Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By DAVE MARTINEZ
New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe will be able to count on Luke Rodgers after all.
After suffering a lapse in his U.S. visa status that left his future with the Red Bulls up in the air, the English striker is no longer a question mark entering the 2012 MLS season after having his visa approved and renewed. Rodgers used social media to personally announce that his application for a visa went through, and the Red Bulls officially confirmed that Tuesday morning. Rodgers will be rejoining the Red Bulls in Cancun, where the team is currently holding its preseason training.
Rodgers featured in only 23 matches (20 as a starter) for the Red Bulls last season, but few players made the kind of impact the diminutive striker did. He tallied nine goals throughout 2011, good for second-most on the team. Of his nine goals, four were of the game-winning variety – the most of any Red Bull player. Perhaps most importantly, Rodgers found a kinship with team captain Thierry Henry, forming one of the most lethal striking combinations in the league. His impressive play lead him to be a finalist for the MLS Newcomer of the Year award.
Rodgers will be joining a crowded field of forwards that currently includes Henry, the newly acquired Kenny Cooper and U.S. forward Juan Agudelo. Nevertheless, his availability comes as good news for a Red Bulls side that continues to put the pieces together for a 2012 run.
What do you think of this development?
Share your thoughts below.
Agudelo could also use Rodgers’ sanity and cool under pressure attitude…wait…no.
Swagudelo to the Earthquakes is my dream. Is there 1% chance that could happen?
Troll anywhere for players like this. He is the perfect fit for NY…A key player that was missed when he went down.
He played mainly in the first half of the season. In the 2nd half, he barely played. With the addition of Cooper there is a chance he’ll play even less. In Europe there’s a more sensible system of a full reserve league and borrowing players from the youth team to the full team.
Point taken Eddie, he won’t always pick the best 11. The point I’m making is that for a guy like Agudelo, he has so much natural ability that he probably never had to practice hard to earn a starting role. Now it’s different, and he needs to bring his A game every day to practice, which is probably hard to do since he’s still just a kid. If he does that, he’ll get a lot more playing time.
I’ve read in a couple places that he practices much differently with the national team that he does for the Red Bulls. Now with the forwards they have on the team, he really needs to take it to the next level to force his way into the starting 11.
It’s also worth noting, that I really like the kid and I want to see him play. But I can understand why he doesn’t get the time he wants if there are issues we as fans don’t see…
The defense was lacking…problem solved this year though. They still have to find a player similar to De Ro. They were on fire with him in the team.
Just because Backe wants to win games that doesn’t mean he makes the right decisions to make that happen. Remind me again how many wins RBNY had last season with all that talent?
Long-time RBNY/Metro ticketholder here … yes, I want Agudelo to play because I’ve seen enough promise from him to warrant consistent minutes. he’s not going to get better sitting on the bench, and the Red Bull organization is not equipped to develop players. I would rather he go elsewhere and get minutes than sit on the bench for the clueless Backe.
When KFC gets hot, he is one of the best in the league. He’s a streky player similar to Edson Buddle. He will get his chances with this group, no doubt.
+1….Juan Ag is lucky to be in NY learning from a guy like Henry. He could also use some of Rodgers’ work rate and determination.
on a short loan.
ha! good one landycakes!
Keen eye for the obvious. Not comparing who is a better player if thats where your going with this. Just pointing out what an elitist tool Landon is pretending he doesnt know who Luke Rodgers is.
He played in 27 first team games last year for 1364 minutes which is more then half a game per appearance. You want him to go rot in the reserves of a European team instead of playing actual first team games for the Red Bulls?
The perception he doesn’t play is overstated. probably the other 7 regular season game he didn’t appear in had to do with international duty. People need to relax. He gets PT. If Henry and Rogers weren’t actually scoring goals when they play i could understand the complaints but he is a 19 year old playing behind one of the best strike partnerships in the league.
or maybe he’s too busy plying his trade presently in Rodgers native country’s highest level of competition.
Thats because Landon doesnt think about anything besides himself.
In Europe, young players that don’t start have practice and about 38 reserve games compared to 12 in MLS. Which one do you think is better?
NYRB Invented developing players… quiet down
The guy is a baller and brawler! Just the type of tenacious pug the MLS needs to troll the bottom of the EPL and top of Coca Cola for.
Can’t wait for the photo ops with Luke standing next to Cooper.
This year Agudelo will have plenty of opportunities assuming he makes the U-23 team, and gets called into the Nats. And Rodgers and Henry are both injury prone, so I think he’ll get some playing time with the Red Bulls as well.
I also agree with other posters above in that Juan needs to ensure he’s giving everything he has in practice everyday. Make Backe put him on the field. Backe may not rate him, but Backe wants to win games, and if Agudelo is earning the playing time, he’ll get on the field.
He has a fair chance to change the coaches mind everyday in training.
I agree. This poor Juan Agudelo and Free Agudelo nonsense needs to stop. He is talented and a great prospect even on the international level but he needs to earn the right to be on the field and last year the Red Bulls won games when Rogers was on the field not Agudelo.
If Backe doesn’t rate him then he needs to go into training on a daily basis and change his mind.
I’m not a Agudelo fan but I believe he needs a fair chance to develop. Unfortunately, MLS doesn’t have a good enough program to develop players. For a young player, unless you start, you don’t play enough games. The reserve league is only about 12 games when it needs to be about 38. If MLS has 3 to 4 youth teams that can play a full schedule, why can’t the reserve team?
YESSSSSSS!! look, i love Agudelo as much as the next USMNT fan, but Luke was THE key for my Bulls last year. We were a much better team with him on the field with Henry, and this coupled with the Lindpere resigning…there’s hope in RB land once again! (the season always starts that way for us, huh? haha)
Landon Donovan still isn’t sure who Luke Rodgers is.
If this was the team I support, I’d be extremely concerned with their idea of what Kenny Cooper brings to the table.
See you next year Juan, because we definitely won’t be seeing you this season.
OH CRAP SON!
LUKE IS BACK! HEY LANDON, BETTER START COMPLAINING TO THE REFS NOW!
/caps lock off
Seriously, his high pressure is absolutely necessary for the Red Bulls to succeed. It’s hard to find a guy who can simply finish and that is what he does.
i’m confused; who’s luke rogers?
Enough with this already! When Agudelo shows that his being on the field helps the Red Bulls win, then he’ll get playing time. The team owes him nothing more than that.
If this was the team that you support, would you want the 11 players on the field that give you the best chance of winning? Or would you be advocating that your team lose games so that they can offer a development opportunity to players that are not as productive?
Hopefully he stays healthy most of the season. Glad to hear he’s back. He’s a good villain for non RB fans.
what social media? Is he on twitter?
When asked by a reporter what the first thing he’s going to do to celebrate, Rodgers responded, “I’m going to go out, get smashed, wreck my car and start a fight with a police officer.”
Juan Agudelo needs to go play for a club interested in developing players and have the capabilities to do so. Houston or Dallas would be good fits in the MLS. After that he should look abroad. The guys is being hard done by in New York
Henry, Rodgers, Cooper and Agudelo…maybe Backe will actually use his subs this year?
CAP HIM!!! oh wait…
Best RBNY news along with Lindpere extension. RBNY 2012 baby!