MLS- New York Red Bulls

With visa issues sorted, Rodgers wants back in MLS

Juninho, Luke Rodgers


Is anyone in Major League Soccer looking for a striker? Luke Rodgers is back on the market and wants another shot at the States.

And no worries; he says his visa issues are a thing of the past.

“I could get my visa. I had spoken to the Embassy in December and they said it wouldn’t be a problem,” Rodgers told SBI. “I’m a free agent. My fitness is very good, though I’ve always been fit. I could play tomorrow if (MLS) signed me to be honest with you.”

As reported last week, the diminutive striker left Shrewsbury Town after an unsuccessful second stint with the club. He scored twice in 15 appearances but a tense relationship with the boss and his inability to command a starting role landed Rodgers with the reserve side.

It would mark his third team in two years since leaving New York.

Rodgers, 31, never wanted to leave the Red Bulls and New York wasn’t keen on losing him either. Due to his extensive rap sheet, which included a pair of assault charges, the United States Embassy granted Rodgers a restrictive one year visa to play in New York. The visa deadline ran through October which would have required Rodgers to head back to England in order to reapply for his permit.

The problem was New York made the playoffs and extended their season. In order to compete, Rodgers stayed in the US in violation of his permit. An already tentative agreement with the States became all the more contentious as his permit was refused for most of 2012, pulling him away from the club.

By December of that year, he was finally assured that his permit application would go through, but by then, change within the Red Bulls brass meant Rodgers was no longer in their plans.

“I thought if I got my visa, I could get back,” he explained. “When I contacted them, they had moved on and that was it.”

The team’s final rejection came as a bit of a surprise to the affable striker, dubbed “Tank” by his former teammates. “I was shocked to be honest,” he said. “I played with Petke when I was there. Mike knows what I can do. Ricardo Campos, Juan Romero, they still know what I can do.

“I’d love to get back in MLS itself, but honestly, I’d love it more to be with the Red Bulls. I just loved it there.”

The Red Bulls are currently hurting for offense after an explosive start to the season. New York have been held scoreless over the last 253 minutes of play. Nevertheless, his chances of landing in the Big Apple are slim to none. Sources with knowledge of the club say that ship has long sailed. “It’s nothing against Rodgers,” one source said. “It is simply a different team right now.”

Even if that door has shut on him, Rodgers feels he has more to prove in the American top flight with whatever club that would have him.

“I’d love to get back to MLS if there was interest,” he said. “I’m in good shape, good conditions and I have a strong record there. I scored something like 10 goals in 23 games.

“I’d done well when I was there and it’d be nice to get a chance to do it again.”

    • Gnarls

      We need another villain, that’s for sure. Without Marquez and Lenhart temporarily gone, we’ve pretty much used Chivas as our whipping boy. Now that they’re winning games, who’s left to hate on?


      • ed - houston

        LOL, well said, i was hoping CUSA would remain the villain but winning does cure a lot of things.


      • The Imperative Voice

        Yeah, you wonder if people who say stuff like this have witnessed the hoofball they play in the lower English divisions.


    • The Imperative Voice

      I beg to differ MLS is roughly bottom of the EPL or Championship level. Among other things, what does the existence of a Big Four (ish) imply for The Rest? You look at the impact Kamara is having for Norwich, etc., the top end of MLS is not out of its depth in the EPL. Donovan if he’d stayed at Everton would be up there with Fellaini, they might be naming a McBride Pub (type thing) for him by now.

      Granted, MLS quality slides as one goes down the depth chart, but outside of the elite teams it’s usually slim pickings or youth players who are their reserves just the same. Which is why FA Cup upsets happen.

      Their big advantage would be the youth systems but they mute the value because the smaller teams sell sell sell, so they don’t necessarily stockpile what they create, eg, Lampard from West Ham.


  • Old School

    The one problem with NYRB being guaranteed Rodgers rights will be the: Re-entry, VISA, March discovery and Generation Reebok Pump rule, section #208.


    • solles

      Not sure if you’re making those rules up (actually I dont really care if you are or not) but NY doesnt want him, so its kind of a moot point eh?


  • brad

    Given the history between the two, the present contrast between Rodgers and Donovan is pretty striking: while Rodgers is desparate to come back to MLS on any terms, Donovan can get away with telling MLS that he’ll come back when he wants.


  • eyeyeyww

    maybe MLS should forego those young potential Latin american talent and mine the lower divisions England for talented players who we could snag away for 50-75 K a year


    • Henry

      Most of the latin american talent has been working this year. Rafael, Valeri, Beiler.


  • Josh D

    If he’s cheaper than he was, we in DC could use a goal scorer who can play a full 90 and find the game during those 90 minutes…


    • Kosh

      Hear, hear!!!

      I’d take him anyday and twice if it means I don’t have to see Pajoy do that so called “hustle” that people keep talking about when thay say his name.


    • JAY NT

      there’s a cheaper easier solution than signing rogers

      bench pajoy

      we have plenty of guys that can play upfront if Benny were flexible (rafael, ruiz, dero, pontius)


      • Josh D

        I agree. DeRo, thus far in the season, is not an attacking midfielder anymore, especially in a two-man midfield. He’s either tracking back too far to be useful, or he loses the plot and Kitchen gets swamped. Accept he’s a striker and let’s move on.

        Ruiz is not an off the bench striker. The announcers over the weekend pointed out that in 17 appearances off the bench, he has never scored a goal. He’s not that kind of striker.

        Rafael looks interesting, and is certainly more useful than Pajoy, but like Benny’s other strikers he’s brought in, it looks like he’s taking the long approach with him. Let’s just hope it’s not the season-long then sell approach. He does still look rough. I just wish he wasn’t the DP striker we were promised, especially after being linked to Fabiano.

        Pontius is a striker, but we didn’t pick up enough wingers to compensate his loss. DeLeon doesn’t look the same player yet; may have something to do with his ridiculous beard. Though Sanchez looks a tidy player. Porter didn’t look good beyond his give-me/take-me-away goal. He couldn’t keep possession.

        Pajoy is just useless and Benny needs to get off his high horse and bench him. We can’t play every game of the season searching for the 0-0 tie…


      • Kosh

        + 1

        Deleon needs to shave that thing off or give it back to Korb – it’s messing with his areaodynamics.

        There is a certain stubbornness to Benny so far, but I’ll cut him some slack as it’s early in the season and maybe his hand is forced with some of these selections.

        Regardless, I have never liked Pajoy as he looks completely useless out there. He does all thsi stupid running when it doesn’t count and stops running when it does. It’s early days and I am biased but I just don’t care for him.


    • wilyboy

      I would agree, except there’s one issue- does he have a green card? We’re out of internation spots, (thanks in large part to one spot being taken by an Indonesian acquired for s#its and giggles by our Indonesian owner). He has one, we should have the salary cap to bring him on.


      • Kosh

        I totally forgot about that waste of an Internartional spot. Man, that just makes my blood boil even more.

        About Satursday’s game (and the week before) we simply cannot hold onto the ball. We were coughing it up like nobodies business and even worse, CBus had all the intention and drive in that game. It was like we were the road team for most of that match.


  • Dan in New York

    Luke was a baller when he played for the RBs. The best chemistry Henry’s had with a striker on the team since he came to New York. They should try to fit him in somehow (but they won’t).


      • Dan in New York

        Not a better player but better chemistry with Henry and probably cheaper.


      • James J.

        He said last year he would come back to RBNY for free. He embraced this club more than anyone I’ve ever seen. He would probably take 50K which is nothing compared to Cooper’s 400K but that’s how much he loves this club.


  • slowleftarm

    RBNY are lacking in depth up front but I’m not excited about rooting for this violent meathead again. Let’s hold out for somebody playing at a level higher than Shrewsbury Town reserves shall we?


    • Chance

      They have 6 forwards on the roster right now. “lacking in depth” is not a thing. But i want rodgers back. He was fun to watch.


  • Chance


    Loved his time on the field.

    Plus, you never quite new whether or not he might throw a punch, which was exciting.


  • sammysounder

    Does he have to come in through the allocation order?

    If so, I could see us picking him up. We have two starting quality strikers. Three are needed to challenge.


  • James J.

    Yesssssssssssssss! Andy Roxburgh, Mike Petke please bring Rodgers back to NY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Pingback: Red Bulls Mike Petke addresses team interest in Luke Rodgers

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