November 8, 2012
BACKE'S SWAN SONG?
On whether he has coached his last Red Bulls game: 'We have to wait and see with that'
By Michael Lewis
|Hans Backe on whether he has coached his final game as a Red Bull: "We have to wait and see with that."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. -- If Hans Backe has coached his last game with the Red Bulls, he isn't telling -- or he doesn't know.
After the Red Bulls were eliminated by D.C. United in the MLS playoffs on Thursday night, Backe was asked whether the game at Red Bull Arena
was his swan song.
"We have to wait and see with that," he said.
The Red Bulls lost the game, 1-0, and the Eastern Conference aggregate goals series to D.C. United, 2-1.
While directing the Red Bulls to the playoffs in all three of his seasons, the team failed miserably in the post-season, losing in the conference semifinals all three times.
In fact, the Red Bulls, who have the highest payroll among the 19 Major League Soccer teams, have won only two playoff matches under Backe while posting a 2-4-1 record.
With a new general manager, Jerome de Bontin, taking over and a new sporting director coming in soon, it would be surprising if Backe returned. New regimes like to bring their own men in and Backe's playoff track record with the likes of former French international Thierry Henry and Mexican international defender Rafa Marquez, appears not good enough to save his job.
Backe said he has not been told one way or another by de Bontin on whether he will return. He has completed the final year of a three-year contract.
Backe is the only coach in Red Bulls history to direct the team to three consecutive playoff appearances.