July 3, 2012
ONE MORE WEEK
Red Bulls push back deadline another week on Rodgers' visa decision
By Kristian R. Dyer
|The Red Bulls are willing to wait another week on Luke Rodgers.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – After previously saying they had given up hope in June, the Red Bulls are willing to give Luke Rodgers one more week with the hopes that the English forward will finally be able to land his visa.
Rodgers, who resubmitted his paperwork for re-entry to the United States last month, is still awaiting approval of a visa so that he can start his second season in MLS. Rodgers, who had difficulty obtaining a visa in 2010 due to a prior criminal record, saw his recent re-filing rejected and has since been playing in Norway.
With his short-term contract up with Lillestrøm, Rodgers and the Red Bulls are hoping to hear back about his latest filing so that he can return stateside.
Coach Hans Backe said last week that he would wait until the end of June before making a decision to move on from the player, who scored nine goals in his MLS debut season.
“I think for Luke too it is important for him to find a club if it is a no,” Backe said after practice at Montclair State University on tuesday. “We can’t wait – normally it should have been perhaps at the end of June but I still think we can wait a week or so.”
With the new deadline comes an extension for New York to find a replacement should the move for Rodgers fall through.
“We need to get the answer from Luke or we need to go out and find another striker,” he said.
That striker could be a MLS target.
“If it is possible then yes but I’ve said for two and a half years now it is almost impossible with trades,” Backe said. “But that would be the first choice.”