Hans Backe Talks Rost’s Status, Henry’s Return, Agudelo Rumors, Tim Ream And Much More

The waters are beginning to calm, and a clearer picture is forming as the New York Red Bulls inch closer to the beginning of their 2012 campaign.

In an offseason that has seen more outgoing transfer movement than that of the incoming variety, New York’s first outdoor practice of the preseason served to answer many of the nagging questions overshadowing the side this winter.

What is being done about the teams goalkeeping situation? What is the status of Frank Rost? Do the rumors of a Juan Agudelo transfer hold water? When will we find out about the future of Carl Robinson? Where does Brian Nielsen fit into the teams plans? And just when will Thierry Henry be back?

Coach Hans Backe answered these questions and more following today’s training session:



Frank Rost has been in limbo since his designated player contract expired last season. Reports have had Red Bull offering the German keeper a position as a player coach to nurture a young core of netminders consisting of the recently drafter Fordham product Ryan Meara, and the yet to be confirmed addition of Jeremy Vuolo.

Backe issued a flat denial of Rosts return. “No. He just had a contract to the end of the season,” explained the Red Bulls boss.

There does seem to be a plan in place with Rost’s imminent departure. Currently, the only player on the teams roster who can be confirmed is Meara, but Vuolo has already said through his twitter account that he will be a part of the Red Bulls season.

“Enjoying life as a @NewYorkRedBulls and looking forward to a successful 2012 campaign. #RBNY #GodisGood,” Vuelo tweeted.

Nevertheless, Backe could not confirm nor deny his acquisition while “contracts” are being negotiated.

With these two young options in tow, Backe conceded a veteran would be needed to shepherd the them through the season. “I think because we will get two young guys in, probably we will need some veteran,” he explained. “It is a very, very important position so we are looking for an established one.”

Backe ruled out paying a transfer fee to acquire a veteran backline leader, perhaps disqualifying recent rumors linking Caleb Patterson-Sewell to the club.


“I think it was very good for Thierry,” Backe said regarding Henry’s loan to Arsenal. “I think he had a good preseason 2011. But I think for him, feeling fresh, its Arsenal, six weeks training, keeping in good shape all the time …”

“I don’t think he will play in that many games,” he continued. “He will be a sub and come on but he will have sessions consistently every week with very good quality players and that will help us.”

Interestingly enough however, Backe was murky on a return date for the Red Bulls captain. “I think, it is not decided yet, but I think he would be back around mid February.”


Though recent rumors regarding a move to Peru proved false, Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo has been a major target for many teams during this transfer window.

Backe acknowledged the rumors, but took a step away from confirming or denying them. “There is a lot of rumors, of course. He is with the national team now,” said the Swedish boss. “We will see. I can’t say anything at the moment on Juan if he is coming back or if there is some other interests.”


Ream is currently in England trying to work out his permit to play for Bolton throughout the remaining 2011-12 Prem. campaign. According to Backe, the Red Bulls fully expect the deal to go through.

“I think it will be finalized before the end of January,” he said. “We know the number of the allocation we will get. We have to wait a little bit until we get that confirmed that he got his work permit before we do any stupid things (impromptu signings and the like).”


Brian Nielsen is currently not under contract with MLS, despite recent reports out of Europe stating otherwise. As of right now, he is being treated as a guest player with the team upon further evaluation.

“We will take him to Mexico for two weeks and then we will take a decision,” Backe said. “Yes we will give him a chance for the start of the preseason, and the two weeks in Cancun and then we will take a decision.”


“Nope, we haven’t gotten anything yet. Hopefully in 10 days we get an answer.”


When asked about the possibility of adding big Colombian centerback Wilman Conde, Backe simply pleaded ignorance. “I’m not quite sure to be honest<" he said. "I will have a chat with Erik (Soler) tomorrow too. I saw the rumors in the newspaper, but I can not comment.”


“Carl, (an announcement on his future) will be soon, but at the moment I can’t say anything about it.”

  • Thanks for all your hard work Dave, much appreciated by the RBNY community. Hoping to end my hiatus soon.