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Red Bulls Paper Revue: April 25, 2022

David Jensen sets up the WAG group chat, Red Bull Arena lines up as a World Cup practice venue, and Omar Sowe makes his Icelandic debut in this week’s links

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New York Red Bulls v Real Salt Lake
Is David Jensen coming back to the Red Bulls after the finish of his Belgian loan?
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

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

My father drove a truck for an impound lot. He referred to himself as a “car-tow-grapher.”

Here’s this week’s top story.


New Jersey and New York are presented a “joint bid” for hosting matches during the 2026 World Cup. Governor Phil Murphy is pushing for “the final, the opening game, [or] a semi,” which seems possible. According to NJBIZ, a decision is expected “in the not-too distant future.”

A visiting FIFA delegation toured the area, assessing both MetLife Stadium and Red Bull Arena. The latter venue would likely serve as “a chief practice hub.” In my opinion, that could possibly include a few pre-tournament friendlies, but speculation is the Devil’s Yahtzee.


Don’t be surprised to see David Jensen back at the Red Bulls Training Facility soon.

According to Voetbal Nieuws, the Danish goalkeeper’s loan contract with KVC Westerlo did NOT have a purchase option. The newly promoted Belgian club will take on the top division with a new player between the posts. De Kemphanen (The Ruffs) already signed his replacement: 27-year-old Nick Gillekens, most recently with Mouscron.

Jensen’s Red Bulls contract runs through December of 2022, but I cannot imagine he’s going to hang around in New York until then, no matter how much help the reserves need. Maybe Westerlo chooses to bring Jensen back. The club has three goalkeepers out of contract and could perhaps use the trusted veteran.

After all, he served an important role by reportedly setting up the WAG group chat. “Our goalkeeper David Jensen had posted a [WhatsApp] link for the players’ wives to click on. They also had their own – exclusive – group,” said midfielder Lukas Van Eenoo. “[It was] one hundred percent male free. Our [midfielder] Trésor [Mossi] had not fully understood that. He immediately registered with the women. Suddenly he was chatting with [forward Igor] Vetokele’s wife. By accident, huh. We went all out again when Igor told me that.”

Don’t you just hate it when you set up a chat for the players’ wives and girlfriends, except one of your teammates maybe starts talking to someone else’s wife?


Poland media is buzzing with speculation over whether there will be a new striker in the fold.

Patryk Klimala is not getting scouted once by national team manager Czesław Michniewicz. He’s not getting scouted twice. The striker will be the subject of three in-person examinations: during the recent Open Cup victory over Hartford, against Orlando City, and in the May fixture against Chicago Fire FC. There was also a reported coach-to-coach discussion (“Player to player, pimp to pimp.”) with Gerhard Struber.

What does Michniewicz want to see from the young striker, whom he is “closely” observing? “Patryk is among the six attackers we are watching,” said the manager. “He only has to start scoring goals because he has [been] blocked recently.”

I’m sure Red Bulls observers have a similar diagnosis.


A former Red Bulls manager will be on the market.

Chris Armas is departing Manchester United after Erik ten Hag takes over this summer from Ralf Rangnick. According to Telegraph Sport, the incoming manager was “asked to look at existing staff before making any major decisions.” His “long-term” vision appears to be one without the 49-year-old American assistant.

Perhaps Armas should consider this past year a graduate-level course or even a fellowship at the University of Rangnick. He gained some experience and dealt with the pressures of working at a super-club, serving as an occasional lightning rod for criticism by the notoriously cagey British media. His résumé is boosted by the mere presence of Manchester United under the “experience” section, a lifelong “Oh, I see you were at” interview segues most frequently granted to Harvard alumni.

Wherever will his path lead next? Maybe we should keep a weather eye on the open D.C. United manager position, a role for which he was a “front-runner” in December of 2020. That would be quite the talking point during the Atlantic Cup rivalry.


We were all just champing at the bit for the start of the upcoming Besta-deild karla (Icelandic Men’s Best Division) season. Omar Sowe is on loan with Breiðablik, which has been described as the “bridesmaid” club after finishing second in four of the last seven seasons. Bilkar has “not won a major title since 2010,” making the fans quite impatient. The young Gambian striker is expected to receive ample playing time after the departures of Thomas Mikkelsen and Árni Vilhjálmsson.

Sowe made his debut in the season-opening 4-1 victory over Knattspyrnudeild Keflavík, playing 26 minutes. “I found him energetic and strong,” said manager Óskar Hrafn Þorvaldsson. “He is a newcomer, still adapting and getting used to a new country, new customs, and a new home. I just thought he came in strong.”

Bilkar (Twinkles) returns to action on Monday, April 25th against Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur. My copy and paste shortcuts are going to get a lot of use this year. My word, are those Icelandic names a trip or what?


Red Bull Bragantino is well on the way to becoming a top club in Brazil, but the job is far from over. Total Football Analysis described the recent transfer window as “crucial” with heavy investment into the squad featuring “new players” who “fit exactly into the philosophy and tactics.” One avenue of acquisition is the pursuit of “high potential youth academy talents” from “Flamengo, Palmeiras, [and] São Paulo,” a willingness to give opportunities to those deemed surplus goods elsewhere.


Speaking of Brazil, Fábio Gomes may be struggling to find the back of the net. He recently appeared off the bench in a 3-0 loss to Brasiliense in the Copa do Brasil. The striker is entering his third month without a finish, falling down the pecking order behind red-hot Eduardo Sasha.

“Striker Fábio Gomes still had a very clear chance and managed to hit the goalkeeper instead of the goal,” wrote Flavio Maldonado for Radar Esportes. “He is a player who has had few opportunities due to the level that the players are presenting. You have to improve a lot to get into decisive games and help the team.”

I’m sure his missed shot wasn’t that bad.

Yikes… Well, he’ll score the next one.


If Swindon Town makes the promotion playoffs, it will be solely due to the efforts of Mandela Egbo.

Okay, maybe there are some other Robins pitching in, but the fullback is playing a big part! In a recent 3-0 win over Hartlepool United, Egbo assisted on the opening goal with a low cross to feed Harry McKirdy. Swindon needs to make up a lot of ground fast, but the fight isn’t over.

Egbo even managed to make a friend! “From the very first day I’ve been here, I’ve been really close with Manny,” said teammate Louie Barry, who benefited from the new signing in a recent win over Harrogate Town. “We’ve been close on the pitch and on the pitch in training, and I think that showed. We said before the game that if he assists me I’ve got to get him something, and if I assist him, he’s got to get me something – so I’ve got to get him two things now!”

That must be nice to be liked by coworkers, instead of them going out for happy hour and not inviting you. I’m speaking generally, of course. The subsequent slashing of their tires was unrelated and the culprit remains at large.


Ignore those rumors about former Red Bulls hmm-hmm-hmm [Technical something-or-other] Paul Mitchell taking over Chelsea. The Monaco executive was connected to the London outfit, but the Telegraph is pouring buckets of water over the story. According to Matt Law, “None of the three bidders have made overtures to any potential sporting directors while they wait to find out the club’s preferred buyer.”

Manchester United is also looking for a sporting director. Mitchell could potentially link up with former boss Ralf Rangnick and help right that increasingly off-course ship. Supporters are simply clamoring for his appointment, and, honestly, when have internet denizens ever been wrong about anything?

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Beulah of Deptford Township.

My ex-husband was connected to Chelsea as well, but those rumors turned out to be true.

Thank you, Beulah. I’m sorry you had to deal with that.


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