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No firings imminent as Red Bulls stand pat

When Red Bulls sporting director Erik Stover and technical director Jeff Agoos went to Austria last week to meet with Red Bull management about the struggles of the worst team in MLS, it was thought that the meeting would result in the firing of one or both of them, and the firing of head coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

It appears all three are safe (for now).

Sources have told SBI that none of the three members of the Red Bulls front office will be let go, a decision that comes as the team is in the midst of one of the worst seasons in MLS history.

It was believed that the club might be tempted to make a coaching change during the team's bye week, and ahead of Thursday's high-profile match vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy (and David Beckham), but it now looks as though Osorio will stay on as head coach for the foreseeable future.

So why would Red Bull stick with Osorio and Co.? The regular season is essentially a lost cause now, leaving the team with only the CONCACAF Champions League to play for. Osorio is the man who helped guide the team to that Champions League berth by steering the Red Bulls to an MLS Cup final berth last fall, so Red Bull may be inclined to give him the rest of this year to see if he can turn things around before the end of the season.

A more cynical scenario would be that Red Bull isn't about to spend money on another head coach to come in during a lost season. With dramatic changes more likely to come this off-season, Red Bull may have decided that it can ride out this season and make the necessary changes in four months.

Something that may have worked in Osorio's favor is the belief that, despite the record, the team's players haven't turned on Osorio. It was a revolt by veteran players that helped lead to the firing of Bruce Arena after the 2007 season, but sources tell me that Osorio has the support of all the team's key veterans despite the team's awful 2-14-3 season.

Does that mean Red Bull might not come back in a few weeks and rattle off some firings? Certainly not, but at the very least it looks as though Osorio will be in charge for the team's Champions League play-in series vs. Trinidadian squad W Connection later this month.

It isn't unheard of for a coach enduring such a bad season to keep his job. Bora Milutinovic remained as New York/New Jersey MetroStars head coach for the entire 1999 season despite the team going the entire summer without a win on its way to the worst record in team history (7-25). Kansas City's Bob Gansler endured a similarly awful season that same year. The next season, in 2000, Gansler and the Wizards won the MLS Cup final while the MetroStars, under new head coach Octavio Zambrano (and with Osorio as assistant coach) came within a game of the MLS Cup.

What's my take? While it would have been completely understandable if Red Bull decided to fire both Osorio and Agoos, giving Osorio the rest of this season to try and turn things around a year after the Red Bulls reached the final with him in charge isn't all that unreasonable.

What do you think of the decision to keep the team's leadership intact? Shocked? Angry? Are you okay with the team giving Osorio the rest of the season? Think the team can turn things around?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. B O Y C O T T

    As baseball approaches its midseason all-star break, the manager of the worst team in the big leagues got fired.

    As soccer approaches its midseason all-star break, the manager of the worst team in the league gets a vote of confidence.

    difference? In baseball, they care about the product on the field. In the MLS at least one team owner cares not about the product on the field.

    Do they care as much about the product in the can as they do the product on the field?

    Maybe it’s time to start a boycott of Red Bull till they get the message.

  2. Eh Diablo, I’m not at all enthused about my team being named after a corporate drink either…but Metro was named after a corporation too

  3. They lost me ever since the carpetbaggers bought my beloved metro and turned it into a lousy soda advertisement.I have NO love for the fizzys. Good luck filling that stadium next year….

  4. MJ has it right: NYRB FO doesn’t want to eat another contract. I can understand that, even though I don’t agree with it.

    But if Agoos and JCO aren’t canned the day after the season ends, then I will truly lose hope.

    JCO is a fraud. He might be a lovely person, but he is a terrible coach. And those of you who claim he is smart: What do you base that on? Whenever I hear him interviewed, he sounds delusional (usually when he is explained how the team didn’t play that poorly, despite the 3-0 loss).

    And Ives, we know JCO “led” NYRB to the final last year. But, as stated above, they were terrible in the regular season last year, backed into the playoffs, gave up their typical late goal in G1 vs. Houston, played ONE great game at Houston, lucked out against a .500 team in the semis and got their butts kicked in the final.

    Including that playoff “run” his record with NYRB is 14-25-14.

  5. lol Ceez. first, cut a little slack to non RBNY aficionados. Second, sounds like your view is at odds with another avid NY fan. I guess it’s just your way of spreadin’ a little NYC cheer.

  6. I have been a Metro fan sinec 1996, but I swear that I am slowly starting to hate this team.

    Well, it’s management anyway.

    And the players.

    Except Woly & Petke.

  7. HAPPY FOR JC OSORIO…..Is GOOD HE Stay TO THE END OF 2009 Season that WAY HE WILL be the WORST Coach in the MLS HISTORY………

  8. Hey, the Sounders have already played them twice, can they please get a new coach in there for the ‘new coach bump’???

    It sucks having a bottom dweller in the league who you have already played twice….thanks San Jose) (hey we get to play you a third time. Now every time somebody else plays New York it is almost a guaranteed win. Please NYRB, get better and beat some of our competition. You will feel better for doing so.

    The league could use the TV ratings from the NYC region.

  9. Why would u want the red bull out of the mls!?? Makes no sense.. They have the money to bring in some good players it’s just that the FO is paying a dumb amount of money on the wrong players. We don’t need to sell the team but we need to get rid of everyone who had a hand in this death row sentence that we r going through… Sad to see “red bull fans” that wanna sell . If u wanna protest something it should b getting rid if the trio of serial killers of osorio, stover n agoos… Show some heart

  10. Omfg for the 2nd time I will post this . VDB 1st said that he wants to STAY inThe red bulls if they can come up with new contract agreement BUT if they don’t than he wants to be traded to fc Dallas for family reasons. When everyone got the information , it never said that his first choice was to stay in red bulls but it said that he has family issue n that if they can’t come up with agreement he wishes to go to FC Dallas… Soooooo then after weeks of the Front office discussing this they decided NOT to spend the money on VDB but rather give him his other choice of going to FC Dallas to cover for the fact that they just didn’t think he was worth it!! Vdb just said that he wanted to go to fc Dallas as a precaution in case red bulls didn’t give him the money he deserved which I’d what happened. Only thing is that people started to sugar coat stuff n the truth didn’t come out till months later.

  11. By the way, fellow RBNY fans (and I guess MLS fans as well), is there way of getting RedBull out of MLS? Maybe through petitions or some other way, physically or not, much like Honduras’ president was forced out of the country (LMAO). Seriously, they are a gigantic, megalithic stain on this franchise and I want them out. Maybe some kind of protest to sell? It’s not like they’re gaining much by keeping this franchise.

  12. BlueWhiteLion and company:

    SERIOUSLY, how many effin times do we have to go through this?!?!?! Van Den Bergh wasn’t so much let go as he decided to leave. He has family and Dallas and a sick child there as well. It was a decision about his family; NOT A FRONT OFFICE DECISION. Man! Some people need to sit down and just read.

    As for the RBNY season: I give up. There’s no hope. I’ll just have to wait til next year…AGAIN!

  13. BlueWhiteLion: if Sounders fans vote out the GM, I assure you, the position description will be reworked so that any power in that position lies elsewhere and the “GM” will be chief bottle washer and the dude who leads the marching band, “PR” problem or not.

    Posted by: Haig

    I may be naive. I hadn’t heard of Barca’s policy (has it ever been invoked by the fans?) and thought Seattle’s adapting was a good idea. I give them a shot at following thru with what they have promised. If they don’t, then they suck and you are proven correct.

    I did have a little chuckle at your “if/then” scenario. Probably right!

    But I will still be naive and think that the idealistic promoter/owner in Drew Carey actually means what he says, and that the Sounders–who are building on fan good will, will not fudge on this.

    I can’t imagine that they would get the majority needed to fire the GM unless he really was a true/failed idiot. In that case, good riddance.

  14. JoeW and anthony505 have I right. The honchos over in Austria don’t care and/or don’t know what they’re doing. This whole thing is just an advertising billboard to them. Like I’ve said before, the best thing that could happen is for them to sell the team. Short of that, another housecleaning is in order, but it will be entirely up to chance whether the Austrians will install competent people and then do their part (marketing, promotion, stadium).

  15. bulls fans,

    this is the mls, anything can happen! i would not be that suprised if they come out next year and make the playoffs. a little bit of money and some good management can take a team far in this league unlike other leagues where table movement is difficult.

  16. BlueWhiteLion: if Sounders fans vote out the GM, I assure you, the position description will be reworked so that any power in that position lies elsewhere and the “GM” will be chief bottle washer and the dude who leads the marching band, “PR” problem or not.

    KVB said “If you guys lose to W Connection, you should just give up now and demote yourselves to USL-2. It’s embarrassing for the league. ”

    Hey, jerk, who do you mean by “you”? We’re supporters. We have nothing to do with winning or losing games or determining whether to demote the team to another league. I get the feeling you’re not really involved as a supporters with any team, or you would know that supporters are not responsible for the results of their team, just whether or not they support their team. And the ESC, despite having been treated like garbage and backing a crappy team, is second to none in the passion they have.

    So get lost.


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