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Showing posts from November, 2020

"Football is a Result Sport" and Leipzig are Getting Just That

RB Leipzig continue their strong push in the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign and a 2-1 win against Arminia Bielefeld has returned the East German club into title contention. Sitting just two points back of Bayern Munich, manager Julian Nagelsmann knows just how important every result is. "Football is a results sport," said Nagelsmann after the team's win. "At the end of the day what matters is the result. Overall over 90 minutes it was definitely our worst performance of the season. We allowed so many clear scoring chances. Also, our pressing game and in possession were not good." Harsh words from the young coach but it may be what the team needs to hear to keep them moving forward. Leagues have been decided by game such as this one where points are garnered with less than optimal performances. Last season, Leipzig was known for giving up late goals and conceding points. So much so that it allowed Munich and Dortmund to leap over them in the table. The defining attr

Leipzig Stumble in Draw as Nagelsmann Looks for Answers

RB Leipzig could have returned to the top of the Bundesliga but a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt has left them in fourth place, two points off the top. The result comes after a disappointing first half but a resurgent second half where Yussuf Poulsen continued his impressive streak of scoring spectacular goals. "We expected more of ourselves today," said Poulsen. "We conceded a silly goal where we underestimated the situation. After that we were chasing the game.  "We're not satisfied with the point. We have to do better next week." Overall the game was choppy at best. The passing wasn't accurate and the chances were few. Frankfurt took advantage of a misplayed ball from Dayot Upamecano and scored the game's first goal. Leipzig chased after and found it with a fantastic effort by Poulsen in the second half. From there the team seemed to be missing the sting they had in previous seasons with Timo Werner. Thus far, the combination of Alexander S

Marsch Discusses Eventual Move for Szoboszlai

Red Bull Salzburg Jesse Marsch didn't hold back when discussing winger Dominik Szoboszlai's potential move in January, talking more specifically about where he might go rather than if. The young Hungarian has been a target of many bigger teams and Europe and it appears like his time has come. "Dominik Szoboszlai has many admirers," said Marsch on Grant Wahl's Futbol podcast. "He is an incredible talent. Let's see what happens, but I would be surprised if he stays beyond the winter market." Among the teams interested in the youngster's services are AC Milan, Arsenal and RB Leipzig. Who has the inside track on landing the player remains to be seen. The Italian giants appeared to be in front for quite some time but that has recently changed with Leipzig showing great interest. This may end up driving up the price for Szoboszlai which currently stands at 25 million Euros. Why is he so sought after? All you need to do is watch his highlights in Salzbu

RECAP: Three Unanswered Goals Ends New York Red Bulls Season, lose to Columbus Crew 3-2

The Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls have a deep and rich post-season history. The two Eastern Conference and "Original Ten" foes have met eleven times in the postseason, even meeting in the 2008 MLS Cup in Carson California, where the Crew would win their first and only championship, defeating the Red Bulls, 3-1 Amid the lurid backdrop of a COVID-19 pandemic forcing many supporters to watch the match at the comfort and safety of their homes, it would be Gerhard Struber's very first match in charge of the team that was looking to move on to the Eastern Conference semifinal.  The Crew's free-flowing attacking style would be the catalyst to control the match but it was negated by the Red Bulls' high-press, which began to make things uncomfortable for the Crew playing out from the back. The tactic nearly worked to perfection early on, before Columbus began to take control of the match, applying offensive pressure to the New York defense, forcing the Red Bu

New York Takes Massive Risk in Struber's First Game

New York Red Bulls have historically done things differently than most teams in MLS and will continue that trend on Saturday when they initiate new head coach Gerhard Struber in the team's knockout playoff game against the Columbus Crew SC. The game which represents a continuation of New York's success in qualifying for the MLS Cup Playoffs comes with some concern as to whether or not Struber can manage in a league that has troubled European managers in the past. "We would have wanted Gerhard to come in earlier," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "I'm delighted that he's in in any stage of the season, to be honest. There is a reason why we recruited Gerhard and worked very hard to get him. That's because he was the outstanding candidate in the process. We think he's going to be able to give us the experience and expertise to help us be successful." There is little doubt that Struber is one of the up-and-coming managers and has had tremendous

Casseres and Kaku to Be Available for Saturday Playoff Game

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Good news for New York Red Bulls fans as Cristian Casseres Jr. and Alejandro Romero Gamarra may be available for selection thanks to charter flights for international players that will help clubs bypass quarantine measures. Players will still require COVID-19 tests before being allowed on a team, however this is a stark change from the process which would have made both Casseres and Kaku unavailable. International breaks have wreaked havoc on MLS rosters due to quarantine restrictions but the league has agreed on chartered flights to avoid mandatory lock down procedures. This will be a boost for some clubs even though players will still be required to pass a physical and COVID-19 test. For New York, they will regain two of their most important players. Kaku in particular was very effective, scoring in Paraguay's World Cup Qualifier and looking to be in his best form this season. Losing him would have been a major blow for the Red Bulls but now only a negativ

Szoboszlai on Salzburg Academy: "I Never Would Have Come So Far"

Young Hungarian winger Dominik Szoboszlai has turned heads over the last two years and is quickly becoming one of the most sought after players in Europe. In an interview with The Red Bulletin , Szoboszlai spoke about how he reached these heights thanks to the Red Bull Academy system. "I already had talent," said Szoboszlai. "Without all the work in the academy I never would have come so far. I learned the philosophy here and the absolute desire to win." Szoboszlai went through the famed FC Liefering system, Salzburg's second division team that has pushed through players like Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano and Hannes Wolf. While there he developed and was able to easily be inserted into the Red Bull first team in Salzburg. Since joining them in 2017 he has scored 13 goals in 51 games. It didn't take long for teams like AC Milan and Arsenal to show interest. Now, it appears that Salzburg is ready to cash in with a potential transfer fee of over 25 million Euros

EDITORIAL: In a season with no expectations, New York Red Bull fans are bracing for the usual outcome

(photo by Matt Kremkau) So. Here we go again. For the twentieth-first time in twenty-five seasons and for the eleventh consecutive time in this franchise's history, they are in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Only this time, expectations for their success among the various experts, pundits, and supporters are low. There are many reasons just why that is, but let's start with the obvious one. It's a sore subject among the die-hard followers of this franchise since its inception in 1996. That reason can be best explained with the following sentence: "Twenty-five years. No cups". Look, let's be honest here, I think a large percentage of fans would easily trade those three supporters' shields for MLS Cups at the drop of a hat, but that's not quite the point here. The MLS Cup Playoffs are widely considered a crap-shoot affair, meaning that the best team in the regular season isn't always the team that wins it all at the end. And that's where the frustration l

New Head Coach Gerhard Struber Visa Issues Cleared

New York Red Bulls announced that new head coach Gerhard Struber has received his working visa and is already in New Jersey. This could mean that Bradley Carnell's time at the helm of the team is over and the new skipper will be taking over during the team's first game against the Columbus Crew news week. Struber comes highly regarded with a history at Red Bull Salzburg as well as in the EFL Championship with Burnley. While that resume is impressive, his sudden inclusion into the league during the playoffs is a bit odd considering the high stakes of the first game. New York has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs and will avoid the extra play-in round. They will be traveling to Columbus for a difficult game as Struber's potential introduction. There is a chance that Struber won't take over the team just yet and let Carnell continue to coach as he grows accustomed to the league. The current coaching staff has acknowledged that there have been discussions with Struber in

Leipzig Pushing for Salzburg Winger Szoboszlai in January

RB Leipzig are looking to strengthen the club by targeting Red Bull Salzburg winger Dominik Szoboszlai according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The report comes after months of interest from AC Milan who are still hoping to complete the move for the Hungarian youngster. Szoboszlai has been incredibly effective for Salzburg in his short time with the club. The 20-year-old has scored 13 goals in 51 total games and was a major part of Salzburg's comeback win in the Austrian Bundesliga last season. Interest in the player from bigger teams was almost immediate with several Italian teams targeting him. Where he goes remains to be seen but Leipzig have the inside track due to their relationship with the sister club. Joining Milan or Leipzig would be a major boost into a top four league for Szoboszlai. Not only is it a move to a more prominent league but it also is an instant insertion into a title contender. Both Milan and Leipzig are pushing for glory in their respective leagues and his inc

Two Quick Goals by Barlow and White help Red Bulls spoil Toronto FC's Supporters' Shield hopes, 2-1

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Toronto FC were looking to capture their second Supporter's Shield title. However, Tom Barlow, Brian White, and the New York Red Bulls had other plans as they rebound from their lopsided loss in the Hudson River Derby by beating Toronto FC, 2-1. Interim Head Coach Bradley Carnell talked about the Red Bulls' need to start out the gate was a key element to put the match on their terms. And in the 24th minute, they did just that. Off a corner-kick, with the ball sent in by Florian Valot that bounced in front of Brian White, who back-heeled it right to Tom Barlow, who out-jumps Chris Mavinga headed in his third goal of the season. But before Toronto FC could recover, the Red Bulls struck again to double the lead just two minutes later. Red Bulls captain Sean Davis serves the ball to Tyler Duncan, who headed it over to Jared Stroud, and he toe-poked over to a wide-open Brian White, who scored his fifth of the season. But Toronto FC was able to get back into t

Leipzig Grab Sweet Revenge in Group Stage Win Over PSG

RB Leipzig grabbed a measure of revenge in their 2-1 home win over Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League group stage. The win moves them into a tie for first place in the group with Manchester United and reinvigorates their campaign which narrowly avoids a tailspin. "I am very happy that we were able to keep three points in Leipzig," said manager Julian Nagelsmann. "A meaningful step in the right direction. We didn't start well tonight, we invited PSG to score with our own mistakes. They really put the pressure on from the start." The game started poorly for Leipzig. A back pass gone astray for Dayot Upamecano turned into PSG's opening goal in just the sixth minute. Veteran winger Angel Di Maria scored the goal and it felt as if a repeat of last season's semi-final was inevitable. Leipzig did respond with an attempt in front of goal by Amadou Haidara minutes later but another veteran, Keylor Navas, was more than up to the task. St

Struber Looks for a "Good Mix" of Youth and Experience to Lead RBNY

New York Red Bulls' new head coach Gerhard Struber spoke with the team's official podcast and shared some of his thoughts on tactics as well as what he's looking for in players. One moment that stood out in particular was the need for a mix of youth and experience. This season the team has leaned younger and will need to look for that experience whether its on the team now or outside. "Young players, they learn very quick," said Struber. "They learn very quick. They are ready to learn things that are necessary in this philosophy, this style of play. We need, from the one side, the young players with the big heart to learn and also with smart decisions. But I need also experience in the team. I think when we have a good mix of that we are ready for good results." While New York is one of the youngest teams in the league, there is experience on the squad as well. Players like Sean Davis, Aaron Long and Daniel Royer have years of MLS experience but the sam

NYCFC battles back, scores three unanswered second-half goals, down Red Bulls 5-2

(photo by Matt Kremkau) With their tickets to the MLS Cup Playoffs already punched, the New York Red Bulls made the relatively short trip to Yankee Stadium to meet up with New York City FC for the second and final regular-season match of this season's installment of the Hudson River Derby. The last time these two cross-river rivals met was back on August 20 at Red Bull Arena when at the 59th minute when NYCFC's goalkeeper Sean Johnson failed to keep Kyle Duncan's shot going over the line, where he fell on the ball and tried to push it out. Originally signaled no goal by the official, it was given after a check by VAR, thus giving the Red Bulls a 1-0 victory. Now the scene shifts to New York City, where playoff seeding along with local bragging rights was on the agenda for both teams in a wet and dreary evening in The Bronx. A Rivalry Continued, With A Wild First Half It didn't take very long for the home side to strike first. Off a corner kick that would be well-defende

RBNY: Playoff Qualification "Should Inspire Us for More"

(photo by Matt Kremkau) New York Red Bulls have accomplished their first goal by qualifying for the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs and hope to use this victory as a springboard to continue to surpass expectations. A year where the team lost their all-time leading striker, team-leading goalkeeper and a head coaching change, left many thinking that their decade-long playoff qualification run would come to an end. The team met that challenge and now hopes to do more and raise MLS Cup. "This should only inspire us for more," said head coach Bradley Carnell. "It didn't start off too well. All of a sudden we get a grip on things and tighten a few screws. Now life looks totally different." New York has corrected course. The team has garnered at least a point from their last five games and grabbed two clean sheets along the way. In only one of those games did they allow more than one goal, showing that the team has fortified their defense and made it difficult for even the best

Leipzig Fall Back to Earth with Loss to Gladbach

 RB Leipzig have had a rough week, losing 5-0 to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League and now dropping out of first place in the Bundesliga following a 1-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach. The game was overall a defensive performance where neither team appeared willing to open up the game offensively. For that reason, Leipzig found themselves on the losing end as they blinked first in a game of defensive football chicken. "In the first 15 minutes of the second half we weren't structured enough," said manager Julian Nagelsmann. "Overall we didn't create enough pressure on the opposition over 90 minutes and lost possession too many times via too many long balls. But there are worse things than losing to Gladbach." While Nagelsmann is correct that Monchengladbach are one of the better structured teams in the Bundesliga, Leipzig were still favored given their recent form. The team had not lost in league play and able to score goals from many options s