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New York Red Bulls assistant coaches Richie Williams and Des McAleenan, who have served a combined 15 seasons as coaches for New York, have been fired.
The Washington Post reported on Monday afternoon that the two assistants were let go for what sources were calling "repeated violations of club rules"
(UPDATED) The Red Bulls confirmed on Monday evening that they have released Williams and McAleenan from their coaching duties. Calls to Williams and McAleenan were not returned.
Williams joined the Red Bulls coaching staff as an assistant for head coach Mo Johnston in 2006 and has sinced worked under Red Bulls head coaches Bruce Arena, Juan Carlos Osorio and Hans Backe. He has served as the team's interim head coach on two occasions, compiling a 4-6-4 record during those stints. Considered one of the most highly-regarded assistants in MLS, Williams has been a candidate for multiple head coaching openings in MLS, but had been seen as a potential successor to Backe before these recent developments.
McAleenan has been the Red Bulls' goalkeeper coach since 2002, coaching under five different head coaches and had developed a reputation as one of the best goalkeeper coaches in MLS.
Removing two key members of the coaching staff just three weeks before the start of the season would be a shocking development, particularly considering the remainder of the current full-time coaching staff consists of newly-hired assistant Jan Halvor Halvorsen. Recently retired Red Bulls defender Mike Petke has been working as an individual developmental coach, among a variety of roles he's taken on with the club, and he could be moved into a more full-time role as an assistant.
We'll pass along more information as it becomes available.