Visa status still unresolved for Rodgers

Luke Rodgers (GettyImages)

BY DAVE MARTINEZ

Luke Rodgers was expected to have an answer to his application for a work visa today, but it looks as though he and the New York Red Bulls will be waiting even longer to find out if their starting forward will be back in MLS in 2012.

The Red Bulls released the following statement this afternoon regarding the ongoing visa issues surrounding striker Luke Rodgers on Thursday afternoon:

“Luke met with the United States Consulate in London earlier today and the outcome was positive, as he took a step forward in his visa approval process to return to the country. There are still issues to be addressed. However, we are hopeful and quietly confident that Luke will be able to join the club soon. Because his case is still pending, we cannot elaborate any further.”

Red Bulls General Manager Erik Soler addressed the issue last month, claiming the hold-up was based on a small infraction, unrelated to the law.  “There was some minor issue before he entered the USA last year.  Meaning he got his visa, it was a very minor issue, nothing to do with the police or anything,” Soler said.  “It was a minor issue, but enough for them to delay the process.” 

This same issue continues to hold back the Englishman’s chances of obtaining a work permit.

Rodgers was an integral part of the Red Bulls attack last season, forming a dynamic pair with Thierry Henry up top.  Though he missed a handful of games due to a bout with plantar fasciitis, he was a game changer when available.  Through 20 matches, the team earned nine of its ten wins on the season with Rodgers in the lineup.

New York has put a positive spin on today’s outcome, but they have also openly discussed the possibility of acquiring a comparable striker to the team if Rodgers is unable to rejoin them.  Backe has gone so far as to indicate that a few options have already been discussed to fill in that role.

Rodgers future continues to be up in the air.  Share your thoughts on today’s developments below.

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35 Responses to Visa status still unresolved for Rodgers

  1. x4 says:

    So, what sort of infractions are severe enough to mess with visa processes but not severe enough to involve the police?

    I’m honestly curious, I can’t think of what it might be.

  2. kfly says:

    Luke Rodgers looks like Mini Me.

  3. Harp says:

    American consulate said “We just cannot allow a person with those guns into the country.”

  4. nam says:

    He overstayed his visa.

  5. GSScasual says:

    best thing to happen to this league.. his video got millions of views, albeit under provactive circumstances, but nevertheless, he brought some attention and excitement.. MLS marketers must love him because he is doing their job.

  6. kpugs says:

    “Emergency meeting! Juan Agudelo is now our third option at striker! We must find a way to bury him deeper on the bench!”–Hans Backe

  7. Al_OC says:

    I thought there was a rumor that he overstayed his visa last year. That could be it since it doesn’t have anything to do with the police.

  8. Northzax says:

    Well, off the top of my head: associating with undesirable elements (criminals, terrorists or those believed to be sympathetic to terrorism), making anti-American statements or associating with people who do, leaving the country after the previous visa expired (even by one hour), leaving the country with outstanding liabilities without making prior arrangements to pay (civil judgements, parking tickets, rent, a bar tab), violating the terms of any previous visa (not sure what those might be, but most work visas are company specific, his previous visa might have said ‘red bull’ not ‘MLS’ for instance, something stupid like that) traveling to certain banned countries (Christmas in Havana? Legal for a Brit, but not a good stamp to have in your passport trying to get a US visa)

    Note, I am in no way saying Rodgers did any of these things, just examples of non-police related matters that might seem really minor, but can screw up your visa application, especially if they aren’t disclosed up front. The State Department dislikes surprises.

  9. Vic says:

    Extremely annoying of the US Embassy. Make a decision one way or another. It’s not that complicated.

  10. chris says:

    Hes one of thousands of people immigration has to deal with daily

  11. chris says:

    Is this a joke? Im sorry if i cant pick up the sarcasm

  12. Vic says:

    Is that because the same people have to go there over and over without getting a decision?

  13. Andy says:

    +1 (from the gay community)

  14. Andy says:

    America, do some good for your own national team and keep him out of the country.

  15. Karl says:

    Vic you are clearly ignorant about the Visa process and should’t comment anymore. Thank you.

    There are many steps to the visa process. It not just one (meeting) and done.

  16. chris says:

    Hell yeah, while we’re at it i’d trade 10 illegal mexicans for Backe and Soler to get deported

  17. AC says:

    that’s one heck of a “minor” issue

  18. irishapple21 says:

    You shoot one teenage girl in the face with fireworks leaving permanent scars and everybody has to make a big deal about it.

  19. Matt says:

    but Karl…he’s LUKE RODGERS! Surely the embassy in London follows the Red Bulls and MLS closely enough to know how important he is. Sorry Vic…I’m with Karl…it is that complicated and be thankful for that amount of detail in the process or else terrorist’s would be flooding over here

  20. abc says:

    lol

    Maybe the issue was when he kicked the ball in the playoffs and it almost hit that female Galaxy fan in the face.

    Or when he took a swing at a Whitecaps player and somehow drew no reaction from either the referee or the league.

    This guy is such a brainless thug…

  21. Buddle-icious says:

    Time for NY to cut him loose. Rodgers is a decent player but it’s not like he’s some exceptional talent.

    Time to cut your losses and move on.

  22. togga says:

    & may be a few other misdermeaners when playing for Shrewsbury Town, Crewe, Notts County…….

  23. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I still can’t believe Agudelo won’t start. $5 says Cooper gets the nod to partner with Henry. I love Agudelo and the only thing that will make him better or grow his chemistry with Henry is playing time. Backe is an absolute idiot. What do you guys think?

  24. A wise man once said says:

    Which video?

  25. A wise man once said says:

    Are you kidding? Without him they only won one game. (that’s why I hope he doesn’t come back)

  26. maka says:

    I think you are knee-jerking right now. Henry and Agudelo are essentially the same player and Rodgers was a nice complement to Henry. Agudelo doesn’t pressure and tends to drift to the left like… HENRY!

    Maybe Agudelo needs to get his head out of the clouds and focus on earning his spot instead of it being handed to him.

  27. BF says:

    Rodgers= garbage soccer.

  28. MicahK says:

    This is becoming very commercial.

  29. Matt in SF says:

    Honestly, I thought he was NYRB’s best player last year.

    Even LD likes him, sorta.

  30. Matt in SF says:

    He also works really hard.

  31. Tommy Mac says:

    Just as long as you don’t deport Soler to Norway (he led IK Start to relegation and financial ruin in 2007) or Backe to Mexico (disaster as assistant with Mex Nat Team, fired with entire staff after brief stint). Those countries would throw them back at us… Only NYRB owners seems to take them seriously!!

  32. Melo says:

    No DP and no Luke to start the season…this is pathetic

  33. JoeW says:

    This is a sad indictment of the NYRB front office. I get that MLS is a tricky league to do personnel in…lots of arcane cap and salary rules, less money than most European leagues, lots of US and Canadian immigration rules. But the NYRB front office comes off as very sloppy this offseason. You have this Rodgers fiasco. Conde isn’t healthy. The Robles mess.

    Lots of MLS teams go into the season with holes or incomplete rosters and they’re deliberately waiting for the summer transfer window–they intentionally save roster spots and cap space for that August acquisition.

    But NYRB comes off as a front office that can’t shoot straight. It looks like there were intentions to acquire certain players and there was no backup or “plan b” in case it fell through.

  34. malkin says:

    Semantics I know, but perhaps “cautiously optimistic” makes more sense than “quietly confident” considering publicly/officially stating you are confident is exactly being quiet.

  35. PolishPete says:

    I don’t agree with you on this …there is a plan b in case Luke will not be back , but they holding until they have definitive answer . Conde would be healthy if not the fact that he got a different injury, how could they forearm that. Robles situation is 100% on MLS that gave them permission ,and they backed out. rB know that he had 1 game with Nats that is why they ask if he can be acquired as a discovery , they were getting answer yes, so the try to finalize it. Listen Mls has it’s own rules, like for instance Portland can sign their PDL player as a homegrown but red bulls can’t ,and we are losing talent to different teams in the draft( baptiste,duka) ….as of Luke people that don’t see him play every week don’t understand how great of a player he is on our team….he started 23 games and scored 10 …and some of them were beautiful goals.MLS need more players like him, more Lindpiers that will fight for every bit of that field . Is he fisty he’ll yeah ,but that whats make him great….ppl are making him like he is a such a monster but he dint brake ferrara’s ankle, morales,zukani were noth his victims…..Judge the players that actually harm other players , rather than players that fight for the win.