November 16, 2012
MY TWO CENTS
Nicols is the right man for the Red Bulls
Alan Alcalde, a NY/NJ native and long-time Red Bulls fan resides in Pittsburgh, Pa.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Alan Alcalde
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
Another season and another disappointing end.
One would think that with such talent (and expensive payroll) the Red Bulls would get a few results and finally be serious contenders in the MLS post-season. Yet the same continues to happen: the team comes up short, the expensive talent doesn't produce and the fans endure another gut-wrenching end to their season. You can only question what the Red Bull organization wants to do now as they evaluate their player personnel and make changes in the front office.
Pride seems to be at the forefront of the Red Bull organization as it continue their ways of bringing in European coaches and directors. If you notice the trend in Major League Soccer, not many foreign coaches let alone directors are successful in their stints here and one club has been the poster child for that consistent failure: New York.
Now, as Andy Roxburgh assumes the sporting director role for RBNY, many continue to wonder why a foreigner continues to be at the helm.
Granted, Roxburgh has some incredible credentials, the question that lingers is whether it can translate to success in MLS. Hans Backe and Erik Soler were the two closest to ever doing so and in all honesty did an admirable job of rebuilding a squad that was a joke a few years ago yet just couldn't produce when it counted most.
Many also point at their shortcomings in other areas: Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup, the MLS SuperDraft, and never qualifying for regional competitions. Still, the Red Bulls been competitive and our youth setup continues to grow. Can Roxburgh continue to dip into the team's youth and develop some top players that will be important parts of the Red Bull setup for years to come while most importantly connecting to the Red Bull faithfull that come out each year?
An even bigger question is whether the Red Bulls can finally get the RIGHT MAN for the head coaching position? Foreign names are already being tossed around: Gary McAllister and Harry Redknapp to name a few but in all honesty the best candidate is right under our noses and even spoke of how highly qualified Andy Roxburgh is to lead RBNY (see link: http://tinyurl.com/cnevrhh).
That man is Steve Nicol. His 10 years with the New England Revolution brought four trips to MLS Cup and the development of some top players (i.e. Clint Dempsey). He is fourth on the MLS wins list and second in games coached. The man is consistent. His playing credentials are just as impressive. He always established a tough squad and played attractive soccer while earning his players' respect.
The expectations were always set from day one. Any knowledgeable fan of MLS knows Nicols track record and what his teams brought to the table each and every game. He developed from within the organization, understood the intricacies of MLS and always valued collegiate talent. This is a man that can bring success to the Red Bulls and should be at the top of their list.
The Red Bulls can bring in expensive talent and well-experienced directors in global soccer, but unless they bring in a man with the MLS experience and soccer knowledge necessary to succeed in MLS, the Red Bulls will continue to be the league's underachiever. Steve Nicol would not allow that to happen and that is why he his the RIGHT MAN for this job.
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