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Will the Red Bulls hire Richie Williams?

Richie Williams NY ( 

Of all the decisions to be made on head coaching positions in Major League Soccer this off-season, perhaps none is being watched more carefully than the New York Red Bulls' decision on whether to keep Richie Williams as head coach.

Hiring Williams would seem like a no-brainer for a club that watched him take a hopeless team and transform it into a respectable one that posted more points in eight matches (11) than it posted in its first 22 (10). Considering it was the second time that Williams had taken a terrible Red Bulls team and whipped it into shape (he did the trick as interim head coach in 2006), you would think the Red Bulls would have broken a land speed record getting Williams a contract.

These are the Red Bulls after all, and if we have learned anything from this dysfunctional franchise, it is that even the easy decisions wind up being tough ones, and the obvious answers never seem to be such sure things.

Part of the reason the Red Bulls haven't hired Williams yet is because the person who will serve as immediate supervisor to the head coach has yet to be hired. Managing director Erik Stover will hire a new general manager before a head coach is selected, and will partner with that new GM in selecting the head coach.

So Williams' future lies in the hands of a person who has yet to be hired, and it remains unclear just how long it will take that person to be hired. The only thing that seems clear at this point is that if the Red Bulls don't hire Williams, there are several teams who will come calling for one of the most respected assistants in the league.

Which teams?


Richie Williams (

D.C. officials are claiming to not have made a decision yet on the future of Tom Soehn, but you can bet that D.C. will pounce if Williams is passed over by New York. Williams enjoyed a stellar playing career with D.C. and has already proved his ability to work with veterans and younger players. He also has pre-established relationships with veterans Jaime Moreno and Ben Olsen and has strong ties to the D.C. area.

Can you just see it now? Williams on the sidelines as D.C. head coach as D.C. topples the Red Bulls yet again? The potential scenario draws to mind the 2004 season, when the MetroStars sent a supposedly washed up Jaime Moreno to D.C. United in a trade. All Moreno did was lead D.C. to the 2004 MLS Cup title.



If Peter Vermes passes on staying as Kansas City head coach, as he stated when he first took over as interim coach, then Vermes will need to find a replacement. Chivas USA head coach Preki is at the top of Kansas City's wish list, but rumors persist that the Chicago Fire will make a major play for Preki to replace Denis Hamlett (who is a safe bet to be leaving Chicago after this season). If KC can't land Preki, and if the Red Bulls and D.C. United pass on Williams, it wouldn't be a stretch to see Vermes calling on his fellow South Jersey native for help building the Wizards into a winner.


Richie WilliamsTFC (

Mo Johnston needs a coach who knows MLS, and while his dream candidate (Stevie Nicol) remains under contract with New England, and his second choice (Paul Mariner) is in England now, Johnson could turn to the man who served as his assistant coach in New York in 2006.

The two didn't end on the best of terms when Johnston left New York, but three years have passed and Toronto FC has the talent and the resources to make Williams consider a move up north. Toronto FC has other MLS coaches it could consider, such as Chicago head coach Denis Hamlett and Houston assistant John Spencer, but Johnston will also have to consider Williams if he is available.


Those are just some of the jobs Williams will be considered for if the New York Red Bulls pass on him as head coach. One thing appears as certain as ever. Richie Williams will be an MLS head coach in 2010. What remains unclear is whether he will be the head coach of his hometown Red Bulls, leading the team into a new era in a new stadium, or if he will be the head coach of a conference rival, reminding the Red Bulls of their latest mistake over and over again.


What do you think of the Red Bulls coaching situation? Should the Red Bulls hire Williams, or should they look elsewhere?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Fire Bob Bradley! Hire Richie Williams for the MNT!

    No but seriously, RB better keep him.

    Ives, I love that you have such great photos of Williams with the key players at each of his other potential teams haha

  2. Now that the season is over, I will share what I wrote in my notebook:

    “Alfredo Pacheco looks like a hot chick with the long hair.”

    “I hope my wife is enjoying the shopping in Paramus.”

    “Angel would make a great left back.”

    “Hmm.. Dan Richards in goal. I like it.”

    “Next week…a 7-3-0 formation!”

    “Don’t Octavio Zambrano to get his tailor’s name.”

    “But milk on the way home.”

  3. For three years RB have owned the NJ team and for those three years they have effed up so badly, it’s comical. I have no faith in them doing the right thing and hire Richie Williams, but would like to be surprised in them doing at least one thing right.

  4. I think most people would agree the team looked better with Richie Williams as the coach. He seems to have the respect of the players. It would be a shame for them to throw out what little chemistry he was able to develop over the last 11 games and start all over again. I think they really need a couple playmakers in the midfield. Someone who can provide service and linking with Angel and Kandji.

    Besides the ridiculous lineups, one of Osorio’s biggest problems in the games I watched is that they didn’t try to build any possesion. The only offensive stratagy was bumping balls up for Angel and hoping he gets on the end of them.

    Seems Williams tried to correct that and I think with him as a coach and some key aquisitions this team could be a lot better than they showed this year.

  5. you beat me to it Dannyc58…The anklebiter is from Middletown….big difference between central Jersey and south Jersey (aka Pennsylvania). All good Ives!

    (SBI-I’m from Passaic, anything south of Piscataway is South Jersey. LOL)

  6. Under Williams, the Red Bulls endured a 5-game winless streak, during which they scored two goals. All he did was put players where they should play, and nothing more. He’s an average manager, and will do nothing to lead a good team in the future. RBNY should stay away.

  7. The Red Bulls should give him a one-year deal and be done with it. I have mixed feelings about Williams. He got the players yo work hard for him and achieved some decent results at home (with one stunningly good result). On the other hand, the team put in pathetic road performances in San Jose and Salt Lake, albeit with a depleted squad.

    All in all, for a club with little to no downside, I see his hiring as a no brainer.

  8. @ Matt Y.

    Williams has stated he’d like to stay and that he feels he’s done enough this season to warrant serious consideration.

    I can’t see anyone else outside of MLS (save Bob Bradley) who could take the helm of RBNY and provide competent coaching of the first team.

    Williams should get the job full-time.

  9. Even if NY wants Richie…couldn’t he just turn them down and go to another team? Or is he under contract and forced to stay with NY if they want him?

    If not…paging DC United..please fire Tommy now..and hire Mr. Williams….

  10. Red Bull please be smart and give RW the job…Twice he has taken this horrible team and put some new life in them…For once let’s give hum a fair shot and let him coach for a full season


    HAHA! jk….that guys an idiot coke freak

    he would never understand the rules and regs of MLS

    i would like a world class manager to go with Henry and a new stadium, but Richie would suite NYRB just fine i think

  12. Just curious, where is Judas Osorio anyway? His wife was so concerned about the lack of culture in Chicago. Are they bunkered down in Medellin waiting for the phone to ring?

  13. I’m no RBNY fan, but anyone with half a brain would hire Williams in NY. He knows the talent (used loosely) that is already there. He knows the league and how the US system works. I doubt they’ll find anyone with the same knowledge base. Hiring a “big” coach from abroad might sound good, but take a look and see who has been successful. It is not foreign coaches, unless they played in the MLS first.

  14. I’m a Fire fan as much crap as I give to RedBulls fans this would truly piss me off if Ritchie Williams isn’t given the job. He’s not only proven twice that he can win with this club but he’s also proven himself to be Red Bulls through and through. Truly an upgrade after the over hyped Osorio.

    See New Yorker / New Jersians @ the Stadium opening in March!!!

  15. only if JCO finally reveals to the public what he actually writes on his little notepad of his. Probably things like:

    “Kandji is not effective as a left winger…maybe his height can help as a centerback.”

    “Now that i look closer, Dane Richards needs a haircut. His head looks like a pineapple with mold on it. Better talk to him. If he doesnt listen, i will bench him”

    “Woly is a nice guy. But is he really in his 30s? The man looks older than me…should i dye my hair that color…what color is his hair….golden-silver? yes, golden-silver.”

  16. If they’re smart, NYRB will hire Williams.

    They might decide to hire a ‘glamor’ name like Gullit (how’d that work out, anyway?) to go with the opening of the new stadium.


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