Have you ever coached Pee Wee soccer? Are you looking for work in the NYC/NJ area? If you answered "yes" to those two questions, the New York Red Bulls might have the perfect job for you.
The new Red Bulls administration is off to somewhat of a rough start. First, the team was unceremoniously bounced from the 2012 Major League Soccer Playoffs by rivals DC United. Now, according to various reports, the franchise has twice failed to land a new head coach.
This story begins with the 2012 holiday season. Numerous stories posted on sports websites throughout December linked Gary McAllister, who worked under current Red Bulls Head of Global Soccer Gérard Houllier at Aston Villa, with the club, and the popular thought at the time was that McAllister would be introduced as the team's newest head coach at the start of 2013. That didn't happen for whatever reasons, however, as it was reported on January 2 that the team had not extended an offer to McAllister.
Just a few days after those reports, ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas claimed that former Portuguese international Paulo Sousa was set to take the job. That rumor intensified once Sousa resigned as manager of Hungarian side Videoton FC. Sousa cited family reasons for his decision to leave Videoton, but websites such as MLSSoccer.com and Hungarian Football reported that he was to be the man to replace Hans Backe at RBNY.
Then came yesterday evening, when a story posted on the website for Portuguese publication O Jogo claimed that Sousa was out of the running for the Red Bulls gig. That brief piece claimed that the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. The Red Bulls have thus far declined to comment on this matter.
So what now for New York? Rumors linking current Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert and FOX Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda with the Red Bulls began swirling on the Internet Tuesday night. The Lambert story seems to have been debunked by BBC Sport, who has since claimed that Lambert will keep his job even if Villa are relegated. Wynalda was interim head coach of North American Soccer League side Atlanta Silverbacks in 2012, and he currently serves as technical director at that same club. Former RBNY player Mike Petke is the team's current interim head coach. Petke has never before coached a MLS team, and multiple sources with knowledge of the situation informed me earlier this month that the Red Bulls are not currently looking for a "work in progress" to lead the team.
The way things are going at the moment, however, the club may not have much a choice.
This story can obviously be spun many ways, such as that the Red Bulls want to be 100 percent positive that they find the right coach to lead this team to glory in 2013, or that the club wants to acquire somebody who will definitely be the coach for years to come. With high profile players such as Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill in the team, the Red Bulls will again be "MLS Cup or bust" this upcoming season. They're also a team that doesn't know who will be calling the shots on the sidelines starting in March.
Unless, that is, they already have their future head coach in Petke.