Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Osorio makes moves to revive Red Bulls
by Ridge Mahoney, July 8th, 2008 7AM

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
USL: Richmond and Louisville remain unbeaten    
Richmond and Louisville City both remained unbeaten with shutout wins on Saturday. The Kickers defeated FC ...
NWSL: Press makes it four goals in two games    
Abby Wambach is sitting out the season. Alex Morgan has yet to play as she rests ...
NASL: Sellouts and Tsiskaridze bomb highlight weekend play    
There were sellouts at Indy Eleven (10,524), Minnesota United (9,233) and Atlanta (5,511) for a trio ...
MLS Week 8: Fireworks break out on Saturday    
MLS went into Saturday averaging just 2.15 goals a game, but the four games produced 20 ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"I don't know what Don was asked specifically, but frankly, I wouldn't have said some of ...
Guzan howler costs Aston Villa against Man City    
Brad Guzan gifted Manchester City a goal in the third minute when he mis-hit a pass ...
MLS Week 8: Blunder extends NYCFC's doldrums    
Ghanaian international David Accam took advantage of a blunder by stand-in New York City FC keeper ...
What They're Saying: Bob Lilley    
"Rochester was ahead of the curve in the late 1990s and the rest of the country ...
SoccerGrlProbs takes first in venture tournament    
SoccerGrlProbs, started by a trio of Fairfield University's women's player, took first place in the for-profit ...
Garber vs. Klinsmann, different timetables and goals    
Speaking at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors talk, MLS commissioner Don Garber pressed his case ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives