October 2, 2012
A RODGERS RETURN?
Ex-Red Bulls striker could be starting process to get visa for next season
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Luke Rodgers could be back for the 2013 MLS season.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The return of Luke Rodgers could be coming.
In the latest installment of “As the Visa Turns,” former Red Bulls forward Luke Rodgers will likely be starting the paperwork process on his own to get clearance to enter the United States again and rejoin the Red Bulls.
Rodgers, who was denied a visa by the state department to return and play for New York this season after a successful league debut in 2011, could be back with the Red Bulls for next year.
BigAppleSoccer.com asked head coach Hans Backe on Tuesday about the status of the player, now in England with Portsmouth.
“He phoned me a couple of days ago,” Backe said.
“He will probably try himself to get a visa, November, December.”
Last year, Rodgers scored nine goals with the Red Bulls and became an instant fan favorite. Backe, too, is smitten with the striker, who possesses a high-work rate and is a scrappy forward up top who likes to pressure the opposition backline.
“We’ll see, I don’t know with Luke. I like Luke but I don’t know how many games [he’s gotten] with Portsmouth. He signed for only one month because they go into administration,” Backe said. “I haven’t seen any games from him so far.”
The Red Bulls invested a lot of time in trying to get the visa renewed and they seem perfectly content to let the English forward, who has been plagued with run-ins with the law throughout his career, to sort through the paperwork.
When asked if the door is open for Rodgers to return, Backe said “Yeah, absolutely.”
“Not that much time but if you go into the break and he will try to go get his visa in November then you’ll have some time,” Backe said.