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Showing posts from January, 2021

Report: Red Bulls Turn Down Loan Offer for Aaron Long

(photo by Matt Kremkau) New York Red Bulls have reportedly refused a loan offer from an English Championship side according to ESPN . While not confirmed, The Washington Post did reveal that Reading was the team interested in bringing in the American defender with an option to buy between two and three million dollars. Long's move to Europe has taken several twists and turns over the last few weeks. It began with rumors of a move to the Championship but grew to a link between the player and current Premier League Champions Liverpool. That link was later denied and a move to the English second division seemed more and more likely.  Long's contract with New York runs to the end of the 2021 season but the Red Bulls have an option to extend for another year. It is unlikely that Long will leave on a free transfer so New York and the player will need to negotiate an exit in either this transfer window or over the summer. New York has already begun to plan for life after Long. The tea

Nagelsmann Lauds Impressive Defensive Win Against Leverkusen

RB Leipzig picked up an impressive win against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, a win that solidified their place as the second best team in the Bundesliga and keeps the pace with the unstoppable Bayern Munich. Manager Julian Nagelsmann didn't understate the importance of the win after the game. "After the loss to Mainz, we wanted to get back to winning ways," said Nagelsmann. "When you look at the chances, it was a deserved victory. It was really important to pick up the three points against a direct rival." The game's only goal came in the 51st minute, when Christopher Nkunku fires a second-chance effort after a deflection from the Leverkusen defender. It came as Leipzig were taking a hold of the game but finding few opportunities. What's more is that the Leverkusen goalkeeper, Lukas Hradecky, made several impressive saves to keep his team in the game. It was a goal that never seemed to be found last season. Leipzig were haunted by an unacceptable amount

Salzburg Sign Goalkeeper Nico Mantl

Red Bull Salzburg have added to their ranks with the signing of 20-year-old goalkeeper Nico Mantl. The player comes from the German third division where he has spent the entirety of his career with the club Spielvereinigung Unterhaching. The move is a four-year deal that will see the young German keeper stay with the club until 2025. Mantl made 62 appearances with Unterhaching and is set to join Salzburg training by next week. "Nico is only 20 but he already has a lot of competitive experience," said Sporting Director Christoph Freund. "He has really impressed us and we are please to take him to FC Red Bull Salzburg. Nico is a goalkeeper with great potential, and his way of goalkeeping is a really good fit with for us." Whether or not Mantl will instantly become a force to push for a starting position remains to be seen. However, Salzburg continue to rejuvenate their ranks ahead of the Europa League which starts next month.  "It's a good time for me to swit

Transfer Rumors: Hwang Hee-Chan on the Move to West Ham

RB Leipzig striker Hwang Hee-Chan has found it difficult to break into the first team on a constant basis and may now be on the move to West Ham United in the English Premier League. The report from Sky Sports states that the mid-table English club has money to spend following the transfer of Sebastian Haller which as brought in over 25 million euros to the club. The South Korean striker made the move to Leipzig during the July transfer window and was set to be one of the options to replace Timo Werner. Early on it seemed as if the option was a wise one has Hwang scored in preseason but could not reproduce that in the league. Through six appearance he's had no goals and now found it difficult to break into the first team. Hwang was impressive in his previous club, Red Bull Salzburg. Over four seasons he scored 45 goals with 11 of those coming in European play. Despite this success, he has been unable to reproduce those numbers under Julian Nagelsmann. The acquisition of Alexander

Report: New York's Aaron Long Nearing Move to England

(photo by Matt Kremkau) New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long is nearing a loan move to the English Championship according to Sky Sports . Which team in particular has not been verified but there has been interest over the years of bringing in the US Men's National Team player. Long is a product of the USL New York Red Bulls II team and started with the club in 2016. Originally a SuperDraft pick for the Portland Timbers, Long bounced around several lower division sides including FC Tuscon, Sacramento Republic and Orange County Blues. Long was released in 2014 and signed with the Seattle Sounders but couldn't find his way onto the first team. New York took a chance on him in 2016 and signed him to a third division contract. In his first year he and NYRB II broke records and became the most successful USL team to that point, winning the club's first championship. From there he was signed to the MLS club and quickly made himself indispensable in defense.  His move away from M

Red Bulls Add Wingback Tom Edwards on Loan

New York Red Bulls continue their off-season acquisitions with loanee wingback Tom Edwards from English Championship's Stoke City. The move adds depth to the team which currently has the likes of Kyle Duncan and Josh Pendant as the main starters. "Tom is a very good young player that reinforces our back line and brings a different set of experiences to our locker room," said Director of Sport Kevin Thelwell. The 22-year-old Englishman is a product of the Stoke City academy and has played with the club for nearly all of his professional career. Over that time he made six starts for the club during the season when they were relegated from the Premier League and 51 appearances in total. Recently, he was loaned to Fleetwood Town in EFL League One but now makes the move to Major League Soccer. "Tom has a variety of experiences at different levels of English soccer," said head coach Gerhard Struber. "He is a dynamic player at both ends of the field. He is a stron

Leipzig Defense Fails as Bundesliga Title Slips Away

A disappointing loss to lower table side Mainz over the weekend has thrown RB Leipzig's chances at winning the Bundesliga into doubt. The game that many expect the second place Leipzig to dominate, ended up being far more competitive and Julian Nagelsmann's vaunted defense failed to live up to expectations. "The defeat is disappointing," said Nagelsmann. "We started well and had the control but conceded an unnecessary goal. After that, despite the changes, we found it hard to get back into the game." Leipzig took two leads in the game, first through a rare Tyler Adams goal and then again in the 30th minute through an effort from defender Marcel Halstenberg. It wasn't enough as a second half goal sank one of the better defenses in the league, leaving Leipzig seven points off from Bayern Munich at the top of the table. It was a winnable game for the East German side who had previously dominated Mainz. Much like last year and the year prior, Leipzig have fo

Major League Soccer Season Set to Begin April 3, 2021

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Major League Soccer today announced the 2021 MLS season will begin on Saturday, April 3, and feature 34 matches for each of the league’s 27 clubs. MLS’s 26th regular season will conclude on MLS Decision Day, November 7, and the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs will begin November 19. MLS Cup will be played on Saturday, December 11. Clubs will be permitted to open preseason training on February 22, six weeks prior to MLS is Back opening weekend.  In accordance with MLS health and safety protocols, players will be required to quarantine and conduct individual training upon reporting back to their clubs. The 2021 season will feature the debut of the league’s 27th club, Austin FC, and their new world-class stadium.  MLS also will see the opening of two new soccer stadiums in Ohio this season for FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC. In addition to regular-season matches, the 26th season will include the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, Campeones Cup, and Leagues Cup d

Report: Caden Clark Nearing Transfer to RB Leipzig

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Caden Clark is on the move to RB Leipzig, according to reports from the Athletic , that would see him make the move to the Bundesliga after the 2021 season. It is yet another move that strips New York of a promising player just one season after excitement builds around the prospect. One of the reason that the move must wait until the end of the season has to do with Clark's age. The young attacking midfielder is still 17-years-old and a move to Europe, by FIFA rules can't happen until he is 18.  While Clark has wowed Red Bull fans with his efforts during the latter stages of the 2020 season, he has yet to produce for the club on a long term level and appears that he won't be given that opportunity. The same situation occurred with Tyler Adams, who moved to the Bundesliga club after the 2018 campaign, leaving a gaping hole for the MLS club to fill.  Transition is the norm for MLS clubs but it feels like New York is given next to no time to meet their

Red Bulls Sign Venezuelan Midfielder Wikelman Carmona

(photo by Matt Kremkau) The New York Red Bulls continue to retool with the signing of 17-year-old midfielder Wikelman Carmona. The U-17 Venezuelan player joins the New York after representing his country in the 2019 South American Championships. "He is a very interesting young player," said head coach Gerhard Struber. "Our goal is to help him improve, continue to develop and learn our style of football." More than likely, Carmona will be a major part of the USL New York Red Bulls II team. The path to MLS for the Red Bulls has been laid out in the past and a trip to John Wolyniec's club is to be expected. Still, it is a promising signing for a team that continues to scour the globe for potential talent to develop under the MLS umbrella. "Our scouting department identified Wikelman through the South American U-17 Championships," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "He's a versatile offensive midfielder with sound technical abilities and a creativ

Report: Red Bulls Close to Loan for Stoke Right Back

(photo by Matt Kremkau) New York Red Bulls continue their off-season moves with the potential of bringing in EFL Championship right back Tom Edwards. The move is rumored to be a loan deal for the English U-20 player. Edwards had been on loan with the lower division side Fleetwood town but was recalled after just 12 games with the club. The player has reportedly been a target for the Red Bulls for quite some time and they hope to complete the deal in time for the start of the 2021 season which is slated for March.  Edwards made his debut for Stoke City in 2017 when the team was still in the English Premier League. Since then he played a significant amount of games for the club while they were in the Championship and then made a move to Fleetwood recently. Now, it appears that the club is looking for another loan and Red Bulls could be the destination. The move makes sense for New York as they are still looking to restructure their defensive backline which has seen the departure of Tim

Houston Acquire Tim Parker for Allocation Money

(photo by Matt Kremkau) New York Red Bulls have traded centerback Tim Parker for $450,000 in allocation money to the Houston Dynamo. The move comes just hours after the acquisition of Colombian centerback Andres Reyes from Atletico Nacional. "Everyone at the club would like to thank Tim for his role in our success," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "We will Tim all the best in Houston this season." Parker joined New York in 2018 where he helped the defense to one of their more successful seasons, winning the 2018 Supporters Shield. Along with Aaron Long, Parker made up one half of the most dominant defenses in recent years. Now, Parker moves on ahead of an upheaval in New York that sees both Thelwell and head coach Gerhard Struber assembling their own players. The allocation money also opens up option for New York who are looking at attacking midfield players in Europe at the moment. There is also potential that Alejandro Romero Gamarra could depart the team as we

Andres Reyes Joins New York Red Bulls

(photo from Transfermarkt) The New York Red Bulls have signed their first higher profile player of the off-season in Colombian centerback Andres Reyes. The team made the announcement on Tuesday morning, a day after rumor swirled about the acquisition. "Andres has the physical characteristics we like in our centerbacks," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "He has experience in our league and the ability to contribute to the team's success while still growing into his full potential." Reyes made 13 appearances with Inter Miami in 2020 after joining the club on loan from Atletico Nacional in Colombia. The 21-year-old has also become a regular for the U-23 Colombian national team, making him a high profile development signing that could see significant minutes in 2021. The move comes as rumors continue to swirl about the departure of either Tim Parker or Aaron Long. Interest has persisted for both American's over the last two seasons and a departure could be pro

Red Bulls name Jyri Nieminen as Goalkeeping Coach

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Gerhard Struber is expanding his coaching staff with the announcement of Jyri Nieminen as the team's new goalkeeping coach. The experienced coach has plied his craft with teams both abroad as well as in MLS. "As soon as the opportunity to join RBNY appeared, I knew that I would do all I can to get the position," said Nieminen. "I see it as a perfect place to learn and be successful. I can't wait to get the work started with this dynamic and energetic staff and, even more than that, to get on the field with the players." Nieminen has spent his most recent coaching time with the Orlando Pirates in South Africa. Before that he spent two seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes, making him an experienced coach in what the expectations are for goalkeepers in the league. Both Ryan Meara and David Jensen have significant experience both in years prior as well as in 2020, making it a fitting selection for the coaching staff. The move is expected

Report: Chris Armas to Become Head Coach of Toronto FC

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Toronto FC appear to be picking up former head coach Chris Armas as their new skipper according to TSN's Kristian Jack . The move comes after former head coach Greg Vanney departed for the LA Galaxy and Armas was let go by the New York Red Bulls midway through the 2020 season. Armas has gained tremendous experience of the last two and a half seasons with New York, leading the team to a Supporters Shield after taking over for Jesse Marsch in 2019. From there he led them to the playoffs again in 2020 but like many others, he was unable to take them over the hump and into an MLS Cup game. His departure came as part of a general overhaul to the Red Bulls backroom staff including new Director of Sport Kevin Thelwell from England. After his departure, Armas instantly became an interesting candidate for several positions. He was linked to a potential move to Chicago but that was quickly quelled. Now he is linked with taking the Toronto job where he will rejoin form

MLS Looks to Extend Current CBA in Exchange for No Salary Reductions

(photo by Matt Kremkau) Major League Soccer has sent a proposal to the MLS Players Association in order to extend the current CBA by two years instead of reducing player salaries. The move comes as the league hopes to start play in mid-March while also looking to soften the blow of COVID-19 in 2021. "As of today, we have 20 days to work together to reach an agreement," said Don Garber on MLS Soccer's website . "We are laser-focused to reach an agreement with our players, ready to sit down with them, day or night, to try to reach an agreement. So there has to be a real sense of urgency for both the MLS league office, our ownership and certainly from the player pool and the MLSPA." This comes after the league decided to trigger a clause in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that forced a renegotiation of the terms due to the pandemic. Now, both parties must come back to the table in order to create a new deal that benefits both sides. Whether that will ha

Nagelsmann on Dortmund Fixture: "We Desperately Want to Win"

RB Leipzig are ready for one of their biggest fixtures this season against Borussia Dortmund and want to win in order to continue their challenge for the Bundesliga crown. Currently sitting in second place, a win could bury Dortmund's title hopes and solidify their chances against Bayern Munich. "We desperately want to win this game," said Nagelsmann ahead of the fixture. We will give everything to try and do that. Gaining a nine point lead on a direct rival for the top spots would be a huge step for us." Leipzig's challenge has been unexpected. Despite losing top striker Timo Werner, the team has adjusted well and distributed the offense across the field. Winger Angelino and midfielder Dani Olmo have produced massively in big moments, putting less pressure on Alexander Sorloth and Yussuf Poulsen up front. Dortmund have been in an opposite trend. The team which has, arguably, one of the more talented sides in the league, find themselves in fourth place and eight

Report: Former Red Bulls Legendary Goalkeeper Hangs Up His Gloves

(photo by Matt Kremkau) He's calling it a career. And a good one it was. Former New York Red Bulls Goalkeeper has officially announced his retirement from professional soccer this afternoon. His announcement came directly from his Instagram account: "No easy way to say it, but after 14 years of professional soccer, I’ve decided that I’m done playing. I was a young boy with a dream of being a professional athlete. With the help of two incredibly loving and supportive parents and some of the best mentors possible, that dream became my reality. From small-town Sierra Vista, I embarked on a journey that has been so fulfilling and rewarding that as I reflect on it, I am left grateful and humbled. Thank you @tucsonsocceracademy @pilotsoccer @1fckaiserslautern1900 @karlsruhersc @newyorkredbulls @intermiamicf for allowing me to include you in my journey. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to live out my dream. Thank you for being a part of my growth as a player, a leader, a pe