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Red Bulls Paper Revue: December 26, 2022

Andreas Ivan hits the field for Schalke, we read the guarana leaves in the Brazilian transfer market, and the Hans Backe worldwide media tour continues in this week’s links

New York Red Bulls Vs Atlanta United FC
The soccer world just can’t quit Andreas Ivan.
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

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

I read 100 books a year!” Oh, yeah, do ya? I’m sure you really took the time to meditate on the words or read anything of real substance. Why don’t you explain to me the themes, subtext, and character development of the 33rd, 57th, and 84th books you read last year because you so clearly treasured them and weren’t just glancing at words while turning pages to fulfill some arbitrary goal.

Here’s this week’s top story.


How about a weird one to kick things off?

Goal is reporting that A YEAR AGO [i.e., NOT NOW OR IN THE CURRENT TRANSFER WINDOW] the New York Red Bulls offered to pay Palmeiras $10 million and an additional $2 million in potential bonus clauses for Wesley Ribeiro Silva. However, the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A club instead elected to sell 50% of his rights to Cruzeiro for around $3,200,000 to be paid over the course of three installments. The issue was, of course, that the MLS side wanted “the totality of his rights,” which wasn’t enough to part with the 23-year-old winger.

Now, uh, when I last heard this story, it was, in fact, the Seattle Sounders who were playing the role of the Traveler in hot pursuit of Wesley. Manager Brian Schmetzer even went far enough to acknowledge the club was in negotiations to acquire him. Knowing Major League Soccer rules as we do, there is a very, very low likelihood that two clubs competed for his signature due to the organization structure that wags a stern finger at anyone attempting such a thing.

Although, you know, who knows? Maybe it’s real. I certainly trust anyone’s journalistic integrity and reporting over mine.


The New York Red Bulls have entered into the next edition of the Mina Cup. The club is sending the U-14 side to the annual youth tournament in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The competition is scheduled for March 31st through April 5th. Last year’s participants included representatives from UNAM Pumas (Mexico), Bhayangkara F.C. (Indonesia), and Wolverhampton Wanderers (United Kingdom).


With the 79th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, the New York Red Bulls selected Amos Shapiro-Thompson out of Boston College. The midfielder took the long and winding road that leads to [a] pro door, including a stint in prep school and spells in the academies of Dinamo Zagreb and Legia Warsaw. His hometown of Winchestertonfieldvil-… Worthington, Massachusetts took the time to celebrate with the local product, providing the beautiful content that can only be gleaned by local journalism and stolen by shameless aggregating bloggers.

“Coming from a really small, rural town and growing up kicking the ball against the barn all day, it’s surreal,” Shapiro-Thompson told Thomas Johnston of the Greenville Recorder. “This journey took me all over the world to chase this dream. To be back here in Worthington with my parents, my sister, my elementary school friends, it was so meaningful. We were all just sitting at the kitchen table watching the picks come in. It was intense and emotional. It was loud in the house when the pick came up and it was me.”

I guess that settles one thing. Next season, if Shapiro-Thompson badly misses a shot, nobody will be able to claim he “couldn’t hit the side of the barn.” Thanks to this interview, we know that he can and has.


Chelsea announced the hiring of Christopher Vivell as the club’s new sporting director. The 36-year-old was previously in the same role at RB Leipzig. His responsibilities included setting “the strategic direction of squad planning in line with an overall transfer philosophy,” while handling “all recruitment and scouting measures, across all age groups and on a global scale, including in Brazil and the USA (New York).”

With Red Bull, things are always a little more connected than previously imagined. What impact did Vivell have on the MLS club? If you don’t know, then I’m not going to explain it to you… because I don’t know either.


Andreas Ivan finally made his first debut for FC Schalke… in a friendly!

He was given an opportunity in a 2-2 draw with Vienna and scored a brace in another training fixture against Hajduk Split. The midfielder has been impressive with five goals and five assists in 16 Regionalliga West appearances. The club is considering giving the 27-year-old a run in the Bundesliga, which couldn’t hurt because Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues) are currently last in the table with nine points from 15 matches.

“The debut was incredible, to have another chance like this, to have the privilege of playing for such a big club in the professional team is like a dream,” Ivan told “I enjoy every second I play here! The first team received me very well, I felt excellent immediately. It’s always a good atmosphere and the team is great. The first part of the preparation for the return of the season ends on December 22, and until then I want to learn as many things as possible and take them with me for next year.”

Do you think Ivan will reach the first team when the season resumes? Call in now. You know the number.


Fábio Gomes is still at Atlético Mineiro. Galo (Rooster) doesn’t want him there, but he’s still there. Despite waiting for a loan, the striker is keeping a good mentality about things.

“My managers have already given me some things and I’m calm,” said Fábio. “If I’m going to stay or if I’m going to another club, I’m just focused on improving my physical form and being prepared for the new challenge in my career. It’s not that simple, but I dedicated myself a lot, from the first days and people know. But a player needs sequence, rhythm, confidence. And at Galo the level is very high and you have to wait for your chance”

He seems to have his head on straight and is focused on succeeding at his next club. That’s really all a player can do. Well… Fábio can do that and probably score a few more goals.


Speedy Williams, one of the most decorated players in lower-division history (don’t fact check that because I don’t care), has a new home. The former Red Bulls II midfielder swapped Miami FC for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, moving from the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference to the Westerly one. The occasional Jamaica international and three-time champion is expected to “bring high-end quality and leadership to [the] locker room,” with his “experience winning titles” ideally “carrying [the club] through the most critical parts of the season.”

Speedy Williams played for the reserve team in 2015 and 2016. He was a part of the squad that won the 2016 USL Cup. After departing the club, the Kingstonian won another two USL Championship… championships with Louisville City FC.


Man, Cádiz CF really likes Youba Diarra.

For the second time in a year, the La Liga side is pursuing the Malian midfielder. The move is “very close to being finalized” and in “very advanced” stages. He is set to arrive next week.

The club previously pursued him in the last winter transfer window, but then-manager Álvaro Cervera “did not approve” of the signing. Now that he’s gone, whoever it is that really loves Diarra is set to pursue the midfielder to his or her heart’s content. And who could say no to such a talented player… other than the aforementioned person who did.

Interestingly enough, Diarra has been enjoying a quite decent season with Red Bull Salzburg. Nothing crazy, of course, but he appeared in nine total matches for the Austrian Bundesliga table-toppers. Although considering his age of 24 and injury history, perhaps this is the apex of any “sell high” valuations.


The most important question facing the footballing world this upcoming year is, of course, “Will Hans Backe be returning to his commentary role with Swedish channel TV4/C More?”

The former Red Bulls manager has become quite the renowned pundit during the recent World Cup for his expert analysis, educating and entertaining Swedish viewers. With more of the beautiful game on the way, there is some curiosity as to whether he will continue in the role. Expressen attempted to get to the bottom of the issue, but Backe is a coy man.

“I’ll make a decision on that, think a little during the days in between,” said the 70-year-old. “It’s insanely fun. If you have rights like the Champions League, you also get the best club football. Then I have quite a lot of other ongoing jobs that I would need to scale back a bit. Among other things, I have a role at UEFA (the European Football Association) as a mentor to some of Europe’s most promising women’s coaches. And some other goodies. I work perhaps more than ever. But it is clear that it is very tempting to continue given the rights TV4/Cmore have.”

He is likely to return, having been invigorated by the recent World Cup. “Damn, what an event,” expressened Backe [Get it? Like the word “express,” but he’s talking to the publication Expressen – always a high level of comedy at Once a Metro.]. “There is nothing that beats that finale. It’s the best ever. I’ve seen a lot since basically 1966 (in England), and there’s nothing to punish what we saw on Sunday.”

How about a fun fact? In Sweden, news anchors are known as “Cronkiters,” named for Walter Cronkite. Maybe in a few years, they’ll be referring to all sports analysts as “Backers.”

Want an even more fun fact? The term “Cronkiters” is an urban legend and not remotely true. I incorrectly answered a question pertaining to this fake neologism during a family game of Trivial Pursuit, ended up losing by a narrow margin, and had nobody to complain to about it.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Calliope of Alpine.

I always wanted to go on a vacation to Sweden, but my husband refused to pay because he said I was ‘Swede enough already.’

Thank you, Calliope. He sounds like a true wordsmith and also a bit cheap.


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