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Red Bulls Paper Revue: May 2, 2022

Luquinhas is still working on his English..and Polish, a new medical staffer is hired, and Patryk Klimala inches closer to a World Cup spot in this week’s links

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MLS: FC Dallas at New York Red Bulls
Luquinhas is settling in fast with the Red Bulls.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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

I feel like Prince missed out on a real opportunity when he wrote “Nothing Compares 2 U” for The Family, which was in turn covered by Sinéad O’Connor. Near the end of the first verse are the lyrics “I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant / But nothing / I said nothing can take away these blues / ‘Cause nothing compares to you.” Now, clearly there is room for a little product placement. Everyone must have been wondering, what dining establishment was the singer patronizing? Perhaps they should have changed the words to “I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant / But nothing / I said nothing tastes as good at DQ / ‘Cause nothing compares to you.” I think that clearly would have been better when considering the potential financial benefits of future Dairy Queen commercials.

Here’s this week’s top story:

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Brazilian sensation Luquinhas had a nice little chat with Polish media, discussing the direction of his career after making the move stateside “for over three million euro.” He has some very nice things to say about his time so far in Major League Soccer, as do most at the beginning of a relationship. The Red Bulls midfielder is very pleased that nobody has mentioned his height, which was apparently a problem in the past.

“How was I received?” asked Luquinhas rhetorically, perhaps holding a skull. “I find it very good and warm. The club, players and fans accepted me in many different ways. It was certainly a much better start than, for example, in Legia, where I was judged by my height. I know I was initially disregarded for this. It was felt that I might not be able to do it physically and would not be able to give the team too much. The situation obviously changed after I was seen in action on the pitch. This is basically the only big difference between my start in Warsaw and Red Bulls. Here I felt the confidence of trust from the very first moment, in Poland it took a while.”

He described himself as “very emotional” when deciding to move to MLS, accepting “an offer that could not be refused.” Luquinhas believes the decision “will pay off in the long term” and is now fully focused “on playing football.” The move appears to be benefitting all parties, especially if his final third production continues.

As for his relationship with Patryk Klimala, well, they’re working on it. “As for normal contact, I don’t talk to Patryk very often because I don’t speak English and I haven’t had time to learn Polish either,” said the midfield maestro. “But over time it will get better and better and we will remember our common experiences from Poland. But the most important thing is that we find a common language on the pitch and I think that will come soon, for the benefit not only of Patryk or me, but also of the whole team.”

I was unaware professional athletes spoke to each other. I just assumed they pointed and grunted. I’m kidding.

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The New York Red Bulls made a key backroom move, hiring Matt Tuttle as Head of Medicine and Performance. He previously worked as Director of Sports Science for the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association. Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports described him as a “key member of the medical team” and was “heavily involved in player [rehabilitation], injury tracking, and more.”

Over the past few seasons, the Red Bulls have focused on building the organization, notably improving the scouting and analytics departments. The high press is taxing on players, requiring expert upkeep and constant monitoring. Medical staff may not be considered exciting, but they sure are necessary, especially when needed.

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GPS player tracking provider STATSports has a new group of “investors and brand ambassadors. The group includes Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tyler Adams, Timothy Weah, and Caden Clark. The current Red Bull provided a full rundown to SportTechie on how the software has impacted his career, starting at the Barça Academy all the way to Major League Soccer.

“At Red Bull here, we really value sprint meters and distance, and we’ve seen a trend over the course of these games this year,” said Clark. “The games that we have the most distance covered and the game we have more sprint meters, all those games we have won. And if it’s under a certain point—we saw it this morning, actually—we’ve lost the game. It points out trends and, for me, it will give me what minutes I’m like really struggling to get my second wind or my distance, or one game I’m lacking distance, I might be unfit. It depends on the game time. It’s kind of cool—you don’t think about these things until you have it available to yourself, and then it’s super helpful.”

His “next fitness goal” is to maintain 90 minutes of intensity on both sides of the ball after being energetic on defense. My “next fitness goal” is to go for a run without being stuck saying “hello” to the neighbors. You do it once, and then you have to do it every time which is more taxing than the actual exercise.

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Poland national team manager Czesław Michniewicz is enjoying a lovely trip around the United States. He’s been all over the country scouting players and watching soccer. Does he perhaps have an opinion on any particular talents?

“I think that Karol Świderski and Adam Buksa, who have already played in the national team and scored goals in it, have a good chance,” Michniewicz told TVP Sport. “Also Kamil Jóźwiak [has a good chance], who has a few matches behind him. In turn, Patryk Klimala is still before his [international] debut in the first team, but I know him very well, because he played in the youth team when I was leading it. All named players are closest to the national team. We care about good relations with their club coaches due to the world championship... We must have a well-structured cooperation with the coaches to know everything about the players before they come to the training camp.”

I’m curious how many goals Klimala would need to book a ticket to Qatar. Life is about timing, and this is the opportune moment for both club and country. Scoring a brace while the national team manager watches might be considered a step in the right direction.

“We have to look at Patryk Klimala,” said the manager. “[He] develops. He plays for a nice club, far from Poland, but in a solid organization, in a solid team. If he scores goals, he will be in the national team’s vestibule, but we must also remember about the wealth in the attack of our team... There is a lot of competition, and I am very happy about it.”

Klimala, for his part, agrees with Michniewicz’s assessment of the player pool. All he can do is continue scoring goals and hope for a call-up. There are quite a few months until the 2022 World Cup, at least two, maybe more.

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The Red Bulls could have some competition on a transfer target.

According to Kronen Zeitung, Austria Klagenfurt is likely to pursue Jürgen Heil this summer. Sports director Matthias Imhof referred to him as an “interesting player,” so I guess you can say that things are getting pretty serious. The 25-year-old midfielder is set to be out of contact and should have a host of suitors after a… Heil… of a season in the Austrian Bundesliga.

While not located in Arizona, Klagenfurt is a phoenix club that was recently promoted to the first tier. The club is currently at fifth place and enjoying a great year. Is it great enough to beat out the Red Bulls for Heil’s signature?

***

As you may have heard, former Red Bull majordomo Ralf Rangnick is going to lead the Austria national team. He will keep a “consultancy role” with Manchester United, which probably means nothing. His tenure, currently limited to a two-year contract, is set to begin in May.

Rangnick has already begun the hunt for a second-in-command. He may be hitting up an old pal for some help and harming another. The top name on the list is reportedly Franz Scheimer, who serves as an assistant at Leeds United under Jesse Marsch.

Of course, that would leave an opening at Elland Road. Take a guess at a candidate. Go ahead, guess.

That’s right. According to Phil Hay for The Athletic, none other than Chris Armas is looking likely for a “permanent post” on Marsch’s staff. They’re getting the band back together and are ready to play the hits.

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Former Red Bulls reserve Amarildo claimed a title. The club recently joined Brazilian side Clube Náutico Capibaribe, which triumphed over Retrô Futebol Clube in the final of the 2022 Campeonato Pernambucano state league. “Very great emotion to be part of this great club with a passionate crowd!” said the 23-year-old. “It’s a unique feeling, arriving and then becoming champion.”

Some people go their whole lives without being a champion, but this guy gets to experience the thrill after a few months.

***

Things have gone from bad to worse for Esbjerg fB in the second tier of Danish soccer. The club dropped a 2-0 result to BK Fremad Amager, which resulted in the two switching table positions and landing the West Jutlanders squarely in the relegation zone. After scoring on March 31st, Mathias Jörgensen has been out of the match-day roster for the past four fixtures.

***

The Red Bulls just missed out on a reunion in the Open Cup.

Corey Hertzog recently signed with Hartford Athletic “for the remainder of the 2022 season.” He most recently was on the roster for the Des Moines Menace during the Open Cup. The 31-year-old would ideally bring some attacking prowess to his new club.

“I am very excited to sign with Hartford Athletic and get back on the field,” said Hertzog. “I love playing this game and I’m very grateful to the organization for giving me an opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch with my teammates and scoring some goals in front of this incredible fan base.”

Hertzog was selected out of Penn State University with the 13th pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Red Bulls. The Generation Adidas prospect spent two years in New York, which included a loan to the Wilmington Hammerheads. After a year with the Vancouver Whitecaps, he has settled into the role of a lower-league journeyman, with stops at Orlando City, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Saint Louis FC, Reno 1868, and San Diego Loyal.

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Who has two thumbs and is getting promoted? Well, a lot of people, but most importantly that group includes Anatole Abang! Al Bataeh Club is moving on up to that deluxe apartment in the UAE Pro League after finishing at second in the table this season.

How did the club achieve promotion to the first division after being founded in 2012? There was a priority placed on local talent, but the roster required a boost after starting this season with three straight losses. Enter three serious acquisitions during the winter transfer window, including star striker Abang.

I hope he sticks around and enjoys the spoils of top division soccer next season.

***

We could talk about Joel Lindpere being a celebrated soccer player. We could discuss his silver medal at the 2016 Estonian Poker Championship. Today we are gossiping about his golf tournament.

The Joel Lindpere Open is a regular competition in Estonian that features a field of domestic and foreign golfers. The tournament gives attendees “different tasks… which means the winner may not be the player with the fewest strokes.” Love for the sport is more important than something as silly as being the best.

“The tournament is completely unofficial and will remain so, because I myself play golf as a hobby,” Lindpere said in 2018. “My goal is to promote golf as a hobby and to give those who want to play a bigger tournament without the pressure of a handicap. There are people who want to – when I organized the first tournament last year, 30-40 people asked during the week if they could register for next year’s tournament.”

I have already asked the boss for funding to travel to this year’s event.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Persephone of Garfield.

My husband was always focused on golf, but I wish he would have worried about the gulf between us.

Thank you, Persephone. I’m sure your next husband will be less of an albatross.

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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.