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November 20, 2012
Roxburgh: 'The idea is to get the best guy we can'

Andy Roxburgh: "We don’t want to rush to judgment. The idea is to get the best guy we can, someone appropriate to here."
Andy Roxburgh: "We don’t want to rush to judgment. The idea is to get the best guy we can, someone appropriate to here."
Photo by Michael Lewis
By Michael Lewis Editor

HARRISON, N.J. -- Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh says he wants to name a new coach to succeed Hans Backe within before the new year.

While meeting with the Red Bulls media on Tuesday, Roxburgh said the team already has interviewed two candidates. The former Scottish national coach wouldn't name any names, but Gary McAllister, who most recently directed Aston Villa, is believed to be one of the candidates on the short list.

"We're open," Roxburgh said. "Names are flying in from different sources.

“When I say an international background [he] could be American. We don’t want to rush to judgment. The idea is to get the best guy we can, someone appropriate to here."

Roxburgh later added: "I still don't think we should name anybody [as candidates] because it creates expectations and it creates speculation. When we are ready, we will tell you."

The 69-year-old Roxburgh said he was hopeful he can name a new coach within three-to-four weeks. "We need him to be here by January before we start season," he said.

Whether it has been named the MetroStars or Red Bulls, the franchise has not enjoyed much success with foreign coaches. The list includes Carlos Queiroz, the Portuguese national coach, and Carlos Alberto Parreira, who guided Brazil to the 1994 World Cup crown. Both men did not last past one season.

The team has not used many Americans or coaches with MLS experience.

"Clearly it is an advantage if he has coached in MLS," he said, adding that he would consider "someone coming from Europe if he is bright and intelligent and is adaptable. You have to be able to quickly adapt. If there is someone who is very blinkered, then it is a wrong move. We are taking that into consideration.

"It needs to be somebody before who is comfortable in a coaching context as a teacher and a coach."

And if the coach is not American?

"If the head coach isn’t American, then one of the two assistants will be an American,” Roxburgh said. “We have enough quality American coaches and we know the importance of having an American coach.

“First of all, we’re in America.”

Roxburgh said he decided not to renew the contract of Backe, a Swedish native who directed the Red Bulls (16-9-9) into the MLS playoffs for the third consecutive time, but failed to get past the conference semifinals for the third successive time. Backe's contract ran out after the season.

"It was almost a fait accompli at that time," Roxburgh said. "It was the end of the contract and we decided not to renew it."

Roxburgh said Backe was "a really good man, a really good guy. The key word in football is next. As that phase comes to and, it's next."

Regardless who is named as the next coach, he will have his work cut out for himself and the team.

"You can't buy success in MLS," Roxburgh said. "It's a real coaching job here to make the best of the squad that you have."

Right now, Roxburgh wants to find the best man for the job to make the best out of the team.
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