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Red Bulls Paper Revue: April 4, 2022

Gerhard Struber’s quest to sign an Austrian continues, Tom Edwards plugs his barber, and Rafa Marquez calls MLS “amateur” in this week’s links

Columbus Crew v New York Red Bulls
Rafa Marquez has more swell things to say about Major League Soccer.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls

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

There are three popular versions of the song “This Magic Moment.” The performance by the Drifters is what comes to mind for most people. Less than a decade later, Jay and the Americans released a remake that charted at sixth on the Billboard Hot 100. Then there’s the reimagining from Lou Reed, which is different. I appreciate a world that provides artists with the space to experiment and produce such an interesting attempt, you know, despite how terrible the latter one is.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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You’ve probably heard this by now, but Krone reported that the Red Bulls pursued Dominik Baumgartner over the winter. The 25-year-old center back is currently at Wolfsberger AC in the Austrian Bundesliga. He very briefly overlapped with Gerhard Struber before the manager moved to Barnsley.

Baumgartner has been a consistent starter this season for GAM FC, only missing a match here and there for yellow card suspension or illness. The club recently extended his contract, picking up the option year. The Red Bulls’ pursuit of the former Austria youth international was apparently quite serious, with his agent having “already flown to the camp in January to complete the transfer.”

Struber was a fan of the defender back in 2019. “I am pleased that this transfer could be finalized,” said the manager. “Dominik will be able to support us powerfully in several positions. Not only in central or external defense, but also in defensive midfield, he can set accents.”

Austrian media is speculating that the Red Bulls will continue the pursuit of Baumgartner over the summer. Every club could use another center back, particularly an experienced veteran. Of course, transfer news tends to move fast, with information often leaking after the interested party has moved on.

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Mario Gómez made the pages of Bild for making an important upgrade to a club. Which Red Bull outfit was upgraded? The answer is zero because he was helping to modernize VfB Stuttgart’s Mercedes-Benz Arena in advance of the Euro 2024. The former striker was “initiated into the plans before he ended his career [at the club] in 2020.”

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Seeing a friend is always fun. [Or so I’ve been told.] Sometimes it’s even newsworthy!

BVZ, the hometown press for Bernd Eibler, reported that his best friend from Sigleß, Jakob Krenn, came to New York for a visit. The Wiener Neustadt Juniors assistant visited the training facility and took in a few matches. One imagines that the Burgenland boys had “tripped the life fantastic” in the Big Apple.

Eibler even provided a summary of 2022 thus far. “We got off to an excellent start to the season,” he told BVZ. “Then we had the home doubles game in which we were unlucky to lose to Minnesota and had to accept the late equalizer against Columbus.”

That’s exactly what happened in the first four matches!

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Homegrown talent Bento Estrela received another call-up to the Portugal program. Despite being 16, he is one of 83 players invited to the Under-15 Inter-Selection Tournament hosted at the Cidade do Futebol (City of Football) in the city of Algés. The group will be split into the four teams and play three matches from April 8th through the 10th.

Estela joined the Red Bulls in February of 2021. He was described as a standout at the academy level and “progressed quickly while playing with an older age group.” The teenager has yet to appear with the first team or reserves.

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Swiss company iWorkinSport released a list of the Top 20 Most Attractive Employers in Sport. The opinions of more than 1,600 across six continents were solicited, which included a question pertaining to organizations located in the United States. As is perhaps obvious to you from reading this post on this website, the New York Red Bulls were included alongside seven other MLS sides.

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According to Stoke-on-Trent Live, Tom Edwards trusts one man in England to cut his hair. Barber Leeroy Chax owns a shop on Waterloo Road in Cobridge and recently opened another spot on Queen Street in Burslem. He is hoping that the Staffordshire city becomes “the place to be.”

This website’s reporters are working ‘round the clock to determine where Edwards gets his haircuts in the United States.

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Apparently, KVC Westerlo was embarrassed about having too great a lead at the top of the Belgian First Division B table. De Kemphanen (The Ruffs) lost to City Football Group’s Lommel SK by a 2-1 margin. David Jensen started at goalkeeper and, well, he could have probably done a little better on the first goal.

On the other hand, his team missed a penalty and squandered some great opportunities. Let’s mark this match down as a “Nobody’s fault” as the promotion celebration continues to be delayed. Westerlo has two matches left with a shrinking points lead, which they cannot possibly squander… unless.

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If you don’t feel bad for Rafa Márquez, then you should. After leaving the New York Red Bulls, he was forced to join Club León. According to the former Designated Player, this was not the sterling modern Mexico organization we have come to know and love.

“Perhaps in terms of infrastructure, León was not prepared,” Márquez shared with commentator Antonio de Valdés. “I remember that we changed in plastic chairs where we did not have a dressing room, there were only two showers. Having come from Barcelona in the United States and arriving in León was a bath of humility, of starting over.”

He also took the time to give a frank assessment of Major League Soccer at the time. “My experience in the United States was not very good because they were still developing,” shared the Mexican international. “It seemed more like amateur soccer. My way of competing made me frustrated by different situations that did not favor my performances. I did not enjoy it.”

Poor Rafa, forced to traverse through his life like Goldilocks. This league is too small. This club has bad facilities. Perhaps the superstar was more of a vestigial player on great squads than talented enough to elevate those around him. I’m just kidding.

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Atlético Mineiro stood across the field from Cruzeiro in the final of the Campeonato Mineiro state competition. Galo reeled off a 3-1 victory to grab the title. The club already won two trophies this season, having claimed the Supercopa do Brasil in February.

Unfortunately, Fábio Gomes did not play. Fábio Gomes did not even make the match-day roster. This was known prior to the match as he posted a message about training on Instagram. The Brazilian striker appears to have been supplanted in the pecking order by Eduardo Sasha, but the season is still young.

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Red Bull Bragantino is getting some spiffy new threads. The Brazilian club is swapping Nike for New Balance, which, according to Mantos do Futebol, “will already take over the uniforms for the remainder of the 2022 season.” The fancy reveal will happen “in the common weeks.”

Mantos do Futebol notes that the Bragantino official store has little gear for sale, a “major complaint of the board.” This is New Balance’s first team in Brazil. The European Red Bull clubs are dressed by Nike, while New York dons Adidas to which MLS is accustomed.

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Things are getting dicey in Denmark.

Esbjerg fB jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Hobro IK. Mathias Jørgensen scored in the 20th minute, touching the ball into an empty net. Unfortunately, the visitors came to play at the Blue Water Arena and clawed back for a draw, scoring in the 93rd minute.

The result was obviously quite deflating. “There is no doubt that right now it feels like a defeat,” said the striker. “We are deeply disappointed. We are ahead 2-0 and we unfortunately only get a single point. The last nine matches will no doubt be nine finals. We had hoped we would take three points today, but that was not to be. Then we have to use one point and fight in the remaining nine matches.”

Espjerg is in the bottom half “Relegation Group” of the second-tier Danish 1st Division, a mere two points above the relegation zone. The situation could go pear-shaped fast if Fremad Amager and Jammerbugt FC catch a hot streak. Thankfully, Jørgensen appears to have hit his stride and should be able to keep his club out of danger.

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I know what you’re thinking: “Where’s 2013 Red Bull Rafhinha Domingues?

Last we checked, the Austrian-Brazilian striker was with FC Egg. He recently moved to SC Brühl SG of the third-tier Swiss Promotion League, his third tenure at the club. Through five matches, the 30-year-old attacker has one assist in five matches. The club is 15th place, one spot and point above the basement of the table.

The professional soccer player and streamer also zinged someone on Twitter. “Kkkkkkkkkkk I played there at Red Bull New York, sweetheart,” wrote Rafhinha. “I live in one of the best countries in the world, called Switzerland. I speak 5 languages and I assure you that a week of work is equivalent to yours of a month [clown emoji].”

I’m… going to go study a new language.

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Here’s a story that was submitted to the Paper Revue by Once a Metro Oakland bureau chief Juan Mesa.

América de Cali is at 15th place in the Colombian Categoría Primera A table, but that’s not good enough for many. Local media insisted that Juan Carlos Osorio was on his way out, a mutually agreed upon departure. However, he stomped on those stories, telling El Tiempo that his desire is to “start training on the only field that is available,” perhaps a callback to his previously stated desire for an upgraded facility.

Osorio struggled for a few months, with the owner recently stating that the club has “no problem with [him] leaving.” The issue was a contract that lasted until June of 2023 and included “an exit clause.” With the growing furor and war of words in the media, that buyout was speculated to be quite significant.

Like a limbo, how low in the table could the Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) go before the trigger got pulled? Well, apparently the answer was “not long” because the club and manager came to an “economic agreement.” The world now waits and wonders as to where the Professor will go next.

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Oh, you thought Zlatko Junuzović was done?

Red Bull Salzburg may be opting against renewing his contract, but the midfielder is still delivering on the field. Moving past his injuries, he appeared in the last two matches. In the most recent fixture against Rapid Vienna, his 94th minute goal sealed the victory.

Maybe New York could still be an option, after all, his move last summer “fell through at the last minute.” Perhaps those 34-year-old legs still have some juice with the player wanting to “remain active for another one, two, or three years.” I do wonder.

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I guess you don’t have to read this website anymore.

Everyone’s favorite Red Bull, Joel Lindpere, has a new blog for gambling entity Coolbet. The JK Tallinna Kalev executive will share his daily life and write a post every month. [I’ve heard that promise before.] His first etchings were published last week, touching on everything from running a club after earning promotion to bringing young players into the squad.

“We have a lot of schoolboys and new players, and one by one there was both a corona and the flu, and so on,” wrote Lindpere. “Important training games were also missed because there were no players at any point. Several players only joined at the end of February, and the final addition was confirmed 1 day before the Premier League opening round. The season started as expected, but what was most gratifying was that some of their youngsters who want to go far have already been entered in the Premier League. One boy (Mark Mälksoo) made his dream debut, scoring a goal in his very first Premier League game.”

Kalev has endured a rough start to the season with five losses in five matches. That happens. They’ll figure it out, and we’ll get to read all the details along the way.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Gwendolyn of Kingwood.

Growing up, I used to visit Estonia all the time, if you get my drift.

Thank you, Gwendolyn. I don’t.

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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.