[MLS] The New York Red Bulls have named Swede Hans Backe, 57, head coach. They will retain assistant coach Richie Williams, who served as interim head coach since Juan Carlos Osorio resigned last August.
Backe most recently served as manager of English fourth division Notts County. He resigned in December, seven weeks after signing a three-year contract. He had been hired by Notts County's director of football, fellow Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson. Backe had served as Eriksson's assistant when Eriksson managed Manchester City in 2007-08 and Mexico in 2008-09.
Backe started his coaching career with Swedish club, Djurgardens IF, before moving to several other clubs in Scandinavia including FC Copenhagen. He won three Danish titles with FC Copenhagen (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04) and one with Aalborg (1998-99). He also won the Danish Cup in 2004 and the Danish Super Cup in 2001 and 2004 with Copenhagen.
The Red Bulls are retaining goalkeeper coach Des McAleenan. Jeremy Holsopple will join the staff as the team's Strength and Conditioning Coach.
"I have followed Hans' career for many years and I think he will be an excellent coach for this team," said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. "Hans brings a vast amount of experience from a variety of different clubs in Europe and he has been a fantastic mentor for many young and established players. We are confident that he will be able to help our club accomplish our goal of competing for a MLS Cup."
The Red Bulls finished runner-up in 2008 during Osorio's first season but compiled the league's worst record in 2009.
"I am extremely excited to join the Red Bulls," Backe said. "It is evident with the stadium and the resources available that Red Bull is very committed to making this club the best in Major League Soccer. I hope that I can bring my expertise to the club and build a winning squad for our supporters."
RED BULL/METROSTARS HEAD COACHING HISTORY
Years Name (regular-season record) (playoff wins)
2008-09 Juan Carlos Osorio (12-27-13) (2)
2006-07 Bruce Arena (16-16-10) (0)
2005-06 Mo Johnston (4-3-8) (1)
2003-05 Bob Bradley (32-31-26) (0)
2000-02 Octavio Zambrano (41-37-8) (4)
1998-99 Bora Milutinovic (8-25-0) (0)
1998 Alfonso Mondelo (14-17-0) (0)
1997 Carlos Alberto Parreira (13-19-0) (0)
1996 Carlos Queiroz (12-12-0) (1)
1996 Eddie Firmani (3-5-0) (0)
NOTE: Assistant coach Richie Williams' record as interim head caoch, in 2006 and 2009, was 6-6-2.