Patryk Klimala impresses on his first start since leaving Celtic

By Euan Davidson

May 29, 2021

In his first start for New York Red Bulls, former Celtic man Patryk Klimala laid on an assist and had an excellent game for his new club.

Klimala, who surprisingly left the Bhoys only a year after joining, recouped Celtic’s investment. Joining the Red Bulls in April [BBC], the Polish youth international was part of the squad who won the Quadruple Treble in December 2020. However, his personal numbers didn’t make for great reading. With limited opportunities, Klimala scored just 3 goals in 28 games in the Hoops [Transfermarkt].

All that was forgotten tonight though. After 35 minutes, Klimala assisted Caden Clark to get the lead against Orlando City. The Polish striker, from the right flank, picked out Clark with a low cross, leaving his team-mate with the simplest of finishes.

Named in Gerhard Struber’s starting XI, Klimala had made two 45 minute appearances against Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution.

Klimala was taken off after 62 minutes, after NYRB were able to establish a two goal lead. Christian Casseres doubled New York’s advantage with a sumptuous free kick from just outside the box. The brilliantly named Silvester van der Water reduced the deficit for Orlanda on the 84th minute.

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It’s a big result for the Red Bulls, who picked up their third win in 7 matches, having come out the blocks slowly. Cameron Harper and Andrew Gutman, two fellow ex-Celts, didn’t feature in Struber’s match-day squad.

Patryk Klimala with ex-Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Former Celtic man Patryk Klimala making an impact in the MLS

Some interesting news emerged in the days after Klimala’s departure from Celtic Park. New York Red Bulls sporting Director Kelvin Thelwell claimed that the Bhoys weren’t unanimous on selling the Polish striker.

According to the Athletic:

“I had outstanding references on him at Celtic.

“There were some people there who didn’t want to let him go, didn’t feel he had the opportunity perhaps he should have done and were also saying if he did get the opportunity Celtic would have been a lot better for it. These are people I trust and people we trust within our network.”

For his own part, Klimala said of the move [Once a Metro]:

“I think with Celtic we had to play a more tactical game [that didn’t suit me] but I know from all the Red Bull teams [around Europe] the style of play here. I like to fight and work in football and that’s what [Red Bull] is about. It’s a lot of direct balls to the strikers, direct balls behind the lines and that is how I like to play.”

Whoever watched the Celtic of 20-21 might disagree that there was a “more tactical game” in place. However, Klimala already seems to be winning fans in the MLS. More goal contributions will help to no end.

READ MORE: Another memory of what Celtic gave up