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February 11, 2013
Red Bulls name ex-Villa GK coach Gonzalez

HARRISON, N.J. -- It's official. The Red Bulls have a new goalkeeping coach.

The Major League Soccer team announced on Monday it had named Rafael Gonzalez goalkeeper coach. Gonzalez, who had similar roles with Malaga and Aston Villa, replaced Todd Hoffard in that position.

“Rafa is a very experienced professional, with over two decades in soccer both as a player and a goalkeeper coach. We think he is a very strong addition to our coaching staff,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a statement. “His knowledge in working at the highest levels of soccer will be beneficial in assisting the development of our three young goalkeepers."

The 42-year-old Gonzalez most recently was a goalkeeper coach for Spanish La Liga side, Malaga. He was with Aston Villa (England) from 2007 to 2012, working with the club’s first team and Academy goalkeepers.

Gonzalez joined the coaching ranks following a playing career that began in 1990. He performed for Spanish Side Real Aviles before spending five seasons with Real Oviedo in La Liga starting in 1992. He moved to Malaga, where he made 75 appearances from 1997-2003. He also had stints with Spanish teams Cultural Leonesa (2003-04) and Sporting Gijón (2004-05) and England’s Coventry City (2006-07) before retiring. Gonzalez also played with Oviedo for a second time in 2005-06.

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