Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Osorio makes moves to revive Red Bulls
by Ridge Mahoney, July 8th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

From the first day he took the job Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio has been fixated on rebuilding and renovating the MLS team that has promised the most and delivered the least.

Rebuffed in his efforts to drag along Wilman Conde with him when he left the Fire last December, and denied by Chicago again to snag Lider Marmol in a duel of discovery claims in which neither side blinked, Osorio has been searching for a playmaking midfielder, a striker, and a left-sided defender the past few months. Two replacements were unveiled at a training session last Wednesday, and more possibilities are in his sights.

Pending approval of their P-1 visas, Venezuelan midfielder Jorge Rojas and Argentine defender Juan Pietravallo will be registered once the domestic transfer window opens July 15. They could be on the field four days later when New York hosts San Jose. The Red Bulls have offered a contract to Mexican defender Gilberto Jimenez and are not sitting around waiting for his decision; according to a source, two other players are also being pursued.

Osorio's timing may be just about right, for in their two games last week the Red Bulls couldn't have looked more wretched. A 2-0 U.S. Open Cup loss to USL-2 team Crystal Palace Baltimore might be forgiven if only backups and reserves were fielded, but such wasn't the case. Last Friday Colorado smote New York, 4-0, a defeat that revived nightmares of 5-1 (FC Dallas) and 4-1 (D.C. United) beatings inflicted earlier in the season.

Results like those put that 1-0 win over Guadalajara June 25 into the proper perspective, don't they?

At about this time last year, Osorio revived the Fire by adding Conde and Costa Rican striker Paulo Wanchope, instilling a tougher defensive regimen, and relying on the brilliance of Cuauhtemoc Blanco to befuddle and outclass opposing teams. With no Blanco bound for New York, and both Juan Pablo Angel and Claudio Reyna fighting injuries, the next few months will reveal if Osorio can truly transform a team with just a few tweaks, or simply rode the Blanco wave last season.

Osorio, perhaps the most zealous tactician amongst MLS coaches, has been altering styles and systems of play as well as personnel and formations to very average results. Whatever else he's discovered in coaching the Red Bulls halfway through the 2008 season, it's that a 5-5-5 record and winning just three of their last dozen competitive matches is at least partly due to substandard components.

"We just wanted to match them up and play the same system that we have been doing," said Osorio after the Rapids romped. "That's down to the players and I do not think that anyone can look in my eyes and tell me that they really played today."

Osorio, a native of Colombia, certainly appreciates skill and flair, and has enough ego to believe he can infuse sufficient knowledge and tactical acumen in his players to win games. Yet he believes passionately that soccer games are decided by the straight-up, us-against-you, personal battles inherent in every match, whether they be waged down the flanks, through the center of midfield, or in crowded goalmouths. When he talks about "match them up," he refers to duels of spirit and personality, not simply speed and muscle.

Early in February, as preseason training commenced, he said, "The project is as huge as it comes in the MLS. There's no secret, everybody knows that in 12 years this franchise has had 11 coaches: very good ones, with a lot more experience and reputable CVs, and they have not been able to put a winning team on the pitch.

"It's difficult. I am a very firm man. I am giving the best possible chance to everybody and hopefully I will make the right and wise decisions. Only time will tell."

Apparently, for at least a few players time has run out and decisions have been made.

He couldn't have been more dismissive or disdainful of his team when he said, "I can't wait for the 15th of July, when we can sign some players and make a very competitive team. Because at the moment, I think all of our players have had the chance to shine and stake a claim and a lot of them refuse to do that."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Moves: Castillo swept off his feet in Turkey    
FC Dallas star Fabian Castillo arrived in Turkey ahead of his anticipated transfer from MLS to ...
What They're Saying: David Luiz    
"It's important to be an example, especially for the kids. I work every day with this ...
MLS All-Star Game: Wondo ready for challenge    
All-Star Games are supposed to be wide-open, entertaining affairs, and if so, are tough tests for ...
U.S. women are off to Brazil -- opener next Wednesday    
The U.S. women's national team was off to Brazil Wednesday night to prepare for its quest ...
MLS Homegrowns lose to Mexico's U-20s    
In an appetizer to the MLS all-stars' game against Arsenal, a squad of MLS U-23 Homegrown ...
U.S. Abroad: Five Americans start in Tijuana Copa MX loss    
Tijuana started five Americans in its 4-0 loss to second division Lobos BUAP in Mexico's midweek ...
MLS Moves: Jones jumps ranks at Philadelphia    
Derrick Jones, the first player to sign with the Bethlehem Steel FC, became the first player ...
MLS All-Star Game: Soaking up the experience    
A guy like Sacha Kljestan, an 11-year pro and veteran of the UEFA Champions League with ...
Video Pick: Trick PK goes wrong in Peru    
Last February, Lionel Messi passed a penalty kick to Luis Suarez, who stroked home to complete ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"There's a reason you see the passion in this area: Soccer's in their blood now. It ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives