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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 02/28/2011

New York Red Bulls fire assistant coaches

By Steve Goff

Just two weeks before the start of the MLS season, the New York Red Bulls have fired longtime assistant coaches Richie Williams and Des McAleenan, multiple sources told the Insider on Monday. One source said the reason was repeated violation of club rules. Another cited punctuality.

Williams, a former D.C. United midfielder, has served the Red Bulls for five-plus seasons and is listed as head coach Hans Backe's top assistant. McAleenan, the goalkeepers coach, has been with the MLS club for more than 10 years.

Asked whether the team was making changes to the coaching staff, a team spokesman said he did not want to comment. The Red Bulls seem likely to address the issue this evening. The club's only other assistant is Jan Halvor Halvorsen, who was hired in January.

UPDATE: The Red Bulls have confirmed the dismissals. "As an organization, we decided to go a different direction with our coaching staff," GM Erik Soler said in a written statement.

By Steve Goff  | February 28, 2011; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  | Tags:  MLS, New York Red Bulls  
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Next: Tuesday kickaround: CONCACAF Champions League, D.C. United, Julius James, Shalrie Joseph, USA tickets, Americans abroad, TV listings

Comments

Certainly didn't see this coming. Obviously makes you wonder what the rules were. Drinking Monster?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | February 28, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they were let go for coming down with an illness known as Metro Playoff Fever

Posted by: Pete803 | February 28, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Elsewhere - NY Cosmos announce hiring of Richie Williams and Des McAleenan.

Posted by: inzzo79 | February 28, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ben has Ritchie coming down to join him on the sidelines at RFK.

Posted by: alecw81 | February 28, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

repeated violation of club rules.
========

Des's Midnight Run-ins?

Posted by: OWNTF | February 28, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Certainly didn't see this coming. Obviously makes you wonder what the rules were. Drinking Monster?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish

Maybe someone pulled a Harkes.

Posted by: Reignking | February 28, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Jan Halvor Halvorsen is a great name

Posted by: fedssocr | February 28, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

It's no Jan Vennegor of Hesselink.

Posted by: Reignking | February 28, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ben has Ritchie coming down to join him on the sidelines at RFK.

Posted by: alecw81
-----------------------
Please no. We've had enough nepotism. Didn't work real well with our last coach who used to play for United. What was his name? And if he had a discipline problem as a coach then for sure we don't need him ;)

Posted by: dsheon1 | February 28, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they were let go for coming down with an illness known as Metro Playoff Fever

Posted by: Pete803 | February 28, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------------------------------------

And for that there's only one prescription: more pink cow bell.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 28, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

This is terrible for both of these guys. Richie Williams has always been a real asset for the Red Bulls and done well for them when they didn't deserve him. McAleenan has consistently produced good GK's. And firing assistants for stuff like punctuality...this reads to me like Becke just decided he wanted his own guys on the staff and no longer needed MLS expertise but couldn't fire them on the basis of incompetence or major philosophical differences so instead you look for something ticky-tack to fire 'em on.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 28, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked....

Posted by: cray | February 28, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Dexy's MIdnight Runners????

Posted by: fischy | February 28, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's just a situation where the Head Coach and his assistants simply locked horns.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 28, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they were let go for coming down with an illness known as Metro Playoff Fever

Posted by: Pete803 | February 28, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------------------------------------

And for that there's only one prescription: more pink cow bell.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 28, 2011 6:09 PM |

-----

+100

Posted by: SportzNut21 | February 28, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Expect Richie to find his way to Bruce's world or to DC. If you're one of Bruce's boys, you're one of KP's.

Posted by: lgm6986 | February 28, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Long time asst coaches?"

How long was Richie over there? 2-4 seasons, if I remember correctly.

Posted by: delantero | February 28, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

It sure sounds like at some point there was some Back(e?) stabbing going on one way or the other.

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | February 28, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye Dave Kasper, hello Richie Williams.

Seriously, he has a history with the club, and he's way more talented and studious than Kasper. This would be a coup.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | February 28, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised. My recollection may be faulty, but I thought Richie had a pretty good record on those occasions when he was acting head coach. Any idea on whether Backe felt threatened? There's got to be more to this story.

Posted by: carnack | February 28, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Richie and MacAleenan were caught drinking...

wait for it)

5-Hour Energy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 28, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Crap. Just realized that Jacob made that joke a lot earlier. Must better read.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 28, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

19 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | February 28, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Julius James signed with the Crew.

Warzycha: “James is a very good defender one against one. He’s very vocal and aggressive and puts everything he has into the game. He will be a good addition to the team.”

Posted by: benonthehill | February 28, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

This strikes me as a classless move by NYRB. It is their right to fire coaches, but even if the dubious "causes" are true, it was not nesessary to make them public.

Posted by: Ron16 | February 28, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

@Ron -- I kinda disagree. When a team makes a move like this in the middle of preseason, they are a bit obligated to explain it to fans.

Posted by: fischy | February 28, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Good for Julius James, I wish him the best except when he's playing against DC.

As far as Richie Williams' firing, count me among the skeptics. Why can't the Red Bulls just say "our coach wanted new assistants" instead of these vague and accusatory innuendos?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | February 28, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

ummm, Goff said 'sources' said that it was disciplinary issues, not 'team sources.' For all we know it was players, or former players, or a stadium staffer listening outside the door, or even somebody affiliated witht he released coaches.

when you assume...

Posted by: teo_68 | March 1, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

ummm, Goff said 'sources' said that it was disciplinary issues, not 'team sources.' For all we know it was players, or former players, or a stadium staffer listening outside the door, or even somebody affiliated witht he released coaches.

when you assume...

Posted by: teo_68 | March 1, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

While we're still rambling...

This just in: Player kicks owl on the pitch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI30u6qN9jE

The owl's head moves just before! Horrific!

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Williams have some discipline issue with Richmond too?

Posted by: neil_g | March 1, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Ow!

Hoo made that joke?

Posted by: Reignking | March 1, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I-270, I believe you won the best eyes rolling expression contest brought on by Dadryan

" %-/ "

Well done, sir.

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

OT, but great news if true: Concacaf will have four spots in 2014.

http://www.canadiansoccernews.com/content.php?1242-CSA-sources-Four-2014-World-Cup-spots-for-CONCACAF

I've had nightmares ever since they announced the new qualifying format, in which we draw Costa Rica in the final group, lose badly at Saprissa as usual, finish second, end up playing off against Mexico who also failed to win their group, get blown up in the Azteca, and end up fighting for our World Cup lives in Bogota or Quito.

This should put an end to those.

Posted by: BooThisMan | March 1, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

@fischy: No, they are not. Teams fire coaches for off-field issues, and the normal procedure is they keep their mouth shut about whatever behavioral issue that gave rise to it.

That said, I do have to backtrack a bit, I took NYRB to task, but there was nothing in their official statement about behavioral issues. These are unnmaned sources, so this is nothing more than workplace rumors for all we know. I should have read more carefully.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 1, 2011 6:45 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I-270, I believe you won the best eyes rolling expression contest brought on by Dadryan
" %-/ "
Well done, sir.
Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 12:22 AM
==========

Thank you redskinsux and the Soccer Insider Academy for this honor. I would also like to thank Fox Soccer Channel for airing those tardive dyskinesia lawyer ads ad nauseum. They prompted my twisted mind to think "What would a tardive dyskinesia emoticon look like?" and that prepared me for the eye-rolling emoticon.

(and the Hathaway girl goes "Whoo whoo-whoo whoo-whoo. Whoo whoo whoo whoo whoo-whoo whoo-whoo)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 1, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

19 days until United's first 2011 league match! Posted by: Curious99

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Love these updates but......can you please include hours and minutes? (Seconds are irrelivent as 50 seconds can pass from the time you press submit)

Posted by: 9Nine9 | March 1, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I-270, I believe you won the best eyes rolling expression contest brought on by Dadryan
" %-/ "
Well done, sir.
Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 12:22 AM
==========

Thank you redskinsux and the Soccer Insider Academy for this honor. I would also like to thank Fox Soccer Channel for airing those tardive dyskinesia lawyer ads ad nauseum. They prompted my twisted mind to think "What would a tardive dyskinesia emoticon look like?" and that prepared me for the eye-rolling emoticon.

(and the Hathaway girl goes "Whoo whoo-whoo whoo-whoo. Whoo whoo whoo whoo whoo-whoo whoo-whoo)
-------------------------------------------------

I think I speak for everyone on SI when I say thank you for gracing us with your presence. (Applause)

Posted by: redskinsux | March 1, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

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