Former Portuguese international Paulo Sousa remains the top candidate for the job, but the instability surrounding the coaching staff continues. Soccer by Ives reports another near shoe-in for the Red Bulls touchline team has turned down the job.
Former Red Bull Claudio Reyna will no longer entertain the top assistant’s spot with the team. That leaves holdover Mike Petke as the only official coach on staff with players reporting for preseason this Monday. The team will travel out to Florida Tuesday to begin their nine day regimen at the Bradenton facilities in Florida. Their first preseason match is all of 12 days away.
As SBI discussed, Sousa had agreed to take on the position over a week ago and it is unclear why the announcement has dragged. The instability surrounding the rest of the staff wouldn’t necessarily be such a glaring concern, but with the team mere hours from their 2013 season preparations, it has become one. Keep in mind; all of 14 players remain from the previous regime. A new General Manager, Sporting Director and the ubiquitous presence of Gerard Houllier have caused major upheaval in the front office structure.
If you are looking for steady ground, there is none to be found. Announcing a head coach would help ease that situation.
REO-COKER TO RED BULL?
In the “straight out of left field” category, Prost Amerika reports EPL star Nigel Reo-Coker is interested in becoming a member of the U.S. National Team. How interested? He is willing to take a mighty pay cut, move to the U.S. and play in MLS for the opportunity.
Reo-Coker is married to an American women and would be eligible after “a short period of residence” according to the report. US coach Jurgen Klinsmann wants to exploit that caveat to bring him aboard with the National Team. His wife is a Brooklynite, making a move to the Red Bulls all the more appealing. The report also cites interest from the Portland Timbers.
It is worth noting that Reo-Coker did appear for the English U-21 team in the 2007 UEFA Under-21 Championship. He also turned down a chance to play for Sierra Leone where he could have been eligible due to his Sierra Leonean descent.
As has been custom the past few years, a cornucopia of names are connected to the Red Bulls during the winter and summer transfer windows. Some are so outlandish they receive little to no recognition. Others have brought forth such names as Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Juan Pablo Angel and Claudio Reyna.
Here is a look at some of the more prominent names linked with the team:
- KAKA: Various reports say the Brazilian midfielder is desperate to leave Real Madrid. For years, Kaka’s name has been linked to New York, and with a free DP slot open, there always exists a possibility to make that happen. However, his first choice is a return to AC Milan.
- Villarreal’s under-performing Argentine striker Fernando Cavenaghi is said to be interested in a move to New York according to @MLSTransfers. The report cites multiple sources in what MLST describes a “true interest” from the club. However, Cavenaghi’s agent recently spoke on Argentine radio show La Red denying any transfer rumors and claiming “CaveGol” would see out his contract through June.
- 33 year old French defender Pascal Chimbonda was asked of his future in a recent interview and immediately mentioned MLS. When prompted about joining countryman Thierry Henry in New York, he said “not necessarily” though that and other options we open.
- The New York Times connects 22 year old Chilean winger Anibal Carvallo to the team.
THIERRY HENRY: TWO MORE YEARS
ESPN reports Henry is thinking of hanging up the boots in two years, telling BeIn Sports>, “I’m giving myself another 2 years. It’ll make my career 20 years long.”
“It’s never easy to stop, but there comes a time when your body tells you to. The head wants to continue, but… it’s certainly not desire that I’ll be lacking. But, at a certain moment in time, you have to stop.”
Henry has one year left on his Red Bulls contract.