Chris Armas

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Red Bulls fall again, on the road at New England

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The defending champions are struggling under new management, and so are the defending Supporters Shield winners.

New York remains with just five points on the season after falling at Eastern Conference rivals New England 1-0 on Saturday. On a rainy night in Gillette Stadium, there was just enough offense for the hosts to squeak by, while the visitors had no end product on a forgettable evening.

After a listless first half that featured little for fans to savor, New England bagged the winning moment with 17 minutes to go. On the break, substitute Cristian Penilla blasted a right-footed shot past Luis Robles in somewhat innocuous fashion. It’s one the goalkeeper will want back, and given the 21 total shots on the night, not exactly the best chance of the evening.

With the loss, New York remains in 10th on just five points through the first seven games of the season, the same amount defending champions Atlanta United has sitting one position lower. Neither side has been able to repeat the form they had in last year’s award-winning season. Chris Armas has seen the team perform in spurts at best, and while the -1 goal differential maybe suggests the points total will improve, it’s still a far cry from what last year provided.

While the defense has lost its way at times, the Red Bulls attack has been the biggest culprit to this point, and that reared its head again tonight. The Red Bulls created 10 chances, but only one of those was a big chance, and they struggled in one-on-one situations, successful in just five of their 18 attempted take-ons. Bradley Wright-Phillips was isolated up front and while Armas clearly set the build-up so he would be a factor in the air, BWP struggled mightily in that department, winning just five of 18 aerial duels.

Thierry Henry in talks for job within Red Bull organization

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
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Thierry Henry may be nearing his next move following a short-lived stay at combustible Monaco.

Multiple sources tell ProSoccerTalk that Henry has been in talks with the Red Bull Global Soccer organization about taking a coaching role within one of their clubs.

[ RECAP: Barca 3-0 (4-0 agg.) Man Utd ]

The natural reaction would be to link Henry with the manager’s position at Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls, which has struggled out of the gates at 1W-2D-3L after making a quarterfinal run in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Red Bulls told PST they don’t comment on speculation.

But there’s plenty of change within RBGS, which also operates RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga and Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga (I think we can rule out Red Bull Ghana, Red Bull Brasil, and Austrian second tier side FC Liefering).

This report comes a day after former New York Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch was announced as the next manager of Red Bull Salzburg, and Henry was a celebrated assistant to Roberto Martinez with the Belgium national team.

And RB Leipzig will have a new boss next year, when 31-year-old Julian Nagelsmann leaves Hoffenheim to take over for Ralf Rangnick (who Marsch assisted this season).

Henry earned his first managerial job in October when he took over for Leonardo Jardim, whose much-changed AS Monaco was fighting relegation. That run lasted three-and-a-half months before Monaco restored Jardim to his post. Monaco is now 16th, well off their usual European pace, and Jardim’s minor revival has been buoyed by a bevy of January moves including Adrien Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Fode Ballo-Toure, and Gelson Martins.

Armas went 13-3-3 in taking over for Marsch midway through last season, and took the Red Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to eventual champions Atlanta United.

Would the Red Bulls’ European hierarchy cut ties with Armas so early in the season after such an outstanding finish last season, especially after the club didn’t do anything major to offset the sale of Tyler Adams to RBL (no offense, Marc Rzatkowski)? Or could negotiations amount to bringing Henry onto Marsch’s staff (the two did not cross over at Red Bull Arena)?

To play devil’s advocate, there’s also the attendance boost that could come with bringing Henry back across the ocean. It certainly could buoy both young and old within the RBNY team, and it’s not difficult to remember the buzz that followed Titi’s move to the New York/New Jersey area.

NY Red Bulls falter late, fail to capture first away victory

Courtesy of Sporting KC
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Both teams held a lead over the course of the 90, but the New York Red Bulls will most rue wasting the points as they conceded in the 88th minute to drop points in a 2-2 draw with Sporting KC. Gianluca Busio tapped in the critical goal, giving the home fans something to cheer about while condemning the visitors to yet another disappointing road trip.

New York looked to have found the breakthrough in the 17th minute, but Michael Murillo’s shot came with both Bradley Wright-Phillips and Cristian Casseres Jr. were clearly in an offside position as the shot snuck through to the back post. That would prove costly as the hosts went down the other end and went in front minutes later.

Off a 24th minute throw-in, Krisztian Nemeth collected with his back to goal and fed a streaking Johnny Russell who broke along the end line and powered home a low drive from a tight angle. It was more of the same for the Red Bulls who have suffered through defensive lapses this young season, failing to win a road game to this point and losing three straight coming in.

In the second half, the Red Bulls brought things back level courtesy of Sporting KC’s absurdly high line. With the defenders almost at the halfway line, Daniel Royer made a run down the left and Casseres pinged a perfect ball right in stride. With Royer completely free on goal, he touched around Tim Melia and finished from a tight angle.

Sporting KC came extremely close to retaking the lead soon after, but Russell fired wide with a great opportunity to strike. Surprisingly, with 19 minutes to go, Red Bulls boss Chris Armas withdrew Wright-Phillips in favor of 23-year-old striker Brian White. The change paid off almost immediately for the visitors. Another high back line saw Kaku deliver a delicious ball from the deep left flank and White reached it before his mark Matt Besler, heading the ball into the far post for his first goal this season.

Unfortunately for Armas, the defense faltered late yet again. A set-piece goal tied it late in the 88th minute, as Graham Zusi collected a punch from Luis Robles and fired a shot towards goal that deflected right to the feet of Gianluca Busio for an easy tap-in on the line. That brought the game back level and scuppered New York’s chance for its first away win of the season.

To boot, Kaku was sent off in the 94th minute was sent off for blasting the ball into the crowd from close range on the touchline, earning him a petulant red card that could affect New York’s selection in the near future.

With the draw, the Red Bulls have just five points on the young season, with just one win to boast. Sporting KC, meanwhile, would also rue losing a lead, but the point pushed them to seventh in the West with nine points.

Official: USMNT’s Adams off to the Bundesliga

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Tyler Adams is taking the next step, even if his new jersey is going to look mighty similar.

The New York Red Bulls have announced the transfer of its 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder to Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, the culmination of months of speculation on Adams’ future.

[ MORE: Who is new USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter? ]

Adams will join RBL when the January transfer window opens, and be reunited with his former RBNY boss and current RBL assistant Jesse Marsch.

Here’s RBL boss Ralf Rangnick on Adams:

“We are convinced that Tyler is able to reinforce us in the central midfield immediately. We are very happy that he is joining us and we are sure that he will take the next step in his development in the Bundesliga.”

From NewYorkRedBulls.com:

“We’re genuinely happy for Tyler and his family and we know that he is ready for the next step,” said Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas. “In these last four years, I’ve learned that he is simply incredible. Tyler has a maturity, fearlessness, work ethic, and desire to win that make him unique.

‘Tyler is the gold standard for player development in this country and I think that our club and academy can feel very proud to have worked with him and influenced him along his path. We wish him the very best and look forward to watching him shine.”

Adams has a goal in eight caps for the national team, and has made 74 appearances with three goals and 10 assists for RBNY. The Red Bulls have one of, if not the best academy set-up in Major League Soccer.

RBL needs to beat Rosenborg and see Celtic lose to Red Bull Salzburg in order to advance in the Europa League. They beat second place Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday to move third in the Bundesliga.

Adams joins Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Weston McKennie and Haji Wright (Schalke), Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf), John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Aron Johannsson and Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), and Jonathan Klinsmann (Hertha Berlin) as Americans in Bundesliga.

U.S. federation announces another strong National Soccer Hall of Fame nominee class

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Another tough round of voting is ahead as the final list of nominees was announced for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

In its release today on the nominees, U.S. Soccer says voting will begin immediately in three categories: Player, Veteran Player and Builder. Voting continues through Feb. 7.

Hall of Fame voters – including coaches and officials from the pro game, U.S. Soccer coaches and officials, designated media members and Hall of Famers – can list up to 10 candidates on their ballot. For the Player category, athletes appearing on two-thirds (66.7 percent) of voter ballots are elected. Players not appearing on at least five percent of ballots will be subtracted from the ballot (pending availability for the Veterans ballot.)

It’s not easy to gain the needed percentage. Two years ago only four players were selected: Tony Meola, Claudio Reyna, Tony DiCicco and Desmond Armstrong. A year ago only two made the cut: Joe-Max Moore and Peter Vermes.

These really are tough choices. On this ballot there are guys who were first to important MLS scoring mileposts (Jason Kreis), guys that surely would have caught up with them but for career-ending injuries (Taylor Twellman) guys who accomplished so much despite unfortunate injuries (John O’Brien), plenty of women’s players who won multiple World Cups or Olympic golds (Kristine Lilly and Brianna Scurry just to name a couple), guys who scored huge World Cup goals (Clint Mathis, Brian McBride — pictured above), huge MLS international stars (Marco Etcheverry) … and the list goes on.

In fact, here’s the entire list:

2014 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot

  • Chris Armas
  • Raul Diaz Arce
  • Marco Etcheverry
  • Lorrie Fair
  • Robin Fraser
  • Chris Henderson
  • Zoran Karic
  • Chris Klein
  • Jason Kreis
  • Eddie Lewis
  • Kristine Lilly
  • Kristin Luckenbill
  • Shannon MacMillan
  • Kate Sobrero Markgraf
  • Clint Mathis
  • Brian McBride
  • Jaime Moreno
  • Victor Nogueira
  • John O’Brien
  • Ben Olsen
  • Cindy Parlow Cone
  • Steve Ralston
  • Ante Razov
  • Tiffany Roberts
  • Tony Sanneh
  • Briana Scurry
  • Taylor Twellman