Welcome to the Red Bulls Paper Revue presented by Once a Metro.
I’m glad we’ve all agreed to ignore The Many Saints of Newark. It doesn’t exist. It never happened. The film is not a part of the canon, and all existing copies should be shot out of a cannon onto the sandy beaches of Wow-That-Sucked Island.
Here’s this week’s top story.
You probably saw this, but there was a massive shakeup at Red Bull.
No longer merely a figure in the sporting department, Oliver Mintzlaff was promoted to the role of CEO of corporate projects and new investments, which is probably real. According to The Athletic, that means he will depart RB Leipzig and “oversee sports and media.” There will be three CEOs as the company attempts to reorganize following the death of Dietrich Mateschitz.
Instead of leaving for Chelsea, the 47-year-old elected to stay at Red Bull, choosing internal promotion over job-hopping. Mintzlaff was a key figure in the development of the global footballing umbrella. In the past, his multiple roles allowed him to serve as both a “counterpart to New York’s sporting director and also the role’s superior.”
I’m sure this is all very important.
Speaking of Red Bull, Mario Gómez was in the press… speaking of Red Bull.
The technical director spoke on Prime Video prior to AC Milan’s match against Salzburg in the Champions League. He made sure to compliment the atmosphere at the San Siro, describing the experience as “always special.” You’re probably more interested in his other comments, notably his general job description.
“We don’t do anything special compared to the other clubs,” shared Gómez. “We just try to take young talents to develop. What is important is the mentality. We do the same things that Milan do, which have changed in recent years, making many young players grow and making them reach a high level.”
I confess, I have no idea what Gómez actually does. That’s not important. What matters is whether he is, and, I mean, he probably does… probably.
Do you remember when Gómez, then merely a player and not a fancy executive, was linked with a move to New York in 2015? That was fun.
In what could be called the “Gerhard Struber derby,” Red Bull Salzburg took on Wolfsberger AC. A sharp-eyed viewer noticed the manager, with another social-media user noting that the man to his left may be Christoph Freund, who serves as the sporting director over there in Austria. New York’s sibling club notched a 2-1 victory, opening a four-point lead at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga table.
Struber even spoke with Sky Sports during halftime. Unfortunately, international media rights prevent me from accessing the entire video, while local media outlets have yet to transcribe his comments. All we have is the title of the article.
“If it’s a club from Europe, I’ll be happy,” said Struber when discussing… “his future.”
What does that mean? I have no idea. What’s the context for his comment? That’s a great question.
For no reason at all, let’s check in on how Roald Mitchell is doing.
The former academy striker is attending Wake Forest University, competing for the institution of higher learning’s well-regarded soccer program. He has seven goals and four assists in 17 matches, which is fairly decent. The Demon Deacons took down Virginia Tech in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Men’s Soccer Championship and should be considered a favorite for this year’s College Cup.
We shall see if he does, in fact, sign a Homegrown contract during the offseason, as intimated by NJ.com in July.
You may recall that the New York Red Bulls selected Seth Kuhn out of Pennsylvania State University with the 73rd pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.
You may also recall that the midfielder returned to Happy Valley for a fifth year, an extra season of eligibility granted to student-athletes by the NCAA in recognition of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And how did that go?
The answer is a definitive “eh, okay.” Kuhn was named first team All-Big Ten. He has started all 16 matches this season and contributed four assists. Unfortunately, the 6-6-4 Nittany Lions fell in the first round of the conference tournament, dropping a 1-0 decision to Indiana, likely ending their season.
Funnily enough, the Red Bulls still hold Kuhn’s rights. We shall see whether the club chooses to act on this peculiarly American roster machination. Perhaps the 22-year-old will appear during the upcoming preseason camp.
Rashid Nuhu is still dominating USL League One with Union Omaha. The former NYRB II goalkeeper was named Goalkeeper of the Year, while also claiming first-team All-League honors and his second Golden Glove award. His nine shutouts helped secure a playoff spot, but the Owls fell in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC.
“I’m very grateful and privileged to receive this award,” Nuhu said. “This was a huge personal goal of mine going into the season. I could not be happier that I get the honor to check this box.”
No, no, Rashid, you don’t check the box. You play IN the box. That’s what goalkeepers do. You should know that by now.
There’s disappointing news coming out of England, notably from Charlton Athletic.
Mandela Egbo suffered a “serious quad injury” in a recent League One match against Ipswich. This is his second medical issue of the year after dealing with a knee problem in the preseason following a “bad tackle.” He is expected to be out for several months.
“It’s not good news at all on Mandela Egbo,” said manager Ben Garner. “He has ruptured his quad, it’s the worst possible case. It’s such a freak injury. He’s just caught his own foot as he kicked and that mechanism has caused the injury. It’s a one-in-a-million injury and we’re so disappointed with it for Mandela. We’re looking long-term. He is going to have surgery next week and then it is going to be a long rehabilitation process.”
However, the manager cites Egbo as a “great character” who will work hard to get back to the field. His return cannot come soon enough. Charlton is currently at ninth in the table, but the promotion battle is already starting to slowly slip away.
You cannot win anything in November, but you can certainly lose it as dropped points accumulate.
Former Red Bulls manager Juan Carlos Osorio may be looking for a job, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of work. He was announced as part of the team for the upcoming World Cup and will “be part of ESPN’s roster of live commentators to travel to Qatar.” The 61-year-old is going to be the lead analyst for ESPN Deportes, while also appearing on SportsCenter, Fútbol Americas, and ESPNFC.
Osorio, of course, managed Mexico from 2015 through 2018 and probably has a few opinions on the whole El Tri thing.
Here’s a joke that was submitted by Violetta of Millstone.
“Osorio is my seven-year-old grandson’s favorite manager. I no longer have a grandson.”
Thank you, Violetta. I don’t think soccer opinions should hold that much weight.
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