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Red Bulls Paper Revue: October 31, 2022

Steven Sserwadda’s Olympic dreams are over, Ibrahim Sekagya wins Muslim Man of the Year, and Andreas Ivan becomes a locker room leader in this week’s links

SOCCER: MAR 02 MLS - New York Red Bulls at Columbus Crew SC
Andreas Ivan is all of a sudden a veteran leader.
Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

How many pickles are you supposed to eat for breakfast? I cannot locate any literature on the topic. Right now, I eat three pickles for breakfast, but I remain unsure if this number should be increased or decreased. If there are any doctors reading this column, please write in and let me know.

Here’s this week’s top story.


There are quite a few people across Major League Soccer curious as to the future plans of Aaron Ray Long. With the center back out of contract, some have speculated that he will be headed abroad. West Ham is a popular supposition, as the Premier League outfit was once interested in his services.

There is some pushback against the speculation from ExWHUemployee, who is, well, a thing that would require too long of an explanation. “We asked one source whether there was any truth and they were unaware of any move,” the entity shared on Patreon page The West Ham Way (via This is Futbol). “The club had been very keen on the player before and have made a number of attempts to sign him in the past. Previous attempts have been thwarted by a number of factors, including his inability to get a work permit. Whilst a move then was definitely on the cards, this just seems to be a recycled rumor with no substance at this point.”

Well, a little birdie told me… absolutely nothing. I have literally nothing to add to this story. If I had to guess, Long is headed to one of the Los Angeles clubs, but maybe not.


Schalke has a new manager. As expected, the club hired Thomas Reis, who was most recently in charge of VfL Bochum. Ironically, his old outfit is one point ahead of his new one, but both are in the Bundesliga’s relegation zone.

I guess it’s true what they say about managers belonging to an elite group and continually being cycled around the various openings.


Remember how Steven Sserwadda was set to compete with Uganda in Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualification? Well, that two-leg series never ended up happening, as the Central African nation withdrew from the competition. According to LeKaloum, based in Guinea, “financial problems” were cited as an issue. Federation president Moses Hassim Magogo shared that the government had yet to release money, forcing a difficult decision with several teams to fund.

Unfortunately, Sserwadda will miss out on gaining further experience. Double-unfortunately, the U-23 Cup of Nations serves as qualification for the 2024 Summer Olympics, which means Uganda is out of that as well. I’m sure there’s a third downside to this whole situation, but I can’t think of one right now.


Speaking of the Cranes both past and present, the Uganda American Muslim Association named Ibrahim Sekagya as the Muslim Man of the Year. The former national team member was recognized for his “excellent and exceptional life of inspiration he has lived as a soccer player and coach.” The organization presented him with a lovely plaque – the good kind, not the type that requires a dentist visit, although I’m not sure how such a thing would be given to another person (perhaps in a vial).


Patryk Klimala didn’t win the Golden Boot or the Most Valuable Player awards. He perhaps claimed something more important. The striker was the last Pole standing in MLS, which counts for… something. There are several talented Orly (Eagles) competing stateside, but the 24-year-old was the only one to reach the playoffs.

Technically, by Highlander rules, that means he has claimed all of their respective Quickenings and should be the recipient of their respective skills.


Things were not going well at Leeds for Jesse Marsch.

The club was stuck in the relegation zone with two wins from 11 Premier League matches. However, the manager is feeling supported by director of football Victor Orta, which is nice. The 48-year-old insists that they will “find a way” to “get out of it.”

The “angry and tired” manager claims that he “has never lost this much in his career.” Now, American soccer media may give a few more passes on the whole fact-checking of every possible comment, but the English tend to take their footy a bit more seriously. Ian Dennis of the BBC ran the numbers and found that Leeds’ current start to the season “sound about par” for Marsch.

Except, then he beat Liverpool. What a difference a weekend makes. Now I’m seeing people speculating that Jurgen Klopp is done after this season or sooner, while Marsch will probably survive.


Fábio Gomes is having quite the change of fortunes these past few weeks while on loan at Vasco da Gama. He was out of the coach’s purview, but a crucial goal against Criciúma netted three points and had the towering striker pulling out Erling Haaland’s famous celebration. While sticking around the São Januário seems unlikely, the manager had some very nice things to say.

“He made Vasco take a big step towards our [promotion],” said Jorginho, cycled through the delightfulness of Google Translate. “Artilleryman is made of that, he is made of goals, of presence in the area. Big player, we knew that. We made an important decision to take him, even though he wasn’t doing so well at times. He had two opportunities with me. This was the third opportunity and he did what the striker needed to do. [He is an] important guy, area guy.”

Vasco da Gama is currently in fourth place in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B with one match remaining in the 2022 season, occupying the final promotion spot and a mere two points ahead of Ituano. The Gigante da Colina (Giant of the Hill) face off against Brusque Futebol Clube in the final fixture. Perhaps Fábio will be called upon to provide a little magic to secure a trip to the promised land that is the first division.

I’m pretty sure it’s a rule that a club is obliged to purchase anyone who ensures promotion, at least that’s what Atlético Mineiro is hoping happens.


Schalke signed Andreas Ivan to the reserve team as a bit of a lark, seeing if the 27-year-old attacker would continue to dominate the lower divisions of Germany and maybe be of eventual use to the senior squad. Right now, he’s serving as a veteran guide to his significantly younger teammates, three of whom were recently promoted. The former Red Bull sounded like quite the proud mentor.

“I’m happy for everyone who’s up there,” said Ivan. “That’s what we’re here for, that they get a chance up there. I’m really happy for anyone who has even a remote chance... I take care of my boys. The guys who are upstairs now are looking at themselves. It’s my job to keep the squad together here and to step on the gas here.”

Ivan has four goals and four assists in 13 Regionalliga West matches, which is certainly catching the eye of the front office. Interim manager Matthias Kreutzer recommended him for the Bundesliga squad, although, as you read above, the club is in a bit of flux at the moment. Perhaps his chance will come sooner rather than later.


Amir Murillo had himself a bit of a time in the Europa Conference League.

Anderlecht was taking on FCSB and things were going okay. The Panamanian fullback assisted on the first goal. Unfortunately, the day at Lotto Park ended in a 2-2 draw and he picked up his second yellow. His absence will be sorely felt in the final Group B fixture, a crucial match against Silkeborg with a spot in the knockout rounds on the line.

Patience may be starting to wear a little thin in Belgium, and not just for the usual reasons. According to Anderlecht Online, this is Murillo’s fourth red card in a year. Columnist Yves Taildeman is blunt, writing that teammate “Ishaq Abdulrazak cannot be worse than [him].”

Maybe the Red Bulls will be collecting that reported sell-on fee sooner rather than later.


Wigan Athletic has reportedly failed to pay players on time in several instances. According to Sportsmail, several members of the squad are “considering their futures” at the club. The English Football League “declined to comment.”

The Greater Manchester club is said to have made all payments and claimed the issue “was the result of a banking process,” while insisting that everything is “strong and very secure.” Wigan was only recently rescued from financial turmoil by owner Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi, but rumors of a sale continue to persist. The Latics are just on the outside of the English Championship’s relegation zone, with on-loan striker Ashley Fletcher having played a total of 34 minutes in five appearances and scored zero goals, in case you’re wondering how that whole thing is going.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Estelle of Margate.

If I supported that club, I would be wigging out.

Thank you, Estelle. I’m sure they’re worried.


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