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Red Bulls Paper Revue: January 17, 2022

Mario Gómez settles in at Red Bull, Kaku goes down with a season-ending injury, and Anatole Abang has…left Azerbaijan??

Toronto FC v New York Red Bulls
Jan Gunnar Solli made his reality TV debut last week.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Welcome to the Red Bulls Paper Revue presented by Once a Metro.

Johnny Sacrimoni (also known as Johnny Sack) claimed to dislike the Soprano family, holding the traditional New York opinion that the organization was a “glorified crew.” The Lupertazzi underboss (and later boss) referred to them as “deadbeats” and claimed they don’t “keep up with current events.” I get the impression there was some underlying jealousy or envy of his relaxed New Jersey colleagues, how they would always have fun hanging out while dressed in more casual clothing, far from the more rigid and stoic trappings of the besuited power brokers. For a person who supposedly had a low opinion of his colleague-competitors, he certainly took every possible opportunity to speak with Tony or pop into Satriale’s Pork Store.

Here’s this week’s top story.


New technical director Mario Gómez seems excited to work with Red Bull. The retired striker had “requests from other clubs to manage their sports department” but was attracted by the “job profile” at the energy drink corporation. He is expected to be “a point of contact for sporting issues, both for the coaching teams and for the sporting leadership.”

The focus is, of course, on the future. “The 2026 World Cup will also take place in the USA, among other places,” said Gómez. “The market with our New York location is therefore very much in focus. America will want to develop and improve a lot with a view to this tournament. We also want to be successful in Brazil, preferably with players who [we] have trained ourselves. That means that we want to set up a top academy there. In this way, talented people should make the leap to Europe.”

The objective is to “win titles in the end.” That’s an astute observation from the new technical director. Winning titles at the beginning is against the rules of most competitions.


Despite having made his senior team debut against FSV Mainz, Joscha Wosz is still hunting for a loan. Manager Domenico Tedesco praised him as a hardworking and versatile player, capable of playing left and center back. Wherever he ends up, the destination is probably not going to be New York.


How exactly did Atlético Mineiro identify Fábio Gomes?

The search for players based abroad is being done with “great caution and through studies,” according to Deus Me Dibre. The club has an analysis department referred to as CIGA or the Galo Information Center. Atlético employs four departments: funding, performance analysis, analytics, and market analysis. The latter group found Fábio, “studying 3,000 games a year and identifying athletes who are suitable.”

He appears to have been on the club’s radar for a long time, a sentiment echoed by the Red Bulls. “[We were] looking for the characteristics of a striker, different as we were,” said Atlético chief executive officer Rodrigo Caetano. “If you see, our cast is quite heterogeneous, in terms of characteristics. We needed a player of good stature and mobility. He had two loans in the MLS… Upon returning to Brazil, we reached a negotiation that was favorable to Galo. [He is a] young player.”

Fresh off the domestic treble, Atlético kicks off the 2022 season on Wednesday, January 26th against Villa Nova in the Campeonato Mineiro state league. Will the Red Bulls regret not paying $1.5 million for 50% of his rights? Time will tell, but I’m sure most have already moved onto more useful mental exercises.


Following a torn cruciate ligament, Alejandro “Kaku” Gamarra is shut down for the season. According to Al-Awsat, he will “undergo surgery” and will be out “for six months.” Al-Taawoun has frozen his contract, which allows the club to register an additional foreign player.


Much has been said of Red Bull’s impact on football, for good and bad. Manager Kurt Russ of TSV Hartberg provided an interesting perspective. The Austrian club recently added Youba Diarra on loan from Salzburg and could be seen as helping rivals to develop players.

“Salzburg is lucky to have more money and talent than any other club in Austria,” he told Kicker. “We can be happy that Salzburg exists. Due to their success in the Champions League, the focus was increasingly placed on Austrian football. We owe a lot to Salzburg.”

Red Bull is viewed as raising the country’s floor, while also exploding through the ceiling. “We want football to be big,” continued Russ. “Football may not be as important in Austria as it is in other countries, but everyone in this industry wants it to get even bigger. That’s why I’m glad that Salzburg exists. In the champions’ group in particular, we all have to do more to catch up with Salzburg. The general conditions are different, but that doesn’t mean that the other teams can’t annoy them.”

Is Red Bull good or bad for the sport? Sound off in the comments. Remember to like and subscribe.


The Sebastián Sosa Sánchez story has come to a close. The “Uruguayan Zlatan” is signing for the New York Red Bulls! I’m kidding.

According to Olé, Sánchez is joining Vélez Sarsfield on a free transfer. His contract is set to last through December of 2022. The striker was set to join Colón, but a late offer from El Fortin (The Fort) brought him to Buenos Aires.

“When the Vélez thing came out, I decided to come here because of what it is like as an institution,” said Sánchez. “One always wants to go to teams that fight for important things. Bassedas called me and told me that they wanted to count on me. The coaching staff also called me and that seduced me a lot.”

The Red Bulls were connected to Sánchez in October. Nothing progressed past the original report. That would have been a neat little transfer, but there are probably better players on the way.


Former reserve team defender Noah Powder has a new club.

The 23-year-old signed with Indy Eleven of the USL Championship. His new manager referred to him as “one of the best left backs outside of MLS.” He has earned six caps with the Trinidad and Tobago national team since debuting in 2021.

Powder played with Red Bulls II in 2016 and 2017, a member of the squad that won the 2016 USL Cup. Since departing, he has been on the books at Orange County SC, Real Monarchs, and Real Salt Lake. The fullback has the opportunity to enjoy all the life experiences that Indiana has to offer, like going to the Dairy Queen and going to the Dairy Queen.


Goodbye, Baku. Hello, Dubai!

Anatole Abang has a new club. The Cameroonian striker signed with Al Bataeh Club of the second-tier UAE Division One. According to Sport24, he will be remembered in Azerbaijan “for his indiscipline and red cards.”

Despite that less than glowing review, it’s onward and upward for the newest member of Al Bataeh. The club is currently at fifth place in the 15-team team, ten points out of second place and promotion to the first division. Abang, assigned the number 29 jersey, made his first appearance on the road against Al Hamriyah in a 1-1 draw.


We have finally been blessed with the appearance of Jan Gunnar Solli on Prisoners at the Fort.

The former Red Bull traveled to historic Fort Boyard, located in the Pertuis d’Antioche strait and commissioned by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. He was on a team with retired football professionals Solveig Gulbrandsen and Tobias Becs. His episode premiered January 13th on TV3 Norway (consult your TV Guide).

“I have [watched] the program and always wanted to join,” said Solli. “It was terribly fun. We had to go through some demanding exercises, and there were plenty of challenges… I was impressed by the crazy rig…. [The hosts] were also incredibly professional and made sure you were right at all times.”

Solli posted a brief clip of the episode on his Instagram page.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Clarabelle of Manalapan.

My daughter-in-law’s cooking is so bad that I refer to her house as Fort Chef Boyardee.

Thank you, Clarabelle. I’m sure she’s trying, but perhaps you could pass along some of your lovely recipes.


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