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February 8, 2013
Wolyniec helps out Red Bulls in pre-season; could he wind up as an assistant coach?

John Wolyniec has been helping out with the team during pre-season.
John Wolyniec has been helping out with the team during pre-season.
Photo courtesy of the Red Bulls
Red Bulls Under-23 assistant coach John Wolyniec, one of the most beloved players in the history of the Major League Soccer team, has been helping out with the club during pre-season training camp.

That has fueled speculation that the 37-year-old Wolyniec might be in line for an assistant job with the big club.

One source in the league said he would be not surprised if Wolyniec is named assistant coach.

If he is, that would follow a new club philosophy of an American-only coaching staff with MLS experience, which would be a first in the team's 18-year history.

Last month the Red Bulls hired Bohemia, N.Y. native Mike Petke, a former MetroStars/Red Bulls defender, as head coach. Last week the Red Bulls appointed former MLS Best XI defender Robin Fraser as Petke's No. 1 assistant.

While the Fordham University graduate and Staten Island native, did not fill the net on a consistent basis, Wolyniec forged a reputation as scoring key goals in big games or in important moments.

Woly, as he is called, scored 33 goals in 192 MLS games, which included 101 start. He recorded 26 goals and 14 assists in 142 MLS regular-season games with the MetroStars/Red Bulls.

In 2003, he scored one of the greatest and most spectacular goals in team history, a miraculous volley after a 53-yard air ball from Amando Guevara to give the MetroStars a 1-0 extratime win over the Columbus Crew.

In the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals in 2008, Wolyniec set up Juan Pablo Angel for the Red Bulls' lone goal in a 1-1 draw with the two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo. In the second leg in Houston, Wolyniec tallied the final goal of a 3-0 triumph.

Wolyniec is the only Red Bull to score in an MLS Cup, finding the back of the net in a 3-1 loss to the Crew in 2008.
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