clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Red Bulls Paper Revue: April 18, 2022

Matt Nocita applies for his Navy service waiver, a new sound system gets installed at Red Bull Arena, and Gonzalo Veron gets his money in this week’s links

SOCCER: SEP 06 MLS Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls
Mandela Egbo was productive in his Swindon Town debut.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

A notable Oscar upset or perhaps robbery is the Best Actress category at the 23rd annual ceremony held in 1951. All About Eve – considered one of the greatest films ever made and that year’s Best Picture and Best Director winner – had two contenders with Anne Baxter and Bette Davis. The, dare I say, iconic performance of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard was a strong choice. There was also Eleanor Parker, who was nominated for the social drama Caged, which would have elicited general surprise but few complaints. The trophy went to Judy Holliday for her adequate portrayal of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, a film that perhaps only remains in the public conscious due to this meaningless miscarriage of entertainment justice. I don’t really have a point, but please enjoy the useless history lesson.

Here’s this week’s top story.

***

The nerds at American Soccer Analysis released their annual “State of MLS Analytics Tier List” for the 2022 season. The New York Red Bulls fall in the second tier, confusingly named “Tier 1” for some annoying science reason. The club is praised for hiring Sam Goldberg, who developed something called DAVIES (“Determining Added Value of Individual Effectiveness Including Style”) to figure out the “goals added” statistic. There is also the vast “global network” that theoretically provides a boost.

***

You may recall that the New York Red Bulls selected Matt Nocita with the seventh pick in the 2022 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The defender is away from the team, but this was expected. He is still attending school and will ideally join the club after graduating in May.

“I think the Red Bulls really did their homework,” Navy men’s soccer coach Tim O’Donohue said in January. “They watched a lot of our games and got a good feel for how Matt played. They were really impressed with his individual defending and how he reads the game.”

Now, whether Nocita shows up is another matter, one that requires a lot of paperwork. A few months ago, he began “the process of petitioning the United States Navy for an opportunity to play professional soccer,” seeking a “pro sports option” from the Department of Defense. The Red Bulls were said to have understood that the signing is a “long-term investment” for a “different” sort of athlete, the kind that has already been assigned to the Marine Corps Ground.

Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber declined to comment directly on the matter when asked about Nocita last week by OaM editor Ben Cork. I suppose everyone will just have to wait.

***

When you say a player is reportedly negotiating with an MLS team, my curiosity is piqued.

When you tell me that the subject is a Brazilian competing in Polish Ekstraklasa, I’m intrigued.

When you reveal he’s an attack-minded left back/winger, it’s time to start connecting the dots.

Interia reports that Conrado Buchanelli Holz, known as Conrado, is in “advanced negotiations” with a club in MLS. The 25-year-old will head overseas “at the end of the Polish league season.” His current contract with Lechia Gdańsk lasts through June of 2024, indicating a potentially hefty transfer fee.

Conrado began his career with Grêmio before moving to Oeste and Figueirense. He joined Lechia Gdańsk in 2020. The attacker has contributed one goal and three assists in 27 league matches this season, helping the club reach fourth in the table.

Based on the Red Bulls’ reported pursuit of Callum Styles, the club is looking for a left-sided attacking player. Conrado fits the bill, buzzing around the final third with a dizzying array of tricky dribbles and accurate crosses. He also works hard in Gdańsk’s press to win back the ball and battle physical defenders.

There’s no word on which MLS team is pursuing Conrado, but his profile certainly sounds like a good fit for New York. As evidenced by the 17 Celtic players on the roster and in the rumor mill, the Red Bulls tend to be creatures of habit, not unlike their animal namesake. [No idea if that’s actually true – consult your local zoologist.] Double dipping into the “Brazilians in Poland” pool would be plausible.

***

Poland national team manager Czesław Michniewicz made a trip to the United States. On the lookout for some new strikers, he took in the match between the New England Revolution and Charlotte FC. A few media sources speculate that there may be a meeting or two with some other attackers based in MLS, perhaps the previously mentioned Patryk Klimala.

***

The Red Bulls have made a new addition… of speakers to Red Bull Arena!

The club has added “world-class sound” by installing a new “L-Acoustics A Series loudspeaker system” featuring “lightweight and compact A15i enclosures paired with SB18 Iii subs.” This is a change from the original hardware that was put in place prior to the 2010 season. The club was looking for a “high-performance, high-impact sound system” and appears to be happy with the new purchase.

“Between how even the coverage is and how musical and impactful the rig sounds, we couldn’t be happier,” said Red Bull Arena AV Engineer John Nicklas. “The Soundvision models were impressive and accurate, and L-Acoustics went above and beyond to make their delivery on time, despite the logistical challenges. Both L-Acoustics and Diversified provided exceptional service and attention to detail. The PA they’ve installed is a total game-changer for us and we’re looking forward to bringing our sports fans a new sonic experience here at Red Bull Arena.”

If I owned a stadium, I would live in it. Would be awesome to just run around the concourse or watch television with nobody there. The new sound system would be “for the fans,” but it would actually be for me.

***

Current Red Bull something-something [global technical director?] Mario Gómez has some opinions about soccer. No, they’re not about New York or MLS. He’s very concerned about Robert Lewandowski and the striker’s reported plans to leave Bayern Munich.

“Personally, I think he’s a great striker,” Gómez is said to have expressed on the Amazon Prime Video German broadcast of the Champions League. “But given the situation, he’s being too selfish about his own future. I believe all these disturbances also affect the team. I think these reports have devastating consequences for the team.”

I’m sure he has some interesting opinions on New York’s striker situation and is welcome to share them.

***

KVC Westerlo has officially won the Belgian First Division B title and secured promotion. The season ended with a 2-2 draw against RWDM. David Jensen made a few key saves to preserve the final point. The Dane put up ten shutouts to earn the second title of his career, after claiming the Danish Superliga with FC Nordsjælland in 2012.

***

Mandela Egbo made his first start for Swindon Town in League Two. To the shock of no one, the defender registered two assists in a 4-1 win over Harrogate Town, which is probably pronounced “‘Arrowgate based on the whimsical way those Brits insist on speaking. The Robins are still in the hunt for a spot in the promotion playoffs, but time is increasingly short with four matches remaining.

***

Whether the Red Bulls remain interested in Darragh Lenihan, if the club continues pursuing the Irish defender, there is going to be competition.

TEAMtalk reports that Burnley plans “a shock summer transfer” for the 28-year-old, regardless of league standing next season. His contract expires in June, which should lead to an absolute feeding frenzy surrounding the Blackburn Rovers center back. Six months later, the Red Bulls couldn’t possibly still be waiting in that buffet line.

***

Former Homegrown signing Chris Thorsheim signed with Jackson Lions FC of the National Premier Soccer League. After departing the Red Bulls, he moved to Norway to compete with a few different clubs. The defender was a member of the side that won the 2014 NPSL championship.

***

Do you know what Gonzalo Verón said every night before counting ‘One, two, three, four?’ ‘Pay. Me. My. Money… in cash!’”

And, oh boy, is his legal team not messing around.

A court in Argentina ruled that his former club, Independiente, must pay him $4,800,000. From where will this money be coming? He will be paid from the “international audiovisual rights and advertising,” with a lien substitution enacted. The settlement will be “embargoed to the official dollar,” preventing the South American sporting organization from “collecting this income for 18 months.

One writer described the case as “the most expensive labor lawsuit in the world.” Verón is hoping to redeem “the money lost out of pocket when he terminated his contract with the New York Red Bulls.” While $4,800,000 is short of the originally desired $6,200,000, that’s still a pretty nice chunk of change.

Verón is fighting for the rights of workers around the world, a revolutionary figure on the level of Sylvester Stallone in 1978’s F.I.S.T., a critical and commercial disappointment that wasn’t really bad in hindsight.

***

Juan Carlos Osorio may have left América de Cali “in the midst of a wave of criticism and nonconformity,” but there’s still a bill to pay. The former Red Bulls manager received a “disciplinary sanction from CONMEBOL” after an incident with an Independiente Medellín player. The man known as The Professor allegedly stepped on an opponent but insists he “never looked at the grass to hurt him.”

CONMEBOL thought differently, handing down a three-match suspension and a reported $10,000 fine. However, Osorio got lucky because the money “will be automatically debited from the amount to be received by América de Cali for television or sponsorship rights.” Both the manager and the club have seven days to appeal.

Personally, this whole situation seems unfair to me. Perhaps Osorio thought the man’s foot was on fire. He’s almost a hero.

***

Want to read a story that was told about Cristian Cásseres, the father of Cristian Cásseres Jr.? Of course you do. It’s not like you have more important things going on in your life.

Triángulo Deportivo gathered the fellas to talk about the late José Omar Pastoriza, who served as the manager of the Venezuela national team from 1998 through 2000. Former players shared stories about life on and off the field. Juan Enrique García has one particularly amusing anecdote.

“Once we were concentrating for a match against Brazil or Argentina, I don’t remember,” said the former Caracas defender. “It was at the Maruma hotel in Maracaibo. At one meal they gave us bags of tomato sauce, one of those common in fast food places, and they asked Cristian (Cásseres) to pass the sauce to a colleague. Cristian threw it at him and the [coach] noticed. We finished dinner and the [coach] stood up and told us, ‘We have a meeting right now in the room next door.’ We thought he was going to talk about anything, but he scolded us. He told us that this is why people thought and had the concept of the footballer being so ugly and rude and many other things. It was an incredible lesson.”

I don’t know about that. Sounds like lads being lads. Who among us hasn’t flung a little ketchup here or there?

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Elspeth of Bernards Township.

Hunt’s ketchup belongs on a wall more than a hamburger.

Thank you, Elspeth. Yes, I’ve always been a Heinz man myself, unless Hunt’s would like to sponsor Once a Metro.

***

Do you have a story you’d like to submit to the Paper Revue? Email us at bencorkOAM@gmail.com or send a DM to @Once_A_Metro on Twitter.