Andy Roxburgh

Red Bulls director Roxburgh, Henry comment on retirement rumors

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When Thierry Henry left the pitch in Portland during this week’s MLS All Star Game against Bayern Munich, the substitution had all the feeling of a goodbye.

The crowd went nuts for Titi, whose rumored retirement has been a story since Gerard Houllier speculated that the Frenchman was ready to step away from soccer.

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Landon Donovan’s surprise retirement announcement gave the press reason to spring more retirement questions on Henry this Friday, and both the striker and his sporting director, Andy Roxburgh, laid out their thoughts on the matter.

From MLSSoccer.com, here’s Roxburgh:

“I don’t feel any urgency, but we’re both grown up enough to understand that it wouldn’t be wise to be sitting here in December and say, ‘Maybe we should talk.’ We’re talking all the time. I’ve got a good idea of the way it’s going, he’s got a good idea as well, but we won’t come out and publicly declare anything just yet.”

And the player himself:

“Some of my friends are telling me that I still look fit. I don’t feel fit after games, though, but it is what it is,” said Henry when asked if seeing Landon Donovanretire at 32 has made him think about life after the game. “You have to respect anyone’s decision. I said to you, as long as I can run, I will keep on playing. Sometimes it’s not only down to your body, it’s also what’s happening up there in your head.

“We’ll see. I still feel fresh, somehow, after a lot of games in my career. But I’m okay still so far.”

Henry, 36, has slowed down very little, and his creativity was still quite evident in the All-Star Game. He’s posted 10 assists to go with four goals this year, and has played a major part in the boatload of goals scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips thusfar. It would be tremendous to see him stick around for one more year, if just to help the Red Bulls/NYC FC rivalry off the ground (Lampard vs. Henry? Let’s do this). But if he goes — even without a title — no one can deny that Titi’s voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was anything short of a success.

Report: Red Bulls director says Ronaldinho rumors are hogwash

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New York Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh has categorically denied the rumors of his club signing Ronaldinho in one of the most complete and emphatic denials in a while.

In fact, Roxburgh’s talk with BigAppleSoccer.com goes even further in its clarifications on the Brazilian’s rumored move to Major League Soccer: it wasn’t even in his mind until he saw the report.

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And the Red Bulls wouldn’t be interested, anyway:

From BigAppleSoccer.com:

“Nobody has ever approached us. We haven’t been approached by anybody mentioning Ronaldinho,” Roxburgh told BigAppleSoccer.com. “And the name suddenly cames at us and the answer is no…

“All I’m saying is this, as the sporting director of this club, and I can speak also on behalf of my other colleagues in the business, we have not been approached about him. Nobody has offered us Ronaldinho. No one has said ‘How much money?’

“I saw his name but I’ve never talked to Ronaldinho or his people or made any offers. And the answer is we wouldn’t be doing it anyway. It’s not a matter of did we or didn’t we? Or who spoke to him or who didn’t speak to him? A great player by the way, fantastic player by the way. He’s not for here.”

Silly season at its finest.

Red Bulls snag veteran Spanish defender Armando

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After using consecutive draft picks on defenders, the Red Bulls continue to address their back line with the addition of well-traveled Spanish defender Armando Lozano.

The 29-year-old is a former captain of Barcelona’s B side, for which appeared 51 times from 2009-12, scoring twice.

Known just as “Armando,” his arrival comes from Cordoba in Spain’s second division. He’s also spent time at Malaga, Levante, and Cartagena playing seasons mostly in Spain’s second and third divisions, with some time in La Liga.

“Armando provides us with another experienced option at center back, and we are delighted to have agreed to terms with him,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a club statement. “He has played at a good level for many years, serving as the captain for Barcelona’s B team in the past, and we are excited to bring his leadership and technical qualities to our club.”

Armando joins a relatively-old backfield, with 33-year-old Ugandan defender Ibrahim Sekagya (eight matches) and 32-year-old Colombian defender Jamison Olave (27 starts). Kosuke Kamura, Roy Miller and Connor Lade are also in the fray, while New York drafted Wake Forest’s Chris Duvall and Akron’s Eric Stevenson last week.

New York Red Bulls ready to move on Gary McAllister as new coach

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UPDATE: New York denies McAllister’s received offer

The number of head coaching vacancies in Major League Soccer is about to be cut in half. That’s because Gary McAllister, long-linked with the job in Harrison, appears set to be named head coach of the New York Red Bulls.

An announcement could happen as early as today, with a formal unveiling expected later this week.

McAllister’s last long term head coaching job was with Leeds United in 2008. With only caretaker stints at Aston Villa (where he was an assistant) between then a now, there’s little to say what he’ll bring to Red Bull area.

He’s Scottish, has a long history in the English game (playing for Leicester City, Leeds, Coventry City, and Liverpool), and is being brought in by two men (Andy Roxburgh and Gerard Houllier) hiring him based on his time in British football. Draw whatever stereotyping conclusions you want from that. They may be correct.

Given the wait-and-see approach we’ll have to take regarding McAllister’s on-field contributions, the most interesting parts of this story are …

  • a.) Now only Montreal is left without a coach. At last rumble, Impact owner Joey Saputo’s list was down to two candidates.
  • b.) FOX Soccer personality and U.S. Men’s National Team legend Eric Wynalda had talked with the team about the job. That Roxburgh and Houllier went in a different direction shows they have no aspirations to make my life as easy as possible.
  • c.) McAllister initially wanted $2 million to take the job, which sounds perfectly reasonable for an coach with limited managerial experience moving to a league with financial constraints that’s notoriously hard on imported coaches.

Steve’s talked about the foreign coach phenomenon, while I tend to take every opportunity I can to denounce Anglophilia in North American soccer culture. So on the surface, there is a lot for PST to dislike about this move.

But McAllister is a respected name, and not only because of his 23-year playing career or his 57 caps for Scotland. He has earned enough coaching credibility that a boss’s job was inevitable. That he’s elected to take one in Major League Soccer rather than descending the Football League’s ladder could prove a good lifestyle and career move. Success at a club with New York’s profile would be noticed back home (thanks to Thierry Henry).

Whether McAllister finds that success will depend on his willingness to adapt the the landscape. It’s been two short years since an Englishman led a club to a title (Gary Smith with Colorado in 2010). That will be the expectation in New York.