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Report: Sousa denied work permit, Fraser being lined up as RBNY assistant


The New York Red Bulls head coaching search took some serious twists and turns in recent weeks, and for a time it was unclear just what circumstances led to the sudden hiring of Mike Petke has Red Bulls head coach.

Now we have a clearer picture of what went wrong after the New York Post reported on Friday that leading candidate Paulo Sousa had his application for a work permit rejected after agreeing to take the Red Bulls head coaching job.

SBI reported a week ago that Sousa had accepted the job, and all signs pointed to him stepping into the Red Bulls role before the work permit rejection left Sousa out and left the Red Bulls scrambling for a solution.

The New York Post is also reporting that former Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser is being lined up to become Petke’s lead assistant coach.

What do you think of these developments? Think the Red Bulls might have caught a break by missing out on Sousa? See Fraser being a good fit for the Red Bulls coaching staff?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. May RB should hire someone with international work permit experience. I feel sorry for them. It’s not that they are not trying, they simply don’t make the right moves. Petke and Fraser are on borrowed time but given the Red Bulls luck they will actually win, and then get fired for a international coach who will come in and screw it up.

  2. The Red Bulls really messed this up!!!!
    How are they unable to find a coach well before the combine, get another manager a visa, have another coachs quit, and then to top it off state we found our guy that was here all along. Someone should be getting fired!!!!!!!!
    While everyone is hoping that Petke brings them to the promise land, let’s be realistic! This poor guy has inherited a team with no chemistry, a defensive side that crumbles under pressure, a midfield that has been traded away, an attacking core that doesn’t get along or at least one superstar that wants to insult them at every turn, oh and a bunch of new guys that won everything before they came to Red Bulls but have been offloaded by teams that believe that these same players are just well past their prime.
    the only positive is that Petke went to the draft and picked up players that he saw were talanted. Here is to hoping that he plays them because he is not Backe.

    So to clarify. The red bulls got themselves an american coach which is what the pundits wanted, but he has minimal experience, and is inherited a team that is damaged, and is in need of resolving the ultimate red bull conumdrum, who is the attacking midfielder that will run the offense. In a team that seems to call for a championship every year, lets hope that management realizes that they have created a classic rebuilding year and hope we at least squeeze into the playoffs Good Luck!!!!!!

  3. I always wonder how a guy like Fraser feels about going from being a head coach to #2, especially when the #1 has less head coaching experience. Things that make you go hmmm….

      • Huh? “[T]heir weakest squad in years”? How do you figure that? The roster features Henry, Cooper, Espindola, Cahill, McCarty, Lade, Barklage, Pearce, Holgersson, Sam, Juninho, several good ‘keepers.

      • Did you just woke up from coma it’s not 2009 anymore …it’s 2013 and the squad looks pretty good on paper , with 8 more roster spots to be filled. This is by far the best squad that we EVER had and we aren’t done yet…look at the stats from last year , just 3 forwards have 42 goals last year in MLS . Add creativity of Juninho and his scoring ability , I say wow if they all gel together be very afraid who ever you are .

  4. The two defender thing in the coaching staff didn’t work too well at Chivas with Fraser & Vanney…don’t see it working in NY either. MLs is a fast physical league with very little attacking creativity. The couple of teams that do attack well (LA & Hou) end up the final every year.

    • Houston and L.A. are very experienced sides who are well coached and have great chemistry with one another. They are amongst the few teams that rotate their squads oftenly , usually they just add 2 or 3 new players a year. Teams like Barca have players who play with each other on the first team for years (and in the youth teams sometimes) and most of the players have familiarity by having guys from the same nation. In MLS and most other leagues, the clubs that do not break apart their squad’s consistently or coaches ( Toronto,NYRB), they tend to have the most success. Petke and the F.O. need to ensure squad stability, and less turnover unless things just aren’t working.

    • lol did you just say Houston attacks well while also leaving NY, Seattle, and SJ out of the list of teams that attack well? Houston was 6th in MLS in scoring and is much better known for its defense. SJ outscored LA by 13 goals last year. NY was just 2 goals behind LA(and that was considered “not good enough”) Seattle has great flair in the attack and was also ahead of Houston in scoring. Just an all around silly post, euroman.

      • I agree his logic was off based on the stats.

        One of the best coaching tandems involved Nicol a defender and Mariner a forward. It would be stronger if he had a forward or offensive midfielder working with the team.

      • Houston’s GF is decent but not exceptional. SJ has 150% of our 48 (72). People here often grumble the offense is insufficiently diversified. Too much emphasis on crosses and deadballs. If you look at our seed I think it reflects the plodding offense and a willingness to churn out points, ie, “ties.”

        However, in a lot of playoff games, I think a deliberate-style 442 is the tactically sound way to approach games. Conservative, feel them out. Which is why Houston normally gives people trouble in October. Some of the pretty 433 teams or aggressive offenses struggle in a more halfcourt, physical playoff style, just like teams that can’t play halfcourt struggle in the NBA playoffs.

        But, what has typically happened since the last title is we eventually hit a team like LAG that can breach the defense and are unable to shift gears, make tactical adjustments, score more than one goal. It’s a team designed to frontrun and frustrate. I think Arena does a better job of recruiting attackers and of treating offense less as a means to an end. 59 regular season goals and 3 in the final.

    • I hear you on wanting more balance and not having all your coaches having played a similar position. I think variety leads to balance which is always good. Usually the best teams are just that; a mix of veterans, young players, role players and stars in the defense and the attack.

      However, I think it is wrong to assume that just because a coach was a defender that the team will be a defensive team. That would be like assuming a forward will coach an attacking team at the detriment of the defense simply because they were a forward as a player. But again, I hear your concern for more balance.

  5. I think Fraser did well at Chivas. He seemed to make all the right moves, with good picks, great signings, I just think that the club didn’t completely support him fully. That being said, he was one of my favorite players growing up, and he’s a great, well spoke, inspirational dude off the field, so i’m sure he will fit the position as assistant well, until he can give another go at being front man.

  6. I demand to know the MLS soccer affiliations of the US State Department.

    …Actually, it’d be fun to find this information for all the government bureaucrats. Surely there’s a federal betting pool.

  7. So to get a work permit, you have to show you can do the job better than x% of Americans right? So perhaps the immigration office looked at his history of jobs, see that he can’t keep a job for long, and said he wasn’t qualified?

    • I think this is exactly what happens. it is in the business I’m in and we apply for a lot of visas in the entertainment arena (disclaimer – the visa we apply for may not be the same as what Sousa applied for).

    • Nope. No such requirement for a work visa (Green Card is a different thing). You just have to show the USCIS that the person is qualified for the role. If he’s never coached, that’s one thing, but he does have a history. It’s possible that he didn’t reach a high enough threshold to satisfy the initial screen and was denied. They may not have wanted to fight or ran out of appeals.

      You don’t have to advertise or consider other candidates for an O-1 visa (I am assuming that’s what they went after).

      I don’t usually see denials in the sports field, but mostly it’s about criminal activities.

    • Nope, not even close. You are thinking of a Labor Certification for a green card that requires employers to show that there are no minimally qualified US workers available regardless of whether the foreigner is “better” than minimally qualified. You would never do that for an MLS coach and it would take years to complete. They were probably getting a P-1 or O-1. Sousa should easily qualify for an O-1 unless he had some kind of issue with criminal history or other ground of inadmissibility unrelated to his professional qualifications.

      • Since the Red Bull FO couldn’t advise Luke Rodgers correctly on renewing his visa or at least applying for one that would last through a playoff run, the thought is crossing my mind that they just messed up Paulo’s application. We’ll never get the full story anyway so what’s the use questioning it.

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