With preseason days away, the Red Bulls are still without a head coach. If that wasn’t bad enough, the absence at the helm was made all the more glaring when Soccer by Ives broke the news of former Rangers star Claudio Reyna rejecting an offer to join the team’s technical staff (EoS can independently confirm and support the original story).
Paulo Sousa remains in line to take the Red Bulls head coaching position but the second in command is in serious question.
One person who may be considered to fill the void is former Red Bull and Metrostar goalkeeper, Tony Meola. Meola was first rumored for a move towards the team back in December. He may still be in the mix. According to multiple sources, Meola met with Andy Roxburgh Thursday morning and had a lengthy discussion – nearly 90 minutes from one account – behind closed doors.
“I very much enjoyed the conversation with Andy,” Meola told EoS. “Obviously, the conversation was private but I will say this; Andy is definitely the right man for the job.”
It remains unclear what role if any was discussed between the two or whether Reyna’s rejection of the assistants position happened prior to the meeting with Roxburgh or not. Sources with knowledge of the coaching situation have told EoS that Meola was never in “serious consideration” for the post prior to the Reyna announcement.
Nevertheless, the length of the meeting itself in light of the Reyna announcement along with Meola’s glowing support of the Red Bulls Sporting Director could provide hints as to the team’s intentions.
Red Bull players will be reporting to camp on Monday in preparation for their flight to Bradenton, Florida on Tuesday beginning nine days of preseason training. Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh and Interim Head Coach Mike Petke are expected to lead the sessions in the absence of a head coach. Their first preseason encounter will be against the Columbus Crew on February 1st.