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Red Bulls Paper Revue: June 6, 2022

Lewis Morgan wants into the Scotland team, Gerhard Struber (maybe?) turns down Augsburg, and Anatole Abang wins an award in this week’s links

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Inter Miami CF
Lewis Morgan thinks he belongs in the Scotland squad.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

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

I don’t know how you’re feeling this week, but I’m feeling good. The sun is out, which means only one thing: sitting indoors.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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If you walk in a circle, do you technically go anywhere?

FC Augsburg is still looking for a manager, with updates popping up here and there. Local newspaper the Augsburger Allgemeine reported that Gerhard Struber was once again the leading candidate for the role. Fuggerstädter finished in 14th out of 18 teams last season in the Bundesliga, with the outgoing Markus Weinzierl informing the players of his departure after the season’s final whistle.

Whoever the club’s new manager will be, don’t bet on the man or woman being Struber. Sport1 reports that the Austrian is “not interested in an engagement in Augsburg” and “would like to stay in New York.” He considers “a move to the Bundesliga to be attractive,” which could mean a lot or absolutely nothing.

Stay tuned until the next rumor, I suppose.

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Lewis Morgan wants his turn with the Scotland national team, but does the set-up want him?

Right now, the answer is “no.” Despite his decent form in New York, the midfielder-defender-attacker was not named to a recent Scotland squad, a befuddling decision to some. He spoke with Glasgow Live on the snub.

“I am obviously desperate to try and get back in the international fold,” said Morgan. “I think I have played quite a lot of football out here at wing-back, especially last year, and I think that lends itself quite well to the national team…[The manager has] not so much [been in touch]. I think that sort of goes above my head. Maybe the managers have had contact with each other, but not recently. Like I say, I am disappointed not to be involved. I think my form has been pretty good and obviously playing at wing-back is a position that Scotland can use.”

Like your unmarried friends on the higher side of 30, Morgan affirmed his desire to “focus on himself.” All he can do is continue to work hard and hope the pieces fall into place. Some national team managers will forever fail to consider Major League Soccer as a viable competition.

In the second part of the interview, Morgan discussed Celtic and appreciating his time in New York. “The team is doing well which always helps, and I settled in pretty quickly,” shared the Scot. “It’s been enjoyable and it is good to be playing for a team that is competing to try and win things and that is what we are trying to do here. We need to take every game as it comes. It’s cliché to say but we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves but on our day we are as good as any team in this league and beat anyone... We are setting the bar high, but without putting too much pressure on ourselves or looking too far into the future.”

The Red Bulls were criticized by some for the acquisition of Morgan during the winter transfer window. If I had to guess, former head of sport Kevin Thelwell observed the success of intra-league transfers, with allocation money worth less than the paper it’s not printed on. Might as well throw around some hypothetical cash and bring in players with a proven track record that ping the relevant statistical markers.

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Kinda-sorta former transfer rumor Zlatko Junuzović is still figuring out his plans. Who knows what the future holds? He certainly doesn’t!

“Now the question is whether we’ll start another adventure, because that would still appeal to us, especially since the children are still at an age where you can do it,” the married Junuzović told Kicker. “But of course a lot has to fit. We’ve had a few offers, but we haven’t found the right one yet, and if we don’t feel comfortable, then that’s nothing. There are still a few things in the room. If that doesn’t happen, you have to consider doing something else.”

Despite the possibility of retiring, he “really likes being a football player,” which “defines his whole life.” The decision will be “very difficult.” Based on his dismissal of “a few offers” in the past, the New York Red Bulls would probably be filed under “No Thanks.”

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John Tolkin appeared on the MLS Gone Wild Podcast. He discussed being a ball boy with the club and his journey through the academy. Feel free to give the episode a listen.

Did you also hear that the defender was named to the United States’ preliminary roster for the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship? Now you have.

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Breiðablik notched another victory, taking down Leiknir Reykjavík in the Besta-deild karla. Omar Sowe played 62 minutes, but there may have been a bit of the old controversy. According to Visir, opposing player Brynjar Hlöðversson took “a solid elbow shot from Omari when the ball was far away and no one saw it,” but the on-loan Red Bull was “booked for kicking the ball away after the whistle.” Fótbolti.net reports that the two players had previously come together on “a very full-fledged tackle” that “deserved at least a free kick and probably a card.” The young attacker was “taken out [of the match] immediately at the next opportunity”

The two clubs face off again on August 28th, so circle that date on your calendar.

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Jesús Castellano is currently competing at the prestigious Toulon Tournament in France with the Venezuela U-23 National Team. After staying on the bench for the first two fixtures, he appeared in the third match, playing 53 minutes as La Vinotinto drew with the Ghana U-20 side but earned a crucial bonus point through penalty shootout. With a 2-0-1 record, first place in Group B and advancement to the knockout stage is secured, with the semifinal scheduled for Thursday, June 9th against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

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The Maccabi Haifa U-19 team is headed to the United States. The Greens youth (whose senior squad claimed the Israeli Premier League this past season) will face off against the Philadelphia Union, St. Benedict’s Prep, and, of course, the New York Red Bulls. The tour is being “facilitated” by the New Jersey-Israel Commission and will feature “community engagements promoting diversity, inclusion, and tolerance.”

The friendly is scheduled for Sunday, June 12th at 2 p.m. on Lubetkin Field at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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We’re getting Bradley Carnell stories every week whether you like it or not.

In the latest edition, his new boss, Lutz Pfannenstiel, praised the manager and explained why he brought his old colleague to St. Louis. The South African is described as a “dream candidate,” sort of like a Freddy Krueger of coaching soccer. His past experience in MLS is also cited as important, hours put in with the New York Red Bulls.

“We have a clear specification of how we want to play,” Pfannenstiel told Kicker. “Not only with the pros, but also with the youth: pressing and counter-pressing, high intensity, fast, direct football and moments of transition are important to us. Our game is designed for that. Carnell has that as a player at Stuttgart, already implemented that under Ralf Rangnick, and refined it as a coach at Red Bull New York.”

I imagine the interviews and stories will continue until Carnell has been discussed in every publication from here to Timbuktu. Tune in next week when he’s asked to give his opinion on the St. Lunatics. I sure hope he sought their permission before crossing “that bridge” and entering the City of St. Louis.

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He got the job!

Wollongong Wolves announced the hiring of David Carney to the manager role. He will take over the club during the 2023 National Premier League New South Wales season. The former Red Bull has been working on his UEFA coaching licenses, traveling back and forth from Illawarra.

“I am excited to be joining the Wollongong Wolves Football Club,” said Carney. “It’s a privilege to have been afforded such a great opportunity and to take charge of a Club with a rich history and a brand that is recognizable both domestically and internationally. I look forward to applying what I have learnt over the years from many successful managers, in many different leagues and continuing the success which the club has had. I am really looking forward to working with everyone in the club and the community. I understand the Wolves are a community club.”

I’m always happy to see former players get into coaching. I couldn’t imagine having to leave soccer behind after dedicating so many years to the sport, unless, of course, a person wants to do something else. Either way, Once a Metro wishes the best of luck to you on your managerial journey, Mr. Carney.

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Speaking of former MetroBulls-turned-coaches, Shaun Bartlett recently accepted the lead chair at a familiar organization. The 49-year-old was appointed the manager of the Cape Town Spurs (formerly known as Ajax Cape Town). He is considered a legend at the South African club, scoring 48 goals in 116 appearances and winning the league in 1995.

“For me, it’s exactly 30 years ago when I signed for Cape Town Spurs in 1992,” said Bartlett. “There’s sentimental value in me coming back to get this club where it belongs. Spurs have always been close to my heart. This was a club that has been a stalwart in Western Cape, with name changes from Ajax Cape Town to Cape Town Spurs. At the end of the day it’s still the same set-up. For us, it’s still the same ambition. We want to be in the DStv Premiership. That’s where the club belongs.”

Cape Town finished last season in 14th out of 16 teams, avoiding relegation by a mere three points. Bartlett should be used to challenging circumstances, having played for the MetroStars in the 1990s. I’m kidding… probably.

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After a long journey, Josh Sims finally made his return to the field after “COVID, heart scares, and ulcerative colitis.” He appeared for 38 minutes in Ross County’s final match of the season, a 2-1 loss to Dundee United. The excitement was clearly palpable.

“I waited right until the end of the season, but it was nice to get out here,” said Sims. “I was just excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve been out there, so I just wanted to enjoy it, and that’s what I did. It was May last year since I last played, so it was pretty much the end of last season to the end of this season. Ten minutes in, I was feeling it, but I managed to get a second wind and I didn’t actually feel too bad by the end.”

The manager is already looking ahead to next season. “It was great to get [him] on the pitch,” said Malky Mackay. “I’m delighted to get him involved. With a preseason inside of him, he’s really going to be a star for us, I think.”

The Staggies completed the schedule at sixth place in the Scottish Premiership, narrowly missing out on European football. Next season should be a push for that higher level, backed by the superlative winger talent. There’s a healthy dose of optimism for the start of the week.

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You could say that Anatole Abang had quite a memorable stay in the Azerbaijani Premier League. Despite being only present for half of last season, the former Shamakhi FK (then known as Keşla) attacker was named the competition’s “most undisciplined player” for earning two red cards and two additional yellows. That’s what he does: make an impact.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Rosalie of Galloway Township.

Do you think they’ll retire his jersey?

Thank you, Rosalie. I’m sure it’s being considered.

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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.