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Red Bulls Expert Guide: September 27, 2021

Patryk Klimala makes a bold claim, Florian Valot dishes on his trade to Cincinnati, and Cristian Cásseres gets another Venezuela call-up in this week’s links

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Inter Miami CF
Patryk Klimala is growing in confidence on the field and in the press.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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

Did you know that cattle are red-green color blind? The idea of a “red bull” is kind of poetic in a desperately human way. We will never know how others perceive us or truly understand who we are. Self-actualization doesn’t exist, merely an obscured pursuit of success that ultimately rings hollow with any real examination.

Here’s this week’s top story.


Star striker Patryk Klimala is on a hot streak. Naturally, his performance in Major League Soccer is drawing attention from the media back home in Poland. Now, while I was unable to access his interview with Super Express, certain aggregated quotes did filter out into the blogosphere.

“The Red Bull brand decided [his move],” said Klimala (via SportoweFakty). “It is a company that focuses heavily on football because – apart from the New York Red Bulls – RB Leipzig, FC Salzburg, and Brazilian clubs under this brand are also developing dynamically. I decided this is a good direction for [my] development. In the future, maybe I will come back to Europe, to the German or Austrian club of this owner.”

The striker also appeared to throw out a challenge to his Polish compatriots in the league. “People who know my character, they know that in the attack I always feel the best,” he continued. “Yes, I feel stronger than them [Kacper Przybyłko, Jarosław Niezgoda and Adam Buksa - editor’s note from Info Sport] and I will prove it.”

The young man is certainly not lacking in confidence. Seven goals and five assists tend to do that to a person. Maybe his first call-up to the Poland senior national team will follow.

(Thank you to Monika for translation assistance.)


KVC Westerlo probably did not expect last place and winless Royal Excel Mouscron to put up such a fight. The current table leaders needed a 91st minute header from Fernand Gouré to escape with a 2-1 victory at the Stade Le Canonnier. David Jensen started at goalkeeper, only surrendering a goal due to a deflection.


Al-Taawoun took on title hopefuls Al-Ittihad in Saudi Professional League Action. The good news is that the Wolves were able to grab a 1-1 draw. The bad news is that the result was not enough to rise out of last place in the table.

Kaku started and assisted on teammate Iago Santos’ goal in the 74th minute, playing a lovely free kick to the back post. He snagged the Man of the Match. Perhaps this draw will have long-term positive effects for the team. If not, the midfielder can always leave.


Rev up that rumor mill. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… or probability.

Every year, Mesut Özil must be connected with a move to Major League Soccer. This time, the Red Bulls are lucky enough to be included. According to Takvim, the club is interested in the 32-year-old Fenerbahçe midfielder. Inter Miami is also said to be kicking the tires, which only adds overwhelming credence to this completely true story.

Get ready, soccer fans of the New York metropolitan area! Özil is coming to Red Bull Arena! Don’t ask any questions of tactical fit or age! This is for real!


The first stage of the 2021 Campeonato Brasileiro Série C has concluded. Oeste Futebol Clube finished in last place in Group B with seven points in 18 matches, following a 4-0 loss to Paraná. Rubrão (Big Red) will drop to Série D in 2022. According to Agência Futebol Interior the club has “specialized in relegation in recent years,” suffering four combined national and state league drops “in the last five seasons.”

Oeste has not been in the fourth tier since 2011. Perhaps the club will receive some funding in the form of a transfer fee. That is, if the Red Bulls opt to exercise the option-to-buy for one Fábio Roberto Gomes Netto.


Former Red Bull Florian Valot spoke to Culture Soccer about his move to FC Cincinnati. He claims that Gerhard Struber had “not spoken to [him] in a few months,” resulting in the player forcing a move. From there, things got a little awkward with timing.

“Then the week we were playing Cincinnati [August 5th], my agent called me and told me that they will make an offer to pick me up and that he will keep me informed in the following hours,” said Valot. “The next day my agent tells me that there has been an offer and that they are working on the details but he tells me that apparently Cincinnati would like me to travel with them directly after the game… At the beginning of the week, however, I was told that I will be on the bench with the team… But the New York Red Bulls! So they [Cincinnati] don’t want me to leave after the game with them. Already it’s weird that I’m on the bench when the Red Bulls know very well that I’m going to be transferred. I think it was more to piss me off than anything else.”

Struber does appear to have a pattern of not attempting to force players into his system. At Barnsley, Cameron McGeehan claimed the manager arrived and “was not having [him] one bit.” The Austrian described the player as “very good,” but he required “more activity against the ball.” I’m not saying the situations are comparable, just that the stories seem similar.

Valot also discussed the Red Bulls’ overall team strategy. He claims the club is attempting “to develop young players to send them to the best clubs.” Also, Chris Armas was “a great assistant” but struggled to create boundaries because of his closeness to the players.

Read the full interview.


Prince Norodom Ravichak of Cambodia is attempting to buy AS Saint-Étienne, currently at 19th in the Ligue 1 table. The French club is currently up for sale, with two officially submitted bids featuring “a bank guarantee of at least €100 million.” The first is from the Terrapin Partners investment fund, which is reportedly connected to none other than Jérôme de Bontin, a link the former Red Bulls executive has denied. The other and currently favored party is led by “local business backed by a wealthy Luxembourg fund.”

Will de Bontin be running Saint-Étienne? Is he even involved? How exactly does Cambodia’s “unitary dominant-party parliamentary elective constitutional monarchy” function?


You’ve probably heard by now, but Marc Rzatkowski signed with Schalke.

The 31-year-old midfielder signed a contract through June of 2022. Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues) are currently in the second tier, stationed at eighth in the table. His teammate is none other than former Red Bull Victor Pálsson, who moved over from Darmstadt 98 last summer.

“I was born in the Ruhr area,” said Rzatkowski. “You don’t have to explain to me what charisma FC Schalke 04 still has. So when the request came, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I now want to get to know the team as quickly as possible and do my part to ensure that we play the upcoming games successfully.”

In case you were wondering, Josh Sims remains a free agent.


Defender Amro Tarek has arrived in Egypt. El Gouna FC announced that the defender is signed through 2024. The team - delightfully nicknamed the Gounies - is currently running on the sand and training in the sunshine, which is pretty nice work if you can get it. The previous Egyptian Premier League season concluded on August 28th, so there might be a bit of a layoff before the former Red Bull gets to play again.


I always enjoy reading interviews involving former players. Former Red Bulls midfielder Andreas Ivan spoke to RevierSport. The 26-year-old, now with Rot Weiss Ahlen in the fourth-tier of German soccer, has a lot to say about his time in New York and elsewhere.

“Of course, everything is a little bigger in the Big Apple than in the tranquil town of Ahlen,” said Ivan. “But I’m a person who likes life in a metropolis as well as in the country. I adapt quickly. New York was a great experience. I played in Major League Soccer and we became champions too. Then we played in their edition of the Champions League. That was great.”

Unfortunately, his time in MLS did not last. “New York was simply a great experience,” he continued. “I did my best, but it didn’t last for more, for a longer stay. That’s okay. I take it with me as an experience and am not at all disappointed. On the contrary, I agree with my career.”

Ivan also discussed his friendship with Marc Rzatkowski, describing the new Schalke midfielder as a “cool guy.” The two became friends and “are still in contact today.” He congratulates the Bundesliga club for signing “a great guy, both athletically and physically.”


Reserve team midfielder Daniel Edelman could be the “Next New York Red Bull Revelation” according to Mundial Scouting. Mickael Marques provides a breakdown of the 18-year-old’s game, highlighting his “intensity” and “composure” which “helps him to manage situations under pressure to secure possession in order to organize the game.” He is an asset in the build-up, reading the opponent and selecting the correct pass.

Read the whole post. Edelman has been a key player in the USL Championship this season, even donning the captain’s armband a few times. Don’t be surprised if he is on a Homegrown contract next season.


Central Connecticut State University announced the creation of the Des McAleenan Memorial Scholarship. The former Red Bulls goalkeeping coach from 2002 through 2011 tragically passed in February at the age of 53. The award will “support the men’s soccer program” at the institution of higher learning located in the city of New Britain.


Tom Bushell, also known as The Sports Explorer, made a nice video on the Hudson River Derby. Unfortunately, his experience was at the summer’s postponed match. He was able to take in the tailgate and showcase some of the fun that can be had when watching the Red Bulls in person.


What’s Carlos Rivas been up to?

I’m glad you asked. The 27-year-old Colombian attacker is currently with Llaneros FC in the second-tier Categoría Primera B. El equipo de la Media Colombia is currently in seven place of the Torneo II first stage with 14 points from nine matches. Rivas has appeared in six, scoring two goals. The club also reached the Round of 16 in the Copa Colombia, falling to CD La Equidad.

Interestingly enough, there is another Colombian player named Carlos Rivas who was with Llaneros in 2020. Okay, that’s probably not interesting at all.


The Venezuela national team named Cristian Cásseres Jr. to the 50-player preliminary roster for upcoming World Cup qualifying fixtures. During the next international window, La Vinotinto plays Brazil on October 7th, Ecuador on October 10th, and Chile on October 14th. During that span, the Red Bulls have a match against Inter Miami on October 9th.

The midfielder was not included on the roster during the previous window. Venezuela is currently at last place in the CONMEBOL table with four points from nine matches. The strain of playing for two underperforming teams might be draining for a young talent looking to move up in the world.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Rowena of Atlantic Highlands.

I bet Cristian Cásseres is SICK of losing, in which case he should have some of my award-winning chicken soup.

Thank you, Rowena. I’m sure your soup cures all ailments, including bottom-of-the-table-itis.


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