Another nightmare ending has Red Bulls facing uncertain future

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

It was the kind of brutal ending that long-time New York Red Bulls fans have seen too many times before. Another playoff collapse. Another season ending in disappointment. Another chapter to the saddest history of results in MLS playoff history.

Thursday night’s loss seemed like the perfect ending to another dysfunctional season and now that the 2012 campaign is over for the Red Bulls, an off-season of major changes is already in the works. From head coach Hans Backe, to a good chunk of the current roster, there will be plenty of people walking out of Red Bull Arena for the last time.

Multiple sources within the team, and around the team, have helped paint a vivid picture of what has been going on with the Red Bulls in recent months, and what lies ahead for the club, and as you might expect, major change is on the way.

As much as Backe tried putting a brave face on things after Thursday night’s loss, insisting that no decisions have been made in his future, his fate is as certain as anything you can count on in MLS this winter. His three-year contract is set to expire in December and he has a better chance of his hair turning black on its own than he does leading the Red Bulls again.

Then you have Rafa Marquez, the disappointing designated player who managed to show signs of quality play only to overshadow those moments with his latest acts of rage-fueled stupidity. He has one more year left on his Red Bulls contract, but if he isn’t shipped off to the highest Mexican bidder this winter then that could be a sign that the new Red Bulls leadership isn’t all that much smarter than their predecessors.

The buzzards have been circling Red Bull Arena for weeks now, starting with the dismissal of former general manager Erik Soler and hiring of Jerome deBontin, but much more has been afoot. Gerard Houllier is the head of Red Bull’s global soccer operations, and has been plotting the reconstruction of the Red Bulls front office for some time, a reconstruction that won’t include Backe.

New power brokers have entered the picture in New York, some hiding in plain sight. Darren Dein, Thierry Henry’s best friend and agent, has emerged as a powerful figure behind the scenes at the Red Bulls, and he has spent weeks in the area, serving as Houllier’s surrogate and as one of people tasked with figuring out how to fix the Red Bulls. He hasn’t been doing it in private either. He has been spotted for several weeks in the team’s locker room after games, and around the stadium.

The club is also on the verge of naming a new technical director, with former Scotland manager and UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh the favorite to land the position. The 69-year-old Scot recently concluded an 18-year run as UEFA’s technical director, and has a strong relationship with Houllier, who is also expected to strongly consider his former Aston Villa assistant, Gary McCallister for the Red Bulls head coaching job.

All the behind-the-scenes maneuvering couldn’t have helped matters in Red Bull camp, where some recent meltdowns showed clear issues developing within the team. According to multiple sources, defender Wilman Conde was effectively banished from the team after blasting his high-priced teammates and Backe after the team’s loss to the Chicago Fire a month ago (a match Conde was subbed off at halftime in). Conde ripped into Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, as well as Backe, leading the team to ask Conde to take some time off, which was spun as him needing time off for personal reasons.

Conde never played another minute for the Red Bulls, and will almost certainly be part of the team’s roster purge this winter.

The team’s dysfunction continued into the playoffs, where sources tell SBI Rafa Marquez and Hans Backe had a verbal altercation at halftime of the team’s first-leg draw vs. D.C. United, which was proceeded by Marquez leaving the match for what was called a mild calf strain. That story seemed curious to begin with, but the mood in the team’s locker room after that first-leg draw, a very good result for the team, suggested that things were far from normal that night. Marquez was presented to the media after the match, where he sold his injury story, but he came off about as believable as a three-card monty dealer.

Despite all that, the team still had the Eastern Conference finals in their sights, the team’s considerable talent managing to help overcome all the behind-the-scenes drama. The Red Bulls played a good game on Thursday, and created good chances, but ultimately failed to deliver in train-wreck fashion. From the team’s botched penalty kick set-up, which saw the team encroach on Kenny Cooper’s made first attempt, to Rafa Marquez’s bone-headed red card, to Thierry Henry’s indefensible decision to defer to playoff pariah Roy Miller when a 23-yard free kick stared him in the face with the playoffs on the line, it all served up the most fitting end to what has been another disappointing era for the Red Bulls.

Hans Backe will leave after three seasons with the team, and while some may look at his tenure as moderately successful, the fact remains he was given more resources than any coach in the team’s history and couldn’t produce a single trophy of consequence, or even a single playoff series victory. The Swedish manager has a charming personality, and worked the media like few others, but when it came to running the team, his inability to nurture young talent and his hands-off approach made the Red Bulls a soft team that had plenty of talent, but no leadership.

Even the squad’s considerable talent couldn’t overcome Backe’s shortcomings, or the locker room’s lack of true leaders (it should be noted that Tim Cahill has the makings of a strong team captain, but he clearly chose to stay in the background as one of the team’s newest players. That is something that should change in 2013).

The team’s new bosses will appoint a new coach, and build a new roster, and Red Bulls fans will have to endure yet another makeover. Fans of the team formerly known as the MetroStars have grown accustomed to plenty of things in the past 17 years. Big-name players, playoff disappointments and wholesale changes to the team. Their only hope this winter is that this team, this historically inept team, will finally figure things out, and finally turn the club into a winner.

After so many failed attempts, and so many nightmare endings like we saw on Thursday night, there won’t be anybody in the New York/New Jersey area, or anywhere in MLS for that matter, holding their breath for that.

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69 Responses to Another nightmare ending has Red Bulls facing uncertain future

  1. Naked Animals says:

    Wait, so New York’s Jerome de Bontin won’t be responsible for player movement/contracts/hiring, and they have yet to announce a technical director. This club just needs some real stability within their front office organization, and then they’ll be succesful, and yes Marquez may need to leave if he’s going to just play dirty all the time.

  2. ManicMessiah says:

    Can we get in a call to Lou Lamoriello? He knows nothing about soccer, but he’d find smart guys who do know about soccer, and about MLS, and I have a feeling this thing could be fixed in about five minutes.

    As far as Henry’s agent being involved, can someone please send a copy of The Beckham Experiment to the HQ in Austria.

    All that being said, I refuse to blame behind the scenes stuff for Cooper missing the second penalty, multiple players encroaching on the first penalty, Marquez for a not at all surprising sending off, Lade playing the winning goal onside, Henry not taking that free kick at the end of the game, and not taking advantage of being a man up last game, among other things.

    • Georkt says:

      You are correct sir, Cooper did his job both in breaking in on goal and hitting the PK. The rest was inexcusable.

  3. cj says:

    What about the cavernous crowd in NY. I just can’t believe how few people actually show up for these games in an incredible stadium. You have Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill (some of the most famous soccer players in the world) and you can’t even cover up the logo in the seats with people?

    • Naked Animals says:

      I have been led to believe that has been attributed to poor location, lack of winning titles (especially in a big market like New York), and ineffective marketing to fans in the area. FC Dallas has the same trouble, but I have read it was because of poor marketing in the intial years of moving to Frisco, Texas, and the fact that the stadium is miles (apparently, I’m not from Dallas) away from where many would be fans reside.

    • David says:

      Moving the game twice and the fact that there is a lot of transportation in the area that is still not operating are major factors in the attendance last night. Not to mention it was effing cold there last night.

      I was there Wednesday and Thursday. It was my 3rd year watching a playoff lose in person. I can’t imagine the ones that have been doing it for 18 years now…

    • ed houston says:

      you cant blame them for low crowd in this game. the area is still reeling from a double whammy that was hurricane sandy followed by wednesday’s storm. i was surprised that approx 15k did show up.

      • Hopper says:

        It’s tempting to believe the excuses for the low attendance at RBA last night, except that place is always half empty, no matter when or who they play.

        • Kevin says:

          The team has made numerous missteps since moving into beautiful new stadium which has contributed greatly to the low attendance. They built a 25,000 seat stadium and had no parking except a few small public lots in area with congested streets. Hours sitting in traffic after a 2 hour game isn’t pleasant and drove people away in first 2 years
          The team built fan base for 10 years in Giants stadium with families attending games and then team expected those same families to take public transportation to/from game since Arena is in an urban setting. Would you take three trains home at 10 PM on Saturday night with a 6 & 8 year old in tow?
          There is finally some parking in front of stadium and cops in area have learned to make traffic flow so things are better but they still have public transportation issues (PATH train that was not built for this many people).
          A winning team would certainly help their cause but this team has been doing a lot of things to shoot themselves in foot off the field.
          At least RBNY made the right call with snowstorm Wednesday night (it should be postponed) but it was MLS this time that made wrong call and upset fans that did make it to game (including 700 from DC area)
          Those not in this area look at beautiful stadium and wonder why it isn’t filled but there are other things off the field that help to keep fans away in NY. Things are improving but this team better hope it improves quickly before MLS puts another team in NY.

      • Naked Animals says:

        I know PATH was down, alot of fans use it to get to games, but prior to the catastophic hurricane mess that unfortunately came a week ago, Red Bulls had trouble with people actually attending their games since the stadium was built.

        • slowleftarm says:

          I think the fan base gets a pass on this one with the hurricane, snow storm, rescheduling and lack of public transportation. But it’s often not much better even in ideal conditions so something needs to be done. The atmosphere is great when the place is sold out but that doesn’t happen nearly enough (I believe only three or four times this season).

    • Scott A says:

      The area is a disaster area you prick. Do you realize how many people are stuck in their homes with major damage, without power, no mode of transportation?

      • Sasha says:

        Gas rationing, people without power, two major storms in a week??? hmmm. Outsiders have a hard time understanding what has happened here!!! Ignorant fools!

        • Hopper says:

          We understand what happened there, but the storm doesn’t explain the pathetic attendance at RBA over the course of the entire season.

          • Scott A says:

            How about zero trophies, horrible fan relations, and a rebrand to an energy drink? I’m at a loss to understand why people feel pity for fans of other teams but think fans of this zero-trophy team are lucky or something.

      • ed houston says:

        i understand and sympathize. i was without power for 13 days in Aug ’08 after hurricane ike. it really sucks.

    • Schaef says:

      The lack of fan support at the stadium itself is mainly due to the fact that it is in a remote location with horrible infrastructure to get to and from games. Anyone who has taken the PATH train to game from NY knows this. The station serving the stadium cannot accommodate anywhere near the number of NY’ers who need to take mass transit to a game. It is a joke! NY needs a stadium in Queens, closer to where soccer fans can reasonably get to a game. Whomever decided to put this fantastic soccer stadium in such a terrible location certainly didn’t do their homework, AND wasted a whole lot of money. Hope NY gets another team to play in NYC, and leave the RedBulls for the swamps of Jersey. I refuse to make the trip any longer, especially for such uninspiring performances. Can’t believe Henry actually decided to come over to join this joke of a team.

  4. Georkt says:

    Well I’ve been doing this since the beginning so here we go again. Do you have any faith in the organization doing the right thing?

  5. It’s disappointing to see NY suffer like it does. Did MLS curse the franchise with its anti-Cosmos rhetoric of the past? Or, is there some other curse placed upon them?

    Or, have all those summer games at Giants stadium raise the expectations for only the best soccer New Yorkers can see?

    It does not make sense that Bradley and Arena were mediocre in NY but both did well in LA.

    • Naked Animals says:

      I really don’t know, I’ve heard a few Red Bull fans float around the “Curse of Caricola” from their inaugral season, some terrible mistake that cost them the playoffs or entrance to the playoffs? To me I feel it is just that they haven’t made the right decisions when it comes to ownership and overall team management. Teams like RSL, Houston, and Seattle have already had more succcess then them in only a few years of existence, it comes down to years of poor management decisions from roster, coaches, etc. They are the ONLY MLS team yet to win any kind of major trophy recognized by the league.

      • Georkt says:

        Please speak with knowledge, the “Curse of Caricola” is BS. Nicola Caricola was a Seria A signing who hit an own goal at the death of the first MLS match in the old Giants Stadium giving New England the win. My family and me were among the 46,000 in attendance. I agree with the rest of you post.

        • Naked Animals says:

          Yeah I heard very little about the “Curse”, but like I said I heard some fans talk about it as if it were the reason they can’t win the “big one” (MLS CUP).

          • Georkt says:

            The fans were clueless and you shouldn’t bother listening to them. Your own opinion is correct.

  6. srf says:

    Hiring a bunch of europeans to oversee player selection and to coach the team is not a recipe that has EVER worked in MLS. If they were smart theyd find the best US coach available.

    Hell, I would take Jesse Marsh over a tba high priced european.

    • Naked Animals says:

      Yep, now you brought that to attention, over half of the coaches hired by New York have been Euro’s who don’t understand how MLS & North American soccer works on this side of the Atlantic, from Carlos Quieroz and other coaches who might sound like fashion designers, they’ve missed the boat with coaches, amongst other things.

    • beto says:

      AVB to take over NYRB!

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      If you look at the history, I think every finals-winning MLS head coach was some mix of US or MLS player/ coach/ assistant before winning here. Even Smith had been an assistant. The personnel and salary rules are so esoteric, and the player pool sufficiently obscure to the general public, that experience with the league and its players really helps. Even if you don’t pull a Gullit and freak out and run off from frustration, it helps to know allocation rules and who’s in the league and who might even be interested in coming back from abroad, when, say, you need a CB to fill a hole. Some coaches like Arena seem to get it, others don’t.

      So I agree that someone like Houllier may be oblivious. Ironically, Scandinavians were probably better suited to working off a budget if not through our particular rules. But McAllister would be a joke because he has little experience and basically looked like he got ran off from Villa.

      With Marsch missing the playoffs with a fairly veteran team while making some risky gambits (I mean, he had Ching and EJ under his roof and let them go for next to nothing), I think that’s desperation talking.

      I think the better call would be poaching someone like Sigi or Kreis. A coach with aspirations and a quality track record but whose team does not grant them Red Bull level resources.

    • MiamiAl says:

      If I were the Red Bulls, I would make a play for Bob Bradley. I am sure he could be persuaded to leave the chaos he is in currently. Bradley knows the MLS. He can build a program, and can command the respect of high priced spoiled brats.

  7. Shane says:

    I dont see them ever straightening things out if they continue to look to Europeans with no understanding of MLS. These guys just bring in their friends and think it will be easy to win trophies because of their misconceptions about MLS and soccer in the US. That is why it has been one charade after another.

  8. DaninWien says:

    Say what you will about Henry, but he puts people in the seats who ordinarily wouldn’t attend. I was working out at a gym in Vienna, Austria, when in walks someone wearing a DC United jersey. I asked him about it, and he said he was an Austrian who worked at the Austrian embassy in DC for 3 months and while he was there he went to a DC/NY game. He said he went to the game because Henry was there and it was the only name he recognized. The result is that a ticket was sold that wouldn’t ordinarily have (and we must assume far more than one) and that MLS is spreading its brand beyond the North American shores.

    In summary, I’m really grateful Henry is in MLS. Also, I’m really grateful he doesn’t wear the black and red!

    • Klokani1905 says:

      So, what you are saying is that he heard about Henry and went to watch the pink cows play, and came out from the game such a DCU fan that he now rocks the jersey wherever he goes ;)

      • Andrew says:

        Well, he was working in DC. I think that’s one of the ironies of the Henry signing–he brings crowds at other stadiums (look at how well teams sell their tickets when the Red Bulls are coming to town), but New Yorkers themselves won’t fill the stadium 9/10 games..

  9. beto says:

    DeLeon won the game with his great play, but NY as a team lost it. Once again, they have no one but themselves to blame.

  10. Sabella says:

    I don think this is as big of a re-build project as some may think. Here are the team’s priorities

    1) Find a coach that can control Henry. Henry is the franchise player and it is around him that the team will be built. But, as brilliant as he can be on the field, he can be equally cancerous. Whether its yelling at teammates on the field or destroying them in the post-game interview, he is a guy that needs to be controlled. Clearly, Backe couldn’t control him and I think a lot of the dysfunction within the team stems from this dynamic. The coach has to be someone that has achieved as much as Henry because without those qualifications, Henry will walk all over him. It’s a short list and one that will be difficult to obtain.

    2) Marquez needs to go. Whether its lack of hustle or mental breakdowns, he has hurt way more than he helped. He needs to go and free up some salary.

    3) Add speed: we need to add real threats on the wings. Once Dane Richards was traded, we lost our width. we need guys with speed and skill. Lloyd Sam is good but he is injury prone. I see him being an option off the bench. We need at least two of these guys. Think Brek Shea.

    4) Acquire a center back and a rightback. Conde was right in calling out Henry and Marquez. Get him back into the line up. Heath Pearce is a keeper too. Holgersson and Lade are not championship material. I think Holgersson was at fault for the goal. He had a weak clearance and provided a soft mark on the thru ball.

    5) chemistry- it was clearly lacking. Perhaps if Henry is controlled an Marquez is gone, the concept of team may emerge. No chemistry, no title.

    6) youth: this organization has failed to integrate promising young players (Lade aside) into the rotation. Nick DeLeon scored the winner yesterday. We need to be developing our own young talent

  11. AcidBurn says:

    Although this season was a trainwreck, if the Red Bulls regroup and make some changes they could have a strong rebound next year…Meara in goal, 3/4 of the backline set with Pearce, Holgersson, and Barklage, Dax and Cahill as the central midfielders, Sam and Lade as wingers, Henry and Cooper up top…just a few additional pieces and some proper coaching and they could be back stronger next year.

    …bwahahaha ok I’ll step away from the pipe now. NYRB will hire a clueless Euro coach, Titi will run the team from behind the scenes, Rafa will lounge through another year, various players will be played in improper positions (Dax as a wide midfielder, Lade as a fullback) , make senseless trades, struggle to fill RB Arena, etc etc. That’s so so Metro!

    • Naked Animals says:

      If they keep it up, when the Cosmos arrive they won’t have to worry about fans showing up, the US National team can just use the stadium as a training facility on the East coast (Iknow they have the HDC in Los Angeles). Seriously though, I feel that “IF” a pretty big if, they find the right manager to lead the team and remove waste of space (Marquez if he’s going to mess around, and Miller) in addition add some good players through the draft and get some players in the transfer window, they could build some consistency into the future.

  12. Murph says:

    I’m interested to see what the new leadership does. I hope they get rid of Marquez and others and rework the roster. Clearly a non-American decided to sign Marquez in MLS, because I think every American soccer fan can’t stand the guy. I love the Cahill signing, I think he will be great next year and should be captain. Let him take the lead from day one next year. New leadership and the money behind the team should make things better next year. Backe should have gone last year it might have been different. For all the successes of Soler (good drafts, identifying some good young players like Meara and Lade) they were always too quick to make a trade. Why trade for LeToux? He is garbage. Why get rid of DeRo and why give up on Agudelo? (although I like Pearce and McCarty).

    I think it will get better but with this group I assumed they were going to find a way to lose after Cooper missed the 2nd penalty. And when Marquez got ejected it was over. Look at the way DC played last night–that was a great team effort. I hope it’s DC vs. LA or Seattle in the final. The LA vs. Seattle matchup is awesome, I will watch both of those games.

    One thing that I think may be undervalued in any discussion of why fans don’t go to Red Bulls games–the rebranding. I for one can’t really root for a blatant advertisement of a bad energy drink. I wish they called themselves New York FC or something like that, then put the Red Bull logo all over their shirts and apparel. That would have been more acceptable. At least try to trick me into believing it’s a soccer club trying to make money rather than a corporation. That’s a reason why I don’t go to many games (also because I don’t have much money). Also, I think building a core group of players who exhibit some type of camaraderie would go a long way to build a fan base. The problems Ives outlines above give us some insight into a team that looks very different than a team like DC. I think Cahill will be able to bring the team together more than Henry…

    Either way MLS has gotten way better the last 5 years so things are looking up for American soccer. 10 years ago no one cared about this league and the Metros were awful. Now there is a great stadium not far from NYC and Thierry Henry plays there. Not bad…

    Winning is all that’s left for this team to do!

    • Sabella says:

      I agree with your points in Cahill. He is great. He’s got all of the stuff: skill, pace, hustle, hunger. The best part is, he seems like one of the guys. He’s got none of the “hey, I’m a European league big shot, I’ll tell you how to play” vibe

  13. bkyn says:

    Was there last night. You could feel as the game went on that it was going to end the way it did. RBNY controlled the game but could not finish and the other team was going to win at the end on a counter. How does Rafa face his teammates? Management should not be surprised at the reception he will get next year if he is still on the team. Thrown out of the playoffs two years in a row.

    Conde was right about Henry and Rafa. Don’t you want someone to be saying what everyone else is thinking. Isn’t that ultimately a good thing. Rafa chokes and Henry can’t score against good teams. Tired of their expressions of frustrations directed at the teammates during the game. Maybe sit Conde for a game, but not for the rest of the season. Would have help to play him and not Miller in the first playoff game.

    Not happy with Henry’s agent being in on the decision making since Henry loves Rafa.

    • TBrodie says:

      The Red Bulls could get Jason Kreis for the right price. He has had success in MLS and RSL is looking to make changes.

  14. Eric says:

    Something that hasn’t been talked about in a while is the firing of Richie Williams at beginning of the year, leaving only a staff of coaches without any MLS experience. I wonder how much impact that had on the season.

  15. fortunate only says:

    Rafa got two yellow cards, not a straight red.

    I know that takes away from the rhetoric but I figured I’d point it out.

  16. bryan says:

    hahahahaahahahahahahahaaha

    UNITED UNITED UNITED!!!

  17. Dainja says:

    ROSTER PURGE NEEDED. Cut these people:

    -Marquez
    -Miller
    -LeToux
    -Solli (nice guy, but Barklage at RB and Sam at RM are better than him)
    -Taino

    Funny thing is…the talent to win is already there! Just cut these people, go with a consistent lineup and the team will gel. Cuz though Cahill has been disappointing on the field, he is a ROCK in the leadership department and you better believe now that he will be back for a full season, he won’t let any of the BS mentioned above happen anymore! This team needs character, a backbone, HEART more than anything, and he will deliver that over a full season.

  18. Kenobi says:

    Speaking as a DC fan, I fear a Red Bull team led by Cahill. Nothing but respect for that guy. You want to talk about leadership, he intercepted the reporters headed for Cooper postgame in the locker room and told them Kenny wasn’t answering questions, and then proceeded to give them quotes so that they didn’t go away angry or keep bothering Cooper. That’s classy leadership, and the kind of behavior you should expect from a captain. It would be a crime if he’s not wearing the armband next season, but it is Red Bull. Stranger things have happened.

    Also speaking as a DC fan, please keep Roy Miller forever. Thanks.

  19. The Squad says:

    New York needs to develop a system……

    Up to now indivuduals seem to be caught up in names..

    Marquez, Henry Barklage et al…

    New York needs an established system to meet the expetation sof the apparent talent they possess.

    Facts:

    The San Antonio Spurs have won with a system that works ( Singular fast break with Parker, perimeter one-on-one with Ginobli, Duncan acting as the core defensively while providing superior post play offensively, role players..blah blah)

    The Red Bull organization needs to accentuate what the have. This is apart of Henry’s initial beef.

    They are stong in the middle of the pitch.
    They have a superior scorer in Henry
    they have possession-type players all over the pitch
    They have secondary scoring threats in Cahill and others
    They have a solid string of GKs that can facilitate a defensive philosophy
    They have a solid blend of youth and big time experience
    They have the city of New York as a backdrop

    They need and organizational philosphy that prmotes both the roster talent and the style of play prevent in MLS

    As far as attendance is concerned

    Get off the location thing…

    The New York Giants and the New York Jets play further from New York city proper than NYRB and they can put 200000 people in the stands if the conditions were right.

    The New York Islanders played on Long Island

    Heck the Yankees play up in the Bronx, this team should be the flagship franchise of the league

    Why not?

  20. Joamiq says:

    What a mess. Dysfunction is this franchise’s normal state. Just when you think it can’t possibly continue, it gets worse.

  21. SoyDeMetro says:

    As a STH from day 1, I disagree that this was another typical playoff loss. This was the most spectacular crash and burn in team history. The boys should be proud.

    Also, FWIW, I’ll bet anything Dax is gone next year. My favorite player, but Titi doesn’t like him.

  22. mike says:

    Ives, I only scanned the comments quickly so this may have already been mentioned (but it is certainly worth repeating). This article had a bit of a different tone than other similar articles I’ve read of yours. You usually run well with an argument. But there was a bit of bite to this one. Gotta say it is refreshing to read. It is direct, critical and telling. And personal too. A mini-expose. I want more of this on your site. From you and your staff. I don’t mean unfounded personal attacks (the battery of commenting visitors handle that role), but I clearly get the sense that what is happening at RBNY bugs you. Love that. When it means something to you it sure as hell makes all of us read more closely. I LOVE to read behind the scenes details. Though I love the sport, I don’t know it as well as you. This totally satisfies my People magazinesque thirst for grounded soccer gossip. More please.

  23. Paul says:

    I know that Henry puts butts in seats around the league, but he has really played lamely when it counts for N.Y. Why not get rid of him and sign another D.P. caliber forward?

  24. Eugene says:

    Why the f should Conde be purged from the team? He’s a quality player in MLS, and played pretty well while not injured. And he was right. Henry and Marquez needed to step up more and assume leadership roles. Marquez is an f’n joke that should be shipped out immediately, he deserves no respect. Henry mailed it in over the last two games. His lack of heart in that last game was visible in plain sight. His form was ice cold. I want to see Conde kept and the players kiss and make up. No reason to throw out good players.

  25. Phil says:

    As a Union fan, I could not be more thrilled about this article. Marquez is simply a dirty player, there is no way around it. Everyone has a bad game from time to time, but that many dirty tackles in his short MLS career? It’s in everyone’s best interest to get rid of this scum bad (especially for the Union).

  26. InkedAG says:

    I think I missed it when Wilman Conde ripped into Henry and Marquez. Anyone has links to that?

  27. InkedAG says:

    I meant have.

  28. Spacemonkey says:

    Maybe I’m wrong (ok, most likely) but to me the Red Bulls will always crash and burn, and for the same reason. They bring in big names without bothering to leverage their very legitimate youth programs.

    I’m dreaming of a Red Bulls management that is smart enough to bring in someone with deep ties to the college system (you know, like, here in FREAKING AMERICA) and can bring in fresh young talent to grow a real team; instead of trying to burn through expense accounts and sign a bunch of big names that produce the same, predictable toxic mess.

    Isn’t that someone’s definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result? Gah.

  29. shelsilverstein says:

    DON’T YOU REMEMBER YOU TOLD ME YOU LOVED ME CONDE
    SAID YOU’D BE COMIN’ BACK THIS WAY AGAIN CONDE
    CONDE CONDE CONDE CONDE OHHHH CONDE
    I LOOOOVE YOU, I REALLY DO