Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Red Bulls Hire Coach


He is Hans Backe, a 57-year-old Swede with a nomadic coaching history. Richie Williams, who served as New York's interim coach last year after Juan Carlos Osorio's dismissal and was a candidate for the permanent job, will remain as an assistant.

Given New York's ownership (Austrian) and general manager (Norwegian), there was little doubt -- for better or worse -- that the club would end up hiring a European coach.

Backe has guided 11 clubs, most notably FC Copenhagen for four years, during which he won three Danish titles. This past fall, amid ownership issues, he lasted just two months with Notts County in England's fourth division. Backe also served as an assistant at Manchester City for Sven-Goran Eriksson, whom he later joined with Mexico's national team.

With the appointment of Backe in New York and Curt Onalfo in Washington, Chicago remains the only MLS club without a head coach. Insider sources continue to say that Mexico's Carlos de los Cobos is the favorite ahead of former DCU coach Tom Soehn.

Foreign coaches have had little success in MLS. Will Backe end that trend?

By Steve Goff  |  January 7, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Five for AC Milan
Next: Examining D.C. United's Roster



Posted by: JkR- | January 7, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

As ever, it will depend on what the team can bring in, in terms of talent. Will the team be allowed to add a DP? Henry? Will there be cap room to improve the rest of the team? They need a lot of help...and, with the exception of the Crew, all the East teams ahead of them will be making moves in hopes of improvement themselves. MLS is getting a lot tougher.

Posted by: fischy | January 7, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

as long as he uses his connections with Sven to bring in Puppet Jose then Red Bulls will be greatest champions of champion league MLS. Otherwise, total failure.

Posted by: diego_r | January 7, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse


With a negative slant on a NYRB hiring? I would have never guessed!


Posted by: Dannyc58 | January 7, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hans Backe? Wow, that's the sexy hire that's going to help them fill that new stadium after opening day next year. Well done, Red Bull.

Posted by: very_clever_username | January 7, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

This will not end well...unless you're a DC fan, that is.

Posted by: EdTheRed | January 7, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

strange hire

Posted by: rockotodd | January 7, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

given this history of foreign coaches in MLS ... another disaster in the making. MLS really needs a strong Red Bull team - I don't think they'll get it once again.

Posted by: nairbsod | January 7, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

So Scandinavia takes a couple dozen talented players who MLS should be keeping, and gives the league in return...this guy?

At least we've got Ljungberg for another year.

Posted by: StanShmenge | January 7, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Those Copenhagen titles seem an awfully long time ago and weren't so impressive anyway, given the advantages Copenhagen clubs have over the rest of the Danish league. He must give great interviews.

OT: US u-18 Gale Agboussoumonde apparently signed with Braga, joining Greg Garza, Samir Badr, and Kamani Hill in the Portuguese league. Is Portugal becoming the new Norway? Better food, climate, and music anyway.

Posted by: troy6 | January 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

New experienced coach, new stadium, Juan Pablo Angel, owners with money, why not?

Posted by: OWNTF | January 7, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse


With a negative slant on a NYRB hiring? I would have never guessed!


Posted by: Dannyc58 | January 7, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Then get back to SBI Danny boy. Ives actually used more space explaining why this is such a Meh move. Are you griping over there too?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 7, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Welcome Hans. The Red Bulls have a long and illustrious tradition you must work hard to keep.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | January 7, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Can we trade the NY/NJ MetroStars our coach for their stadium?



Posted by: jayrockers | January 7, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

very doubtful, but what do I know ... I merely comment on blogs

Posted by: beergorila | January 7, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful stadium, clueless management. I'm so glad I'm not a Metrotard fan!

Posted by: boda-united | January 7, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I predict Richie will be named interim head coach in September :-)

Posted by: dcufan | January 7, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna ask this question the next post as well. Is it possible for DC to lure back Bryan Arguez, who has been without a club for a while? What about Needham? I heard he was considering MLS on another blog. These seem like just the type of players we need.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

if someone offered me that coach, i would just hans him backe.

Posted by: asfoolasiam | January 7, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon, have you seen those 2 play recently? Not sure why you think they are so valuable?

Posted by: JkR- | January 7, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 7, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Won't make a difference.

Posted by: alan19 | January 7, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 7, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tidbits on Needham on wiki:

In August, he was selected one of the 1st Division's top foreign players by Football Magazine Norway. In September, the New York Times Soccer Blog named Needham one of the top 11 American uncapped players in Europe.

Jay Needham is currently out of contract and exploring playing options for next season.

Posted by: Reignking | January 7, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention they will be released at the MLS draft but not available to purchase until Feb.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit, when I saw Goff's tweet, I laughed to myself. I thought two things: 1) awesome name; 2) who is this guy?!

Posted by: asnoel | January 7, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Curious to see how Hans Backe plays out. MLS is soooo unique. The best part of this announcement is that Williams will be retained as assistant. He knows the league!

Posted by: PremSoccerShop | January 7, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@WashDips, Dude! I already posted that link in the last thread!:)
This post on Big Soccer may be of interest to someone who just can't wait til February:

Posted by: DadRyan | January 7, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

which thread? well I posted again for those who didnt see it like myself

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 7, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about the Red Bulls hiring outside of MLS, but I think this is good for the league.

You're never going to get new blood into the league unless you hire people without MLS experience.

Right now, pretty much all of the leagues coaches either started with the league in 1996, played for an MLS team, or were hired as assistant coaches from the college circles.

That means, to some extent, we're seeing coaching in-breeding. Just ask yourself how many coaches (and assistant coaches) in this league have played for, or coached with Bruce Arena?

At least the Red Bulls are looking for something new (and that's still with Richie Williams, another Bruce Arena protege, as an assistant).

Posted by: TCompton | January 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

What, Fernando Clavijo wasn't available?

Hopefully Mr. Backe understands the importance of keeping RBNY at their exalted level. If so, he'll probably be rewarded by being let go mid-September.

Posted by: CDRHoek | January 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

JkR- Haven't seen Needham play recently, but he's been playing in a few leagues, but I just read DC aren't interested. Still, we need defensive cover.

Also, did you not see the u-20 world cup? The only players who did themselves any justice were Jared Jeffrey, Mikel Diskerud, Dilly Duka, and Bryan Arguez, who provided a big boost against Cameroon, including scoring. He would be a valuable pickup, as he's about a sure thing right now as any in the first round of the draft.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 7, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: UnitedDemon

Thx for the update; I missed Arguez in what little I saw of the u-20's.

Posted by: JkR- | January 7, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Richie will be the head coach by July

Posted by: assgaffer | January 7, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I hate to burst the bubble about Arguez, but isn't his attitude a big part of why he's been lacking playing time and getting shipped around to different clubs? We don't need locker room cancer.

Posted by: TassieTiger | January 7, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Then get back to SBI Danny boy. Ives actually used more space explaining why this is such a Meh move. Are you griping over there too?

Posted by: DadRyan | January 7, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Dannyc58 | January 7, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't know why it didn't post above, but what I said was:

I am fine with any opinions on the hire, I don't know how it will go...but I think Goff had yet again uneeded digs at the NYRB and their fans. Just my opinion, which I'm entitled to.

Posted by: Dannyc58 | January 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what part of Goff's post would qualify as a dig at New York supporters. His post simply states the obvious about having question marks about a club who's hiring guys who probably know very little about the nooks and crannies of MLS.

All that aside, I really can not wait for the schedule to come out, and CBA drama to get ironed out so I can plan for a trip up to the new RBA. It looks gorgeous. You guys are lucky.

Where is Mastodon Juan BTW? I remember you talking about some good eats round the way near the new diggs... You must refresh us before the season starts big guy.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 7, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse


I agree that MLS will, at some point, need coaches with new ideas and from different backgrounds to grow as a league. I'm guessing the skepticism for this particular appointment is mostly based on NY's lengthy string of failures.


Nitpicking, but I have to disagree about the u20s even having 4 players distinguish themselves. Duka did do well, and Arguez made an impact, but Diskerud was average at best and Jeffrey was, at least to me, a huge disappointment (like the rest of that Brek Shea is getting Euro interest now is utterly beyond me).

As for Arguez's value to DC United, I'm with TassieTiger. There's a reason someone of his ability and potential never got on the field in 2007, and why Hertha Berlin was willing to wipe their hands clean of him even after his u20 performance.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 7, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan, try the Hot Spot, a Portuguese restaurant in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood. I ate there in November (watched first leg of Portugal-Bosnia World Cup qualifying playoff match). There are other good restaurants in Ironbound.

Posted by: billindmd | January 8, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company