.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Enid of Weehawken.

What passes for creativity in Barnsley must have a slightly lower standard than the artistic capital that is New York.

Thank you, Enid. That’s unfair to Barnsley. Besides, Weehawken is hardly Marfa.

***

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.