January 2, 2013
THE NEW BOSS
Source: Red Bulls to name McAllister coach
By Michael Lewis and Kristian R. Dyer
|Hans Backe (above) will be succeeded by Gary McAllister.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Almost two months after coach Hans Backe was told his contract wasn't going to be renewed, the Red Bulls have picked a successor -- Gary McAllister, according to a source within Major League Soccer.
McAllister had been rumored when Backe learned he would not return for the 2013 Major League Soccer season on Nov. 9.
An announcement could be made as early as Wednesday with a press conference s early as Thursday or Friday, the source said.
One league source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told BigAppleSoccer.com that the Red Bulls have agreed to pay McAllister’s steep asking price. The contract is believed to be under the $2 million annual salary McAllister asked for to take over a club best known for its star power and lack of silverware.
Red Bulls head of global soccer Gerard Houllier pushed for McAllister, although there were others in the organization who wanted an American coach, a source in the league said. That's why it took so long to complete the deal.
Later on Wednesday, MLSSoccer.com reported that a Red Bulls source familiar with the negotiations said the team had not offered McAllister the job.
The deal for McAllister appeared to be in jeopardy as recently as last week due to his salary demands but the Red Bulls agreed to his price with New York sporting director Andy Roxburgh’s recent trip to Europe to shore up the deal.
The club had met with former U.S. international forward Eric Wynalda last week about the possibility of the job but Wynalda was informed on Monday morning that he is not in the running for a position with the club. Former U.S. international and Red Bulls goalkeeper Tony Meola, who also talked to the team about the job.
A former Scottish international, McAllister has coached at Coventry, Leeds United and as a caretaker manager at Aston Villa. His playing career included stints at Motherwell in Scotland and Leicester City, Leeds, Coventry and Liverpool in England.
McAllister will succeed Backe, who guided the Red Bulls from 2010 through this past season. Backe directed the club into the playoffs all three years, but could not get the team past the conference semifinals each time.
The Red Bulls finished in third place in the Eastern Conference this season with a 16-9-9 record and 57 points, despite the likes of former French international striker Thierry Henry, Mexican national team captain Rafa Marquez and Australian international Tim Cahill.