New York Red Bulls Should Miss Having Bruce Arena in Charge

Bruce Arena is referred to by many soccer fans and pundits as the greatest American coach ever. An article on Grantland by Andrew Lewellen is yet another voice affirming that. He writes about how Arena has taken on the job of coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy, turning around a team neck deep in pressure, tension and turmoil. Lewellen also noted Arena’s success in developing successful teams at the University of Virginia, D.C. United and the United State’s men’s national team. One high profile job (and failure) conveniently left out was his year and a half stint with the New York Red Bulls. Arena was hired by the franchise after the 2006 FIFA World Cup and resigned two days after their 2007 season ended. The failing aspect of the job was not as much Arena’s fault, however, as it was the failure for the Red Bulls organization to be patient, highlighting why in 17 seasons there have been 13 head coaches (including current interim Mike Petke) and a revolving door of players but zero trophies to brag about. In the two years Arena was the head coach of the Red Bulls, he compiled a record of 18-19-11. It was the ...
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Should the New York Red Bulls Make Mike Petke the New Head Coach?

It’s unlikely that Mike Petke is the leading candidate for the New York Red Bulls head coaching position.It’s not impossible; he was just named interim head coach with the team not renewing Hans Backe’s contract. But history tells us the organization will go with the bigger, flashier, more expensive name, both with players and the coaching staff.While Backe was still the head coach, names like GaryMcAllister and Harry Redknapp have been rumored by various sources to be considered the team’s head coach in 2013.But maybe Petke, a legend to the Red Bull/MetroStars faithful, might not be a bad choice after all.The trend in Major League Soccer is to hire former, recently retired players as new head coaches. Jason Kreis, Ben Olsen, Jay Heaps and Robin Fraser have all been hired as head coaches in the league since Kreis’ appointment at Real Salt Lake in 2007.Olsen has brought D.C. United to the semifinals in his second full season as coach, and Kreis has won an MLS Cup championship.The New England Revolution ownership was heavily criticized for the Heaps hire, mainly because of his lack of coaching experience.Petke, however, just finished his second season as one of the team’s assistant coaches, both ...
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When Will Kenny Cooper Get a Call-Up to the United States Men’s National Team?

In the Red Bulls 1-1 draw with Chivas USA, it was Kenny Cooper who scored the equalizer. In the team’s first U.S. Open Cup game against the Charleston Battery, he scored the first goal of the game—one that would eventually be the game-winner.The tally against the Goats was his 11th of the season, and ties him with San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski for the league lead. He’s also tied with Wondolowski for the league lead with four game-winning goals.The two share the same amount of goals, but what is different is that only one is currently in camp for the United States Men’s National Team in preparation for its upcoming friendlies ahead of World Cup Qualifying.Chris Wondolowski and former MLS forward Herculez Gomez were both called into camp, and deservedly so—they’ve been on incredible scoring streaks.It is well-known that players getting consistent minutes for their clubs and playing in good form are favored for spots with the national team. So with Cooper playing his best soccer in years, the time has come to once again ask: When will Kenny Cooper get called up?Cooper has been a scoring machine in his time with MLS, and is playing his best soccer since 2008 when ...
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New York Red Bulls Trade of Juan Agudelo for Heath Pearce Was a Good Move

Juan Agudelo is currently one of the United States’ most popular and exciting young soccer players. New York Red Bulls fans were excited to call him their own. Their opinions were heard when Hans Backe wouldn’t play him. Many were surprised and disappointed to hear that the club favorite was traded to Chivas USA. But after the shock subsides, Red Bull fans should know one thing: the trade actually works in the team’s favor. The deal that has been reported is that the Red Bulls will send Agudelo to Chivas USA in exchange for defender Heath Pearce. New York will also receive allocation money, a cut of any sale of Agudelo to a foreign league and Chivas will pay for part of Pearce’s salary. It’s quite a haul for a player that has only appeared in four games this season and isn’t considered a starter when the entire first team is healthy. Fairly or unfairly, whatever the case, Agudelo has been stuck on the bench and in head coach Hans Backe’s doghouse the past two seasons. Last year Agudelo managed to score six goals and had two assists in 27 games played (12 starts), but even when forward Luke Rodgers ...
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Rafa Marquez Has Gone Too Far with Latest Incident, MLS Must Take Action

Rafa Marquez has been nothing but a problem for the New York Red Bulls since coming to the team in the summer of 2010. Last year, he was suspended for one game after ripping his teammates in the media and accusing them of not being on the same level as him and then was suspended for three games after he threw a ball at Landon Donovan and then feigned getting hit in a scuffle he started. His latest incident could and should earn him even more games lost. In Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes, Marquez was matched up against Shea Salinas on a corner kick. As Salinas moved off the goal-line to get open for the ball, Marquez wrapped his arms around Salinas and tackled him from behind. As he toppled over Salinas, Marquez then delivered a kick to Salinas that broke the Earthquake midfielder’s clavicle. The maneuver was not seen by the referees during the game, but it was caught clearly on video. It’s time for the MLS Disciplinary Committee to step up and deal him a proper punishment. This is obviously not Marquez’s first offense, and he even ...
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MLS: Is Thierry Henry the Best Designated Player Signing in League History?

With two goals—including an MLS Goal of the Week nomination—and an assist in the New York Red Bulls' 4-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Sunday, Thierry Henry was named MLS Player of the Week. It’s the third week in a row he’s earned those honors and he is the first player in MLS history to ever win three consecutive Player of the Week awards. His historic run and impressive start to the season—seven goals and four assists—has New York Red Bulls fans excited. Since coming to the team in the middle of the 2010 season, he has delivered the goods and has been a great Designated Player signing, worth his hefty contract (second-largest in the league). Signing a player as a Designated Player contract has not historically meant success on the field. Many players such as Luis Angel Landin, Blaise Nkufo and Geovanni have been failed signings. Henry has been a success. In 42 MLS regular season games, he has 23 goals and 11 assists. Has the Frenchman been the best DP signing in league history, though? To properly gauge his impact, we first have to ...
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New York Red Bulls: Ryan Meara Solidifies the Goalie Position

It’s only been five games into the 2012 season, but Ryan Meara has made an impact in goal that the New York Red Bulls were missing badly last season. In the first five games last season, the team had only allowed three goals, but they had to use three different goalies (and they only had two wins). As the season went on, mistakes by the man in net were abundant and the team used five different players at the position. Mistakes, inconsistencies and not having chemistry on defense doomed the Red Bulls, as they barely made the playoffs and suffered a second-round exit. It was a position that team desperately needed to upgrade in the offseason. So it was a bit puzzling when a franchise that has had no issues spending money on players and recruiting mostly foreigners to join the squad put the team literally in the hands of an American rookie. The 21-year-old out of Fordham University was selected by the Red Bulls with the 31st pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. He was the first goalie taken in the draft and the only player ...
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New York Red Bulls Lose Season Opener, Are a Work in Progress

The New York Red Bulls have spent a lot of money on their current roster, pushing as close to the salary cap as possible. The team has two designated players and 12 players who have made appearances for their respective senior national teams. With the amount of talent on the team and the money invested on it, it seems surprising that they are a work in progress. But after New York’s 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on Sunday, improvement is a necessity. There were so many things that the Red Bulls did in the first game of the season that showed the team was not ready for the match or prepared for its opponent.The first and most obvious issue the team had was defending. Things were always going to be interesting without Tim Ream (transfer to England), without Rafa Marquez (suspended) and with a new rookie goalkeeper starting. While Ryan Meara showed some moments of fearlessness and made a couple of nice saves, the defending in front of him was sub-par. Communication was lacking, allowing guys to roam free. They were pulled too far up and ...
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New York Red Bulls: Who Will Lead the Team in Goals in 2012?

After another early exit in the playoffs, the New York Red Bulls underwent sweeping changes to their roster. The defense is a mystery. Will the endless revolving door at goalie ever be settled? With Rafa Marquez moving to the midfield and Tim Ream moving to England, who will step up in the center of the defense? But something the Red Bulls did in abundance last year—although not always opportunistically—was score goals. The team was tied for second in the league in goals scored (50) with Sporting Kansas City and behind only the Seattle Sounders (56). The team’s biggest acquisition in the offseason was another forward. It now has four forwards that would start on any club. The depth is necessary, though, due to the constant questionable status of the players’ availabilities. The logjam on offense combined with the uncertainty of who will actually be around to play makes for one good question the Red Bulls should be excited to answer: who will score the most goals on the team in 2012? Right away, with so much depth up top, it’s fair to say that forwards Corey ...
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MLS: New York Red Bulls Roster Continues to Be a Revolving Door

In 16 seasons, the New York Red Bulls/MetroStars have had 12 different head coaches and seven different general managers or sporting directors. Close to 300 players have suited up for the team since its inception. Year after year, there is constant turnover—coaching changes, management changes, roster overhauls. Yet the team has never found the right mix and, therefore, have never won a trophy of any kind, be it the MLS Cup, Supporter’s Shield or U.S. Open Cup. After the 2011 season, which can only be described as a failure due to high expectations coming into the year, the housecleaning begins again. We know that sporting director Erik Soler will return in 2012, along with head coach Hans Backe. The team has decimated its roster, however. Alex Horwath, Mike Jones, Tyler Lassiter, Marcos Paullo, John Rooney and Teddy Schneider were all waived. Carlos Mendes (the longest-tenured player on the roster and lone MetroStar remaining), Bouna Coundoul and Chris Albright did not have their options picked up, and Stephane Auvray was released. Greg Sutton, in a complicated loan move with expansion squad Montreal Impact, will also not be back ...
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