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Red Bulls Paper Revue: September 19, 2022

The training facility hits more red tape, Mathias Jørgensen continues his hot streak, and Tom Edwards boasts about his fitness in this week’s links

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SOCCER: APR 27 MLS - FC Cincinnati at New York Red Bulls
How Mathias Jørgensen got his groove back.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

In Lethal Weapon 2, the character of Rika van den Haas (portrayed by Patsy Kensit) informs Detective Martin Riggs that she goes grocery shopping “one day at a time” because she “never knows what [she’ll] be hungry for.” That’s ridiculous. I understand that working at an embassy may not be the most challenging work, but who contends with Los Angeles traffic and all of life’s other troubles to go shopping every single day?

Here’s this week’s top story.


When you’re trying to build a global empire, you want people who have experience in the field.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly recently expressed a desire to emulate City Football Group and Red Bull Global, hoping to establish a portfolio of clubs. Naturally, he turned to Oliver Mintzlaff, hoping to woo the Leipzig executive to England. David Ornstein of The Athletic reports that while both sides “reflected” on the move, the decision was ultimately made to leave things as they are.

Mintzlaff is staying with Red Bull, and his leaving would have sent shockwaves throughout the organization, reverberating all the way down to New York. However, he did at least kick the tires on joining Chelsea, which some could interpret as having one foot or at least one eye glancing out the door. While loosely involved with Red Bull’s MLS branch at this stage, the 47-year-old still wields some small measure of influence and played a key role during the past decade, particularly during the reign of Jesse Marsch.


Local politics are fun.

According to Patch, the Red Bulls’ training facility proposal is back on the agenda for the Morris Township Planning Board, which should “prolong the lengthy approval process.” There was a public hearing on September 12th. Local residents are worried about the potential lights and noise, which admittedly can be very scary.

The original completion date of 2024 is described as “improbable,” with the plans now for “three two-year phases of construction.” That seems reasonable. I’m sure the Red Bulls will be enjoying their training facility in 2040, no later than 2050.


Scotland released a roster for upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures against Ukraine and Ireland. The group is composed of eight players from the Premiership, fifteen call-ups competing in England, and a lone name from Serie A. That’s to be expected as European teams value talents from that particular continent.

Of course, some people view the absence of Lewis Morgan as a snub. Football Scotland described him as “overlooked” because the attacker is in “scintillating form.” Can any number of goals convince Steve Clarke or is a transfer the only thing that will appease the manager?


Grêmio is modernizing transfer dealings. The Brazilian club joined TransferRoom, the online transfer platform that is taking over the world. The service has an “exclusive algorithm to evaluate players” and seeks to “reduce the action of intermediaries.”

Let’s get to the rave reviews. “This allows direct access to a network of contacts that would not otherwise occur,” said Grêmio executive Diego Cerri. “We believe that with the Transfer Room, we can build a network and create relationships with MLS club decision makers. This facilitates negotiations and opens up the Brazilian market, especially Grêmio, for future transfers.”

Was the Elias Manoel deal carried out in the online boardrooms of TransferRoom? I doubt it, but maybe the next signing will take place fully online. Heck, maybe in the future the games will be played in cyberspace!

Oh, right, esports already exist.


Do you remember hearing about the upcoming Leagues Cup?

The 2023 edition of the tournament is supposed to include every club from MLS and Liga MX. Both leagues will be pausing their domestic schedules for an entire month to accommodate this competition. The top-three finishers will earn spots in the 2024 CONCACAF Champions League, which will also feature an expanded field.

I wonder when the next update will be. Haven’t anything about the Leagues Cup in a while. You’d think that such a massive tournament would involve building some marketing hype and supporter excitement in the lead-up.

Also, while we’re on the topic, the Red Bulls are going to need to win the MLS Cup to qualify for the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League. Three of the four spots are full! Although, I imagine avoiding fixture congestion is a nice side benefit when failing to participate in continental competitions.


Here’s a story that was submitted by OaM Oakland bureau chief Juan Mesa.

Don’t let Mathias Jørgensen get hot! The Danish attacker scored the second goal and assisted on the match-winner in Esbjerg’s 4-3 victory over Boldklubben Frem. The club is at second place in the third-division table, looking likely to bounce back after last season’s relegation.

Check out these highlights from a fan video.


Fidel Escobar absolutely loves life in Costa Rica. The center back quickly became a starter for Deportivo Saprissa, looking like an odds-on favorite to claim the Apertura title. For a player who has enjoyed a monstrous amount of success at the international level, club stability has long eluded the 27-year-old.

“Since I arrived, I’m obviously a little nervous, but when you gain the confidence that the team gives you,” said Escobar. “That tells you about the intensity of the club and how Saprissa is, that motivates me more. After I played the game that we won at home, I felt very good because in the end I am playing. They give me the opportunity to play in a club that many would like to be in.”

I’m glad he was able to gain confidence. Usually when I’m nervous, I simply make an ass out of myself and never learn or grow from the situation. I guess that’s why he’s a professional athlete and I’m my parents’ least-favorite child.


Turkey loves Fredrik Gulbrandsen, and Fredrik Gulbrandsen loves Turkey.

The 30-year-old attacker and RBNY legend was a free agent after a few decent but unspectacular seasons at İstanbul Başakşehir that included claiming the 2020 Süper Lig title. Despite flirting with some clubs in Norway, he instead elected to join Adana Demirspor on a two-year deal. Mavi Şimşekler (Blue Lightnings) recently returned to the top division in 2021 and are currently at… first… in the table.

Oh, that Gulbrandsen – always winding up in a better situation than the one he left!


Tom Edwards was simply champing at the bit (it’s “champing,” not “chomping”) to start his tenure with Barnsley. While some may question whether the levels of Major League Soccer and League One are comparable, he should be expected to thrive in his more difficult new surroundings. After all, his time in New York wasn’t exactly a trip to the spa.

“I did a long spell over there,” said Edwards. “I played mainly every game other than missing a couple from suspensions. I do feel really fit. I’m ready to be involved as soon as I’m needed and I’m looking forward to it.”

More importantly, what does he think about Queen Elizabeth II dying? “It’s upsetting for the whole country,” said the 23-year-old defender. “It was just a matter of grieving about that, but we know how important this game is coming up and we knew we had to get our minds for that, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Edwards did eventually make his debut, starting and playing 70 minutes in a 3-0 win over Cambridge United. Barnsley is at sixth in the League One table with 14 points from nine matches. He’s probably good enough to push them back into the Championship.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Bertha of Fredon.

Tom Edwards was my grandson’s favorite player, and he’s been distraught since his departure. I comforted him by explaining that nothing is permanent, everyone dies, and life is meaningless. Now he’s too depressed to care about Tom Edwards!

Thank you, Bertha. You’re making a real impact on that boy’s life.


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