More from the Red Bulls’ new general manager

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New Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler met the media on Monday and delivered his ideas and visions for what he wants to do with the club going forward as he takes over the reins of a team in disarray.

While Soler readily admits that he doesn't have a working knowledge of MLS, the former Norwegian international described a system that he will be putting in place that should help him operate a club in a league he is still learning about. The same could go for a new head coach if Soler chooses to hire a foreign coach with no MLS experience or knowledge, something he said is as possibility.

Soler answered questions on a broad range of topics, from the team's stance on a second designated player, to improving the working relationship between Red Bull New York and Red Bull Salzburg, which has been largely non-existent in recent years. He acknowledged that it would take time to get things going, but Soler was confident that he was capable of succeeding where so many before him have failed.

Here are Soler's answers to a variety of questions posed to him on Monday:

On the head coaching search:
“What we have done is try to figure out what kind of coach we would like to hire, what would be some major points. We are, at the moment, very open-minded, looking at different names, different places within the U.S., outside of the U.S., and that’s going to go on for a while until we find the right candidate and we can agree with it.”

"It would have been better if we already head (a coach), but we don't," Soler said. "I wouldn't rush into it in a way that was leading to a wrong (choice), or doing a mistake, or not getting the right one, but of course I feel the pressure. There's no doubt about that.

“I look upon the whole thing as a teamwork. We are going to have a number of coaches, we are going to have a number of people around the sporting area and we have to have the right balance in that team. If that includes a U.S. head coach or a foreign one I wouldn’t say, but we are certainly aware of the fact that we need a strong team that also that understands the soccer here in the U.S.”

On the qualities he’s looking for in a head coach:
“It will be someone with the experience. That means we’re not going to hire someone without coaching experience. That person could be in the MLS or outside or both. I think when you look at the circumstances that you’re working under, you need someone that is really on the pitch a lot because (like in the Scandinavian league) when you can’t buy the players you want to all of the time, you can’t say, ‘Well, our left fullback isn’t top class so I’ll call my owner and I’ll buy two new ones and I’ll get myself another striker.’ We need someone that is used to really work(ing) on developing players. That’s a very important point.”

On Richie Williams:
“I spent some time with him. I saw what he did here last year – I thought it was good and he’s been here four years, which is also an asset. Hopefully, we’re going to include him in one of the positions, but what position is not finalized.”

I won't comment on names because I'm totally fresh and new, but what I can say is I've been a manager of people for the past 20 years, so to try and understand before I act. I have to get to know these people and see what they work with and how they do their job, and on the basis of that I will see if we have what we need already here, or if we need to add something.

On stability within the organization:
“I think it’s quite different regarding what kind of league you’re looking into because in the U.K., you have a different system than what you have in Germany. There are many ways of doing things but if you look at the most successful clubs, they do tend to keep people longer on board because it’s more difficult to change people over time and, in that period, also have success. For myself, I’m looking upon this as a long-term thing over the course of the next few years and in that period we have to build a stable group of people and have the same goals and same ambition to build a successful franchise of soccer in New York.”

On his perspective of soccer:
“For me, football is about having fun, it’s about producing something that you like to watch that the players enjoy, that the coaches enjoy, that the spectators and media like. You’re not able to do that every week, unless you are Barcelona, and they don't even manage that all the time, but your basic philosophy has to be to, on your home turf to produce attractive football where you’re trying to win the games by playing an offensive sort of football."

On his familiarity with MLS:
“The guy who scored on the final kick in the MLS Final, Robbie Russell, was the first player I took (from the U.S.). I brought him directly out of college to a small club in Norway. I was very happy for him, but of course, I’m not going to claim that I’m a MLS expert. I’ve become a generalist in football, I’m an expert in European soccer, but I think I have a sensible ability to learn things quite quickly. The most important thing is for me to understand more in the coming weeks and months and also build a good team around me that has all the knowledge so that we as a soccer team, has the ability to deal with all of the special things that MLS has to offer.”

On the challenges for a foreigner to learn about the league:
“People keep on telling me it’s difficult. Well, difficult is not dangerous to me. It's difficult, and I respect that and I know there’s a lot of things I have to get in and try to understand. But, I have to look at my situation and this club and the future and I can’t dwell too much on what other people have done before me. I have a positive and open mind and I’m looking forward to it.”

On the team signing a second Designated Player

It's our goal to get another one, but at this very moment I can't say at the moment. I can't really say too much about it, but our goal is to have another one on board.

On what position he'd prefer a Designated Player to play

If you look at soccer, if you have to spend some serious money on something, it would be someone that it is in the offensive ballpark. I think it's easier, hopefully, and I may be wrong here in the U.S., but it is generally easier to find defenders that are not that expensive, that you can get.

On working with a salary cap

It's going to be interesting. Of course I have (had experience working with the salary cap). I've owned a club with my own money, and the salary cap there was not much bigger. Scandinavian soccer has so many things common with American soccer. If you look at the level, if you ask Clarence Goodson, Hunter Freeman or Robbie Russell, these guys that have played in both, they will say they are approximately the same kind of level.

The money isn't that big in the Scandinavian leagues. We are competing with the big European clubs all the time and if you produce a player, just like here, there will be scouts, agents and people who will look to get these players out of your club.

You have to be good at scouting and building players so that you can educate them and sell them to make money. I'm not used to working with an unlimited salary cap.

On hiring an American coach or a foreign coach

I've tried to look for the best solution, and at the moment we have to do a wider search and then we will narrow it over the coming weeks and finally make the right decision.

On the fact that no foreign coach without MLS experience has ever won an MLS title.

It's an important point, but again, people would never do anything new if they always did what people have already done. The only thing I can say is that I will try to look for what I think is the best thing for the club and will give us the best chances to win something.

On who he will be working with and getting help as the team prepares for the draft and other team moves

I will work with the people we have here already, and discuss with them and we'll be very serious about it and discuss it. I can't be totally paranoid. I have to trust people so I will do that, but we will definitely discuss things.

On working with the person, and likely relying on the person, he is essentially replacing (Jeff Agoos).

I have no problem with that at all. I have one thing in my mind, and that is trying to do the best thing for this club. We have to organize us the best way. Of course, we will spend the coming weeks looking at the organization, who's doing what, who's good at what, who should do something else. We'll figure that out over the coming weeks.

On whether the team is prepared to pay transfer fees to sign players

Basically, we will go for Bosman players (players out of contract). I have no problem with that. If you look at it, of course its more difficult, but it's also more fun. When you really have to be good at this job, to find these Bosman players that will be good enough and will be the good players in the positions where you need them. That's a challenge, and of course I will fall asleep sometimes and think, 'If I had 10 million pounds it woul be perfect', but I don't, and I know I don't, so I'm not going to fantasize about that too many nights.

The drafting thing will be important, I've already understood that. That's where we can find top talent. I've also understood we are in a good position in this upcoming draft because we have good picks. We will have to also look around the league to see what swaps we can do, and what we can possibly buy. We will also then have to look at other continents and see if there is anything sensible, any good players that we can get in, young and old, that can strengthen the team.

We also have to think of two levels. One is the short-term level. We are opening a new stadium and there will be expectations. We have to have a quite sensible team on that pitch from the first day. That's something that's going to keep me working quite long hours with my colleagues here to get that going. In addition to that, we also have to work on the long-term planning of what we're going to do in the sporting area in the coming years.

On Red Bull New York having a better relationship with Salzburg

We have to, in both directions, look upon it as a strength that we have bigger resources than other clubs. When you come to the area of scouting for instance. We can build a huge scouting system without taking all the costs here. We can share it with the Austrians. We are also building a club in Germany, we have a club in Brazil, we have an academy in Ghana. I look upon all this as opportunities for us to become stronger. That can be some advantage for us.

I also understand that it hasn't been an advantage really so far, but now with Didi, who is really intent on building this as a system, and I have a really good relationship with him, a professional one, I'm definitely going to try and get whatever resources I can.

On what attracted him to the position:
“I would say from a personal point of view, I like challenges. I like to do things that seem to be a little bit difficult. When I went on the Internet and looked at the league for the season that was about to end, of course, I saw that they were not the top team. I think that was one point that attracted me. The second point i I believe this area must be a great possibility to build a really good soccer base here. It’s a great area, a lot of people, a lot of soccer interest. I see that as one opportunity. It’s a new thing, it’s a challenge, it’s something I don’t know too much about, but  as I said, I’m not scared by that. I fell that just attracts my interest even more.”

“We are going into this fantastic stadium and we need to get (25,000) people into it. I think it’s a great challenge to fill that stadium for every game. You are all soccer people and you know what soccer is all about. It’s about to fill the stadiums, and to fill the stadiums you have to play a type of soccer people like. You have to attract people with players they like to watch. And then there are millions of things you have to do with the team and within the organization to be able to produce what people like to watch.”

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So what were the good things? An improved working relationship with Salzburg would be a major boost, and there's reason to believe that Soler will have access to Salzburg in a way that his predecessors did not. It also sounds as though the club is ready to spend some serious money on building a technical team to work on things such as scouting. This is an area where a club like the Red Bulls can gain an edge on other teams because they have an owner with some real money to spend (of course, the club still needs to actually hire competent people).

Also good news is hearing that the club will try to keep Richie Williams on, even if it means in a position other than head coach. Soler's comment about wanting someone with experience as head coach may ultimately be why the club passes on Williams, who has been an interim head coach twice, but never a full-time head coach. Reports suggest that Williams is out of the running for the D.C. United job, but sources tell me he is being considered for the Chicago Fire job. If Williams doesn't land the Fire job, the Red Bulls could offer him an improved deal to stay on as the team's lead assistant coach.

The bad things? It sounds as though the club may not hire a head coach for a few more weeks, which means the club will lean on Jeff Agoos and the current staff to prepare the team for the 2010 MLS Draft. Considering how important that draft is, and considering the Red Bulls have three of the top 18 picks, Soler could be risking the wasting of some valuable draft picks by leaving them in the hands of someone who has already shown imcompetence as a draft evaluator.

What do you think of Soler's answers? Still worried the Red Bulls are doomed for more failure? Think he might have more success than those who came before him?

Share your thoughts below.

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57 Responses to More from the Red Bulls’ new general manager

  1. Matt says:

    Some positive things in there, mixed with a lot of question marks. I like the fact that he understands the need for a manager who is an experienced teacher of the game and can work on improving our players on the training ground.

    Agoos continuing to hang around is definitely a concern, but the organization is so thin on people who have knowledge of MLS rules that I am not sure they can just jettison people at the moment.

  2. DJ says:

    Any word on if they will redesign the branding around Red Bull New York? I’m a supporter and would buy more gear if there wasn’t always a bloody HUGE Red Bull logo on it.

    I understand they are the owner and want to exploit the marketing opportunity, but wouldn’t it be more effective to build a respected soccer team brand rather than slapping a giant logo on a weak brand?

    Have you heard any buzz around this idea?

  3. kahlva says:

    Get used to the bull. It’s their brand. Austria, NYC, Brazil, Ghana, now Germany. All with one recognizable logo – the bull.

    I agree it’s unfortunate (makes it that much corporate and bland and not local), but that’s the way it is. It’s worth remembering that that’s also why we’re going to have an incredible stadium and everything else Red Bull money will bring in…

  4. Sounds like some positives from his answers but its all words right now. Some people are great at interviews but when it comes to put action to your words they can stumble. As it stands right now he hasn’t won me over or turned me off just yet. It will all depend on how the search for a coach, draft signees, and any transfer activity plays out in the next few months.

    Ultimately any bad decisions that are made either by his staff or by a coach he puts in place will be his fault in my eyes. But on the other hand if things turn out right then that will be on him as well.

    Things should be exciting over the next few months. At least it’ll keep my attention for the team in the off season.

  5. JCO says:

    We’re all doomed as long as Agoos is still around

  6. afrim says:

    some ppl are just not meant to lead…Agoos is one of them. You would think with his experience he’d fit into a position further down the command chain

  7. irant_irave says:

    I’m getting a positive vibe from Soler. As for the draft and not having the head coach on board, it is not ideal but I can live with it provided we do get a head coach who is really hands on and develops players. The draft is somewhat of a crap shoot anyway. Some rookies are hyped and do not produce and others are in the Jeff Park mold, picked last and keep on going. Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.

  8. Bill says:

    It IS all words at this point, but from the answers he is clearly a bright, experienced guy who has a sense of the very real constraints that MLS clubs work under. I think these answers have to be seen as promising for Red Bull fans. He is experienced in working under constraints. He knows you can’t buy your way out of personnel problems in MLS. He recognizes the need for a coach who can develop players. He sees finding talent under these constraints as a fun prospect. Short of a proven MLS person, what more can you ask?

  9. Aaron in StL says:

    Agoos should be sent to another continent…I wouldn’t trust him with anything of value. How reliable could a deposed GM be in assisting his replacement? That seems like an odd pairing, and one that would lead me to question the intelligence of the upper management.

    It’s not like they couldn’t hire a “consultant” that is at the very least a better talent evaluator than Agoos.

  10. I really like what Soler has to say. Given the fact that RBNY couldn’t have been run with any greater incompetence since Red Bull bought the team, I’d say he is a major upgrade. He seems pragmatic, intelligent, and motivated. I hope he is studying up for the draft, because this could be the most important day for this team in the next couple of seasons. The youth movement is very depleted at the club.

    I also like that he understands that the club needs to play attractive and fun soccer to fill seats at the new stadium. That is a very European perspective, but one that I think has been lacking throughout all of MLS (I’m looking at you Don Garber). The bottom line is this guy is saying all the right things…hopefully, he can do all of the right things and RBNY will be a club that we can be proud of, instead of embarrassed of which is currently how I feel about the organization.

  11. Joe B. NYC says:

    You know this really sucks. I’m sorry but the fact that they most likely don’t want to hire Williams as the new head coach just says to me that next season really won’t be much different from the previous one. This is why although I’m a New Yorker, I the teams I really focus on (in MLS) are mainly LA and Houston. The Red Bulls are really becoming an afterthought for me…

    I’ve been following soccer for 20+ years now, I’m dying to be passionate for a team in my area. I think that the Tri-State area should be the top market in MLS— soccer wise— but it’s not. Why?

  12. Dantheblue says:

    For starters Ives my school’s network won’t allow me to make comments anymore so this is from my iPhone so there may be a lot of errors and for that I apologize in advance. Getting to the article and as a lifetime LA guy I am pleased that the nyrb brought this guy on board. I dread the thought of another dominant ny team in another sport but success in that cesspool that is NYC is only a good thing for mls and, more importantly, USSoccer. I wish the man and the organization luck in building a team that is competitive and profitable…. But not at the expense of my LA GALAXYYYYYYY!

    So what are the chances that Coby Jones may get a shot at that job or is my boy Jones looking to continue his grooming to become a head coach under Arena’s guidance?

  13. fischy says:

    Ives has done a lot of Agoos-bashing, apparently because he believes that Agoos is incompetent for having drafted Ogunbiyi when the player was headed overseas.

    What, then, are we to make of the DC United front office, which drafted Andrew Jacobson in the first round 2 years ago, only to see him sign with a French club within a week of the draft? I might add they also lost two 2007 picks to other leagues — Jay Needham to the USL and Luis Robles to the Bundesliga. That was the same front office that picked Bryan Arguez — good enough to get Hertha Berlin to buy out his contract, and the Chris Pontius/Rodney Wallace duo last year. If we judge people by the biggest mistake they made in their job, we’re going to miss a pretty big picture. Agoos is also the guy who drafted Jeremy Hall and Nick Zimmerman. Things didn’t work out for the Red Bulls, but I’m not sure it’s fiar to blame ‘Goos.

    (SBI-Fischy, the Red Bulls had one of worst seasons in league history and two men were squarely to blame for that. One of them was fired, while the other was not. I’ve seen you come to Agoos’ defense before so I’ll assume you don’t think he was at fault, but based on what I know to be true, and what I know Agoos to have done and not done, the fact that he’s still employed by the Red Bulls is akin to AIG still employing the CEO that led it into near-ruin.

    As or your Jacobson story, there’s more to that then you know. D.C. United wanted to sign Jacobson, but the league wouldn’t budge on what it would allow D.C. to pay Jacobson. That difference led to Jacobson leaving, otherwise he signs. That’s a BIG difference from a player that everybody knew was unlikely to sign and who dropped in the draft specifically for that reason. But again, to say that’s the only example of Agoos doing a bad job is nuts.)

  14. Mark says:

    He hasn’t done anything yet, but at least he came off in the interview as a guy who understands that MLS is a different beast from other leagues. Gives me hope that maybe this year will be different. I say that every year…

  15. VictorM says:

    True story: I was getting on a plane wearing my Red Bulls sweat jacket. The security guy said to me, as he looked at the logo: “I’d love to get one of those.” I said: “I got this one because I’m a season ticket holder, but I bet you can buy one.” He replied: “No, I meant a Red Bull.”

    I wish I could wear more Red Bulls gear, but I just don’t. I wear what I get from them, but always feel like I’m advertising the drink. Maybe years in the future people will associate the logo more with the soccer team than the drink, but not now.

  16. Where is Zimmerman now? Wasn’t exactly a big priority for this club was he?

    Hall was a give me as he was on a generation adidas contract. If we didn’t pick him then everyone would think that he was making it a point to make bad decisions instead of just falling into them as usual.

    Agoos has plenty of blame that needs to be pointed in his direction from the mishandling of the draft to the offering of guaranteed contracts to players that certainly didn’t deserve it. On top of that he threw away money on players like Garcia and Krupnik who had just as many minutes out on the field as the team physio.

    Osorio and Agoos both deserve all the bad comments they get because together they brought about the train wreck that was last years season. Since Osorio is gone, Agoos is the only whipping boy left. Aside from a handful of “correct by default” decisions he made last year he has made far too many wrong decisions to escape further scrutiny.

  17. VictorM says:

    The key points for me: we will get a second DP, that player should be an attacking player, we need to play attractive attacking football, we need to fill that stadium, we need to improve scouting.

    My opinion is that coaches will come and go. The league is not that difficult to understand. The draft isn’t that big of a deal; we aren’t going to draft anyone that will make an impact anyway.

    He makes one other good point: except for a handful of clubs at the highest level, virtually every team around the world has to make do with limited funds. They may not call it a “salary cap” but looking for bargains is what everyone of the non-glamorous teams do.

    Some people are making it sound like MLS is some mysterious, difficult league to figure out. Nonsense. A reasonably intelligent person can grasp all the concepts in a short time.

  18. Aaron in StL says:

    I don’t thing Cobi Jones has done any “grooming” for the last 15 years…zing!

  19. jpc says:

    sounds very positive. Despite the fact that he is a foreigner w/ no experience in this country, he sounds like his head is screwed on straight, and that he understands that this is a totally new setup in MLS that he will need to adapt to quickly… Just wish they would hire a coach soon, before the available guys move on

  20. Smith says:

    Man, Ives, you really hate Agoos, don’t you? Now, I think he’s incompetent too, but it’s not like Osorio bares any blame for last year, right??? I know you love JCO, but come one, he was the one who brought Rojas here & played him out of position. Let’s be fair. It was a joint failure by two guys who had some familiarity with MLS (yeahm, I know, before he rejoined the fire, he was gone from MLS 6 yearsm, etc etec , excuse, etc) & should have known better what they were doing.

    (SBI-William, I don’t “hate” Agoos. I just think it’s pretty absurd for him to still have a job with the Red Bulls when he was just as responsible for the team’s demise as Osorio. I don’t think that’s a completely far-fetched way to think. I know you “hate” Osorio given the amount of time you spend bashing him even though he’s been fired and long gone for months. Ask yourself this. How would you feel if Osorio was still working for the Red Bulls as a coach?)

  21. Dantheblue says:

    Thanks. That’s funny! Have 9th graders next hour. Need a good grin for that group .

  22. JL says:

    I am going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction. I think Stoler will give the job to Williams for one year, and allow him to either prove he can do the job, or he will be canned. I think this for a few reasons, Stoler comes off as a bright guy, who is willing to admit what he doesn’t know and he doesn’t know rules and regulations just yet. I think he will learn the ropes quickly, but not quick enough to allow him to bring in someone from outside of MLS, just yet. I like that he has a plan though, which to be honest I have never gotten the sense from NY there was a concrete thought process into developing the club. As others say though, it’s all talk now, let’s see how it plays out. As a non-NY fan, I wish I could hate the Red Bulls like I do the Yankees, Giants and Knicks, but to this point I have always felt indifference.

  23. Erik says:

    I like the fact he’s taking his time to build a (hopefully) solid organization from the ground up. It does mean that I don’t have high hopes for next year but I can live with that if RBNY shows they are building something that can grow into a organization and team NY can be proud of. I also hope that Solér is able to convince Salzburg to build the training facilities that were planned.

  24. Smith says:

    Ives – I don’t think Agoos should be employed either, but, to some degree, he went out & got the players JCO wanted. JCO wanted Rojas & Pietrevallo. Well, he got ‘em. THANKS!

    Goose is a twit, no doubt, but, as bad as the talent on the team may or may not have been, the decision to play a 4-5-1 on the road all year despite it producing NOT A SINGLE RESULT is truly MIND BOGGLING. JCO is the Eric Mangini of MLS.

    Again, I’m not fan of Goose, but JCO is the worst tactical coach I have ever seen in any sport & I remember the NY Giants of the late 1970s!!!!

    (SBI-William, why do you keep making it about Osorio? He was fired and deserved to be fired. Even he would tell you that, but to suggest that Agoos simply got who Osorio wanted is way off base. The two men worked in concert to sign players, and while Osorio identified players, Agoos had to sign off on them (and was supposed to also help find players). In the instance of Pietravallo, he had trained with the team for a week before signing and Agoos approved of the signing. And what happened when Agoos finally got around to finding some players? We were treated to Leo Krupnick and Walter Garcia. Osorio deserved to be fired for doing such a bad job. I just happen to think the same goes for Agoos.)

  25. jevanvoo says:

    I think RB did a good job recruiting him, I’m even more excited for next season

  26. Chris says:

    Well Victor your story would be pretty much the same if the team were still called Metrostars and Red Bull was just a sponsor rather than the owner. The team could be named anything, but on almost all soccer teams around the world there’s a big corporate logo from a team sponsor on the front of the jersey. Non soccer people would still look at whatever logo you had on your shirt and react to it. You could have been wearing a Boca Juniors shirt with a big Pepsi logo on it and tell the same story.

    I seemed to get over the name change of the team pretty quickly (mostly since I pretty much went through it already with Metrostars being named after Metromedia – always thought the name Metrostar was just dumb and as purely a team name, if you take away the connection with the drink, Red Bull is better).

  27. Aguinga says:

    Fun to read analysis as usual Sr. Galarcep. Here’s hoping that in some way, notice of the potential draft dangers if left in current hands ‘accidentally’ find its way into Mr. Soler’s hands. Salud.

  28. Erik says:

    speaking of the draft. Is there an early list of players that might become this years top picks and who would people suggest NY should pick of that list? Also what is happening with those RBNY youth players that were training with the first team last season?

    (SBI-Funny you should mention that. The first SBI Draft Power List is coming soon, possibly later this afternoon, but definitely by tomorrow.)

  29. Smith says:

    I agree that Agoos should go too. I just wanted JCO to get his fair share of the clame. The main problem last season, even with the poor signings, was tactics. Who continues to play a 4-5-1 formation every road game even when it doesn’t bring a SINGLE result is truly, truly the epitome of incompetent coaching. The very definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over & over & expect a differnt result. It may take me years to get over JCO’s tactics.

  30. ga-gone says:

    because of fair weather fans like yourself

  31. Keith G. says:

    I am ok with this hiring, and am now just waiting for the signing of a manager and to see where the club is headed. I realy hope that a manager is hired before January. I seem to alaways get so excited around January for the club, and seem to get disapointed more times then not. So now I am hoping that with the new stadium that the club with go out and bring in 2 big international names, and maybe 2 real good Americans to the club. I dont know how much more dissapointment I can take with the club. I am giving them 2 more years to get this club to being at the level of the Revs or Dynamo, with them making the playoffs every year and even making it atleast to the Conference Finals here and there.

  32. Dannyc58 says:

    Ives,

    What do you think of Soler? Will he be a success or not?

    (SBI-As I wrote yesterday, he impressed me and seems like a very sharp guy. He’s without question the sharpest guy the club has hired to run the soccer operations since Red Bull bought the team (though that’s not saying much). At this point the concern is his coaching hire and the delay in making that decision. With each passing day we get a day closer to Jeff Agoos being point man on a Red Bulls draft where the team will have three of the top 18 picks in what I’m projecting to be a pretty good draft. I’ll offer up my verdict on what I see happening to New York AFTER Soler hires a coach.)

  33. Dannyc58 says:

    Ives,

    Fair. And thank you for responding…

  34. Joe B. NYC says:

    Fair-weather fan? Please, don’t make me laugh. Focus on coming up with a less brain-dead commenter name…

  35. Joamiq says:

    Why would they rebrand? The team is owned by Red Bull. They’re called the Red Bulls. And you know what? There are worse names than Red Bulls and worse logos than the Red Bull logo. If it weren’t connected to the drink, I don’t think people would have any problem with it. Yeah, the logo on the kit is huge, but it’s not like teams in other parts of the world are much better with that.

  36. Joamiq says:

    “(SBI-As I wrote yesterday, he impressed me and seems like a very sharp guy. He’s without question the sharpest guy the club has hired to run the soccer operations since Red Bull bought the team.)”

    In Ives I trust. That definitely sounds like reason to be hopeful – something this team rarely gives me. I shall wait and see.

  37. Agoos couldn’t run a laundromat. Stoler sounds positive and hd some good answers. And let’s all be honest – it is absolutely impossible for him to do any worse than any of his predecessors.

  38. Mikemike says:

    Joamiq,
    I wouldn’t have much problem with the name if it wasn’t attached to the company. The point is that it is the company’s logo and name. I just don’t think I see your point. (Usually, you are pretty clear.)

    On a side note, anyone think FIFA is going to crack down on Red Bull?

    Follow my logic for a minute:

    It seems Red Bull is pushing to have a team in every league. What is to stop Man U, Chelsea, Barca, Inter, etc. from doing the same? Does anyone think that in 40 years every league in the world will have the same teams? Do you think FIFA should try to prevent something like this?

    (Sorry I made an argument solely in questions. i am too sleepy to retype.)

    -Mike

  39. Mikemike says:

    Imagine a Champions League match in 2049 : Red Bull London vs. Red Bull Milan

  40. FredMacMurray says:

    Did not sound that positive to me. He had to look on the internet to see where the club was in standings. That tells you how carefully he followed this league and club. his explanations for why he took the job were hollow. His answers were generic coachspeak when a coach does not really want to say anything. It sounded clear to me they had no interest in Williams as a head coach If i were Richie i would take another job asap.

    I am officially done w RBNY – DONE!

  41. Joamiq says:

    OK, let me see here (not trying to be snarky, just trying to understand your point). So you basically just don’t like the corporate influence on the team? I guess I’m just ambivalent about this. Do I wish the team was still called the Metrostars? Yes. But I can also see there being benefits to being owned by someone with deeper pockets, and I just see it as inevitable that companies will own teams. I might be more upset if they were called the McDonald’s Big Macs.

  42. kpugs says:

    It’s always fun to hear RBNY/MetroStars bigwigs talk about “what’s best for the club.”

    Obviously this isn’t Soler’s fault, but if he was their GM choice he should have been months ago, and he should have immediately hired Richie Williams as head coach. That is what would have been “best for the club.”

    Instead, they continue a long tradition of ineptitude, giving coaches one season or less to win (or in JCO’s case, the most successful season ever plus a partial season) and then sitting around twiddling their thumbs while the club sat stagnant in complete disarray.

    Can someone remind me why I’ve given them tens of thousands of dollars?

  43. Joe B. NYC says:

    You’ve pretty much got it down. And then people wonder why the stadiums aren’t filled and the fans aren’t totally excited over this team…

  44. ben says:

    he doesnt seem to keen to sign Richie. THat would be a big mistake

  45. Mikemike says:

    It’s not that RB owns the team that rubs me the wrong way. It really comes down to the whole badge thing and the name of the team. I hate telling people that I was at a Red Bull game last night. It sounds stupid and amateur.

    Additionally, I question the motives behind corporate ownership and, more importantly, branding of a team. Is their purpose solely to win games and make a good team? Nope, it is to market a brand. When they see me wearing my RB jersey do they just think “great, he likes the team”? Nope, they think about how many people have seen my jersey and recognized the beverage.

    Also, on a larger scale, I worry about the possiblity of an MLS cup between “FC Barcelona NY” and “Chelsea North Carolina”, with these teams being owned by FCB and CFC, respectfully. Perhaps I am sentimental, but I think the direction things are going (with RB as an early signal) is not how things should be. I know my argument is crappy and poorly constructed, but I feel that this consolidation of ownership groups is something we will see in the future. I, for one, think such a change would be detrimental to the game.

    -Mike

  46. Abumax says:

    On the fact that no club has ever won an MLS title while fielding a team entirely composed of five-year-olds:

    “It’s an important point, but again, people would never do anything new if they always did what people have already done.”

    Sheesh.

  47. Joamiq says:

    Hm. Yeah, I have to admit, that’s never really bothered me. It never embarrasses me to wear the Red Bull jersey. No one ever makes fun of me or the team for being owned by Red Bull. At most, people think it’s interesting. Most people think it seems natural. It actually feels the opposite of stupid and amateur to me. I feel like it bestows some legitimacy on the team and on MLS to have such a huge successful company as an owner.

    I don’t really question corporate motives. I know they’re in it to make a profit. I have no problem with that, as long as success on the field is good for profits, which it should be. It’s not like individual owners of sports teams aren’t motivated by profits either. Of course, in soccer, there are owners who just want to own teams, but there are plenty who see it as a money making opportunity. I don’t see much of a difference as far as motives go with Red Bull owning our team and Malcolm Glazer owning Man U. And I couldn’t really care less about what the company thinks about me wearing the jersey. I don’t wear it for them. I wear it to support the team.

    I think you’re right that there will be greater consolidation of ownership. But I also am not sure it will ever get to the point where the whole soccer world is controlled by a few ownership groups. As these dominant ownership groups get larger and more unwieldy, they’ll be undercut by better competitors, as long as league structures don’t change to restrict entry. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few teams in MLS owned by say Barca and Chelsea (and I think that’d be a good thing for the development of the league) but I don’t think we’ll ever get to the point where the whole league is like that.

  48. Metromaniac01 says:

    Yea but when people look at a Man U jersey, they didn’t think AIG, they think Man U. When people look at an RBNY jersey, they do not think soccer. They think drink.

    That’s the problem

  49. Connor B says:

    How NY McDonalds Big Mac’s is that different than Red Bulls or Red Bull NY? I guess we could be the Red Bull Sugar Free Colas.

  50. Mikemike says:

    I’ve never heard that perspective on the Red Bull name and badge. Even though I don’t have the same feelings, it is an interesting thought.

    As far as your second paragraph, Mr. Glazer didn’t rename the team “Glazer United” in order to make the team fit in with his other companies. Man U is an independent entity which, in the unfortunate occurance of it’s ownership’s death or financial ruin, would continue to exist. I think there is a small but importance difference that occured when Red Bull bought the team and changed the name.

    And finally, in response to the third, I hope you are correct. I don’t want to have a league whose sole purpose is to be a reserve league for bigger teams in other countries. I think that is where we are moving to.

    Good talk. Thanks for the discussion.

    -Mike

  51. Joamiq says:

    Because outside of the context of the energy drink, “Red Bulls” is a totally plausible sports team name.
    “Big Macs” is not. A “Mac” of any sort does not exist outside of McDonald’s. A bull obviously does, and there are obviously other sports teams whose logos feature red bulls (see: Chicago).

  52. Joamiq says:

    I guess corporate influence (at least in sponsorship) is so intertwined with soccer teams that when MLS teams started being sponsored by no-name companies, I was somewhat embarrassed by that. Best Buy and VW seem like steps up, and to me Red Bull’s investment does too – now there are big companies that make lots of money that think MLS is also legit enough to help them make money. I guess that’s always struck me as a good thing, in general.

    My point wasn’t that Metro and Man U are the same. My point was about the issue of motive. You said that you don’t like that the team owners are in it to make money rather than just to win; my point is just that there are lots of owners that are in it for money rather than to win and that Red Bull isn’t inherently different. The rebranding did suck, true. I guess the link to the early days will always be there to me, regardless of the team name and jersey and logo. I think it still pisses me off, but I just accepted it as something that wasn’t worth my concern because it wasn’t going to change.

    As for MLS being formally a reserve league to the bigger leagues, yeah, that would be bad. Though I wonder how different that would be from being a regular old feeder league, and whether that’s a bad thing. I guess a full formal attachment wouldn’t sit well with me. But like with the big corporations, I think some links between big Euro teams and MLS teams is overall a good thing for MLS and American soccer.

  53. Joamiq says:

    And yes, good talking to you too!

  54. Joamiq says:

    Reply fail. Ignore this.

  55. Joamiq says:

    Because outside of the context of the energy drink, “Red Bulls” is a totally plausible sports team name. “Big Macs” is not. A “Mac” of any sort does not exist outside of McDonald’s. A bull obviously does, and there are obviously other sports teams whose logos feature red bulls (see: Chicago).

  56. ThaDeuce says:

    There are worse names…. Wizards for example…earthquakes as another one.

  57. nova says:

    HAHAH thats not true, at the beckham game two summers ago some dude wore a red MANU jersey and one of the yellow shirts said YEA WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM, the guy said you a united fan too and the yellow shirt said UNITED?! NO MY WIFE & SISTER BOTH WORKS FOR AIG… what Chris said is true, if they know soccer they may know its a team, but for the other 90% of people in public they will only notice whatever corporate ad is on your jersey, which is the whole point of them paying millions to advertise…