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Red Bulls Paper Revue: August 1, 2022

The Dylan Vente smoke still billows, Red Bulls sponsors are thrilled with the Barcelona friendly, and David Jensen finds some Turkish delight in this week’s links

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MLS: FC Barcelona at New York Red Bulls
Much like this man, Red Bulls sponsors wanted a piece of the action in last weekend’s Barcelona friendly.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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

Everything in life is a competition. If a person isn’t responding to your texts, you can be sure they’re responding to someone else’s. Every minor success and every bit of attention are up for grabs in the zero-sum game of life, regardless of how society disincentives us from acknowledging this battle with one another.

Here’s this week’s top story.


You probably saw the report by Tom Bogert (or as the French would say, “Tom Beaux-gair”) pertaining to Dylan Vente. The pursuit is “active,” and new head of sport Jochen Schneider is leading the charge. You know, yadda, yadda, and so forth and so on.

If Roda plans on selling him, the Eerste Divisie club appears to be in no rush. Vente played in a recent friendly against De Graafschap, failing to score in a 1-0 defeat. The actual Dutch season starts on Friday against Dordrecht, which happens to be the day after the close of the Major League Soccer Secondary Transfer Window.


Stoke City opened the English Championship season with a 2-0 defeat to Millwall. Defender Ben Wilmot “limped out” out of the match with a groin problem. The club is already missing Harry Souttar, who injured his anterior cruciate ligament last November.

The Potters (named for Harry Potter) deploy a five-player back line. Assuming Wilmot’s groin is going to niggle and naggle for the next few weeks, that leaves the club with a dearth of healthy defenders. The manager already dipped into the back of the bench for the opener.

Stoke seems in need of some experience and a bit of a plug-and-play boost. I’m just talking. Don’t mind me. I’m just here talking.


Patryk Klimala has a lot of fans, but only one went out of his way to praise the player in the media this past week. MSG commentator Shep Messing spoke to Przegląd Sportowy Onet about the Polish striker and offered some support. It’s always darkest just before dawn, keep going until your face falls off, and get to the chopper.

“He’s a very good young striker,” said Shep-a-roonie. “He’s been having a bad time lately, but that’s normal because every sniper is struggling with problems. For now, he can’t find his way to the gate. Despite this, he works hard on the pitch, runs a lot and returns to defense. He will come back to the first squad, but now he needs a rest. He is an important player for the New York Red Bulls so I don’t think the club will get rid of him. Will he play against Barcelona? For sure.”

I’m sure he’ll turn it around.


Center back Mateusz Wieteska was being pursued by clubs “from Greece and the United States.” The 25-year-old Poland international recently completed his seventh season with Legia Warsaw in the Poland Ekstraklasa, making over 145 appearances. Described as an “important player and natural leader,” he was on a contract valid through June of 2023 but appeared to eschew extensions.

Now, on the one hand, the Red Bulls recently signed a player from Warsaw. The club does enjoy fishing in familiar ponds. On the other hand, his representation, UNIDOS, recently directed a player to Charlotte FC.

There’s no need to speculate because the defender is not coming to MLS. Wieteska signed a permanent, four-year deal with Clermont Foot 63 of Ligue 1. He will be teaming up on the back line with none other than Paper Revue favorite Jean-Claude Billong.


Survive and advance.

Breiðablik walked into the Podgorica City Stadium in Montenegro and departed with a 2-1 defeat against Budućnost Podgorica of… Montenegro. That single away goal was enough to secure advancement to the third round of UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying by a 3-2 aggregate margin. Omar Sowe was on the bench but failed to enter the match. This wasn’t included in any recaps, but I’m sure his moral support played a huge role for the cause.

The next round gets significantly harder. Two legs against İstanbul Başakşehir will be no picnic, no picnic at all. The first match is on Thursday, August 4th at the Icelandic confines known as the Kópavogsvöllur.


Barcelona brings attention at all levels. While the on-field product of a friendly may be… as expected, the financial gains cannot be ignored. A super-club is a super-club is a super-club.

“[Our partners] were, as you could imagine, pumped [and] excited,” Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer Joe Stetson told NJBIZ. “Some of our partners, they raised their hands immediately saying ‘can we do more for this match?’ Hackensack Meridian Health is going to activate. Audi is the presenting sponsor of the post-game fireworks show. We’ve had other partners that really wanted to know, ‘Can we make sure some of the content that we’re sponsors of will be present at that game?’ We’ve been able to accomplish that.”

People can talk about attendance, but corporate partnerships are far more important to the financial success of a club. I don’t actually know if that’s true, but it sounds like it could be. Sounding right is far more important than actually being correct.


First reported by sports presenter and journalist Yağız Sabuncuoğlu, David Jensen has found a new club. The Danish goalkeeper is joining İstanbulspor of the Turkish Süper Lig. His contract is for two years.

“The wait is over,” said Jensen on his personal Instagram account with impeccable punctuation. “Delighted to announce I’ve signed for İstanbulspor. I can’t wait to get started! We have a busy schedule ahead of us, and I couldn’t be more ready to start this new adventure! I’m here guys – let’s get ready to work!”

Coincidentally nicknamed Boğalar (Bulls), İstanbulspor is located in the sprawling metropolis of Istanbul among many other outfits. The club achieved promotion last season following a fourth-place finish in the second-tier TFF First League and battling through the playoffs. The previous starter at goalkeeper, Alperen Uysal, has departed for Antalyaspor, which gives Jensen the opportunity to seize the number one role as the veteran and most-experienced player on the depth chart. He’ll be battling it out with Croatian teammate Marin Ljubic, who recently completed a loan at NS Mura in the Slovenian PrvaLiga.


Fábio Gomes has made his escape from Atlético Mineiro, joining Vasco da Gama on loan. Vascão (Great Vasco) are currently second in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B table, looking a likely candidate for promotion. The Brazilian striker enjoyed the best year of his career in the second division, scoring 15 goals in 32 appearances during the 2019 season.

Fábio’s Mineiro journey started with tons of promise, but he “failed to establish himself” and “did not fall in favor with the fans.” Now the 25-year-old can regain his old form and begin banging in the goals like old times. Like Sternhalma, sometimes you have to take a step backward to move forward.


The Watford Under-21 team played against Hitchin Town FC of the seventh-tier Southern League Premier Division Central. The roster was bolstered by the presence of senior-squad member Ashley Fletcher in the first half. Unfortunately and probably not surprisingly, the Hornets were unable to score and settled for a nil-nil/zip-zip/nada-nada draw.

Much like the limited theatrical release of the upcoming Confess, Fletch (starring Jon Hamm in the lead role), don’t expect the big Fletch to be around Vicarage Road for long. According to The Athletic, he is “now training separately” and “has been told he can leave, either on a loan or in a permanent deal.” His current contract lasts through June of 2026, which seems to put the ball more in Watford’s court on that whole moving thing.

I would just take a four-year vacation on the club’s dime, but I also don’t have a professional athlete’s drive or desire to succeed.


Chris Armas wants to set the record straight. The former Red Bulls manager backed off the high press against Atlanta United because-… oh, right. Sorry, he denies that his widely reported meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson went a little differently than previously believed, with the biting “You’ll need more than that here, son” barb implied to be calumnious.

The Scottish legend may not have been quite as dismissive. “I met him once,” said Armas on The Crack podcast. “They asked if I wanted to meet Sir Alex, the legendary Sir Alex, I’ve read the books! I went into his suite and thought it was just going to be Sir Alex, but there were like 10 people. So I stood by the door and let her go. I thought to myself, I didn’t want to overstep, but then everyone [looked] my way and I [went] around the room and said hello, I introduced myself. The last person that I spoke to was Sir Alex. I said ‘Sir Alex, what an honor to meet you, I promise I will give everything to try to honor the work that you’ve done’ and he goes ‘yeah, it’s a lot of work to do. It’s great that you’re here and if you need anything let us know.’ That was it and it was a highlight.”

Armas referred to the story as an “incredible lie.” I agree with him. It is incredible… incredibly funny.

Honestly, if he’s telling the truth, then one cannot help but feel annoyed on his behalf.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Clara of Stanhope.

I would never tell a lie about anyone, except that cow Susan.

Thank you, Clara. I bet she’s awful.


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