Categorized | Commentary

Five for '10: RBNY New Year's resolutions

Posted on 31 December 2009 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The 2009 season was by allany account the worst season in the history of New York’s Major League Soccer franchise. It was a year with many lowlights, none of which are worth reliving at this point (the masochists among you can consult ASN’s midseason review piece if you really want to go there). Suffice it to say 2009 was bad. But 2009 is over. And 2010 brings hope. Well, sort of.

In a cruel twist of irony for New York fans, MLS may pull the ultimate harakiri act just when its biggest market is finally poised to live up to this billing. Red Bull Arena, now built, stands to become the jewel of U.S. soccer specific stadia. Just by opening its doors and hosting a competitive soccer match, the stadium is sure to generate more hype and publicity than the organization has been able to muster in the last 15 years combined. Therein lies the first problem however. And also, the first new year’s resolution. The others follow, in order of importance. Here goes:

1. Red Bull AG, Red Bull New York and whatever corporate/organizational entities are associated with the Austrian energy drink company must do everything in their power to prevent an MLS work stoppage. According to at least one report, Red Bull is one of the teams pushing for changes to the collective bargaining agreement, primarily to permit an additional designated player slot. If true, this is a highly curious move from an organization that already has two DP slots and which, for whatever reason, has not been able to fill its second since the retirement of Claudio Reyna in 2008. (And frankly, the team didn’t exactly get its money worth with Reyna either). The current CBA is not perfect, in fact it leaves a lot to be desired. But with the new stadium, the Red Bulls can be a raging success despite of the CBA’s limitations. Red Bull should be doing everything in its power to work out a compromise, not push for concessions from the other owners.

2. Hire Richie Williams as head coach. This move is long overdue. Anybody who knows anything about Williams, about MLS and about the team say he’s the right man for the job. Get it done. Get it done now.

3. Draft players you know. Obviously the players you know best are the ones your organization developed. It’s not worth naming names at this point because we all know about Dilly Duka. Rather select a player you might not use anyway (see Brunner, Eric) please go with a known commodity. Yes it sucks that you have to waste a draft pick on somebody from your own youth system, but the draft is a crapshoot anyway. This is even more of a no-brainer now that it was revealed that Duka wants to sign for the Red Bulls anyway.

4. Use your second DP slot to sign a U.S. national with a realistic chance of making the World Cup roster. The reasons are obvious: you want somebody local fans, who hitherto have only paid attention to the U.S. national team, can connect with. You also want to be able to piggyback on all the publicity the World Cup is sure to generate. There are several options for this: One just had his loan deal with Belenenses terminated, for example. Whatever your feelings on Freddy Adu, there is no denying he is a recognized name that would generate buzz. He’s also still young (we think) and has plenty of upside. As a natural left-footer Adu can be a game-changer, particularly in MLS. He may even come cheap.

5. Do a better job reaching out to local media and bloggers. As an admittedly fledgling outfit, ASN was not surprised to see the team’s media relations department all but ignore us. Except then we heard identical stories from journalists with actual cachet. We aren’t asking for special (or indeed any) favors ourselves. But there are other media that can do a lot to generate buzz for the franchise and by all accounts they didn’t even get Christmas cards.

That’s it from us. Have we forgotten anything? Surely RBNY fans can tell us. Or add to the list by posting a comment below. Happy new year!

7 Comments For This Post

  1. Matthew Conroy Says:

    Disagree with #1. The last thing we need is the owners who want to turn this into a legitimate league caving again to the cheapskates.

  2. amersocc Says:

    even if you risk a work stoppage?

  3. Matthew Conroy Says:

    I think the ones who are most risking a work stoppage are the owners who want to just preserve the status quo and continue to have players earning McDonald's wages. The ownership in LA, NY and several other big markets seems more willing to compromise with the players association.

  4. amersocc Says:

    I think the players are risking far more. They have no leverage, basically. Where else can they play? Europe? A few of them, maybe. The ones who have been capped and/or have EU passports. Other than that they're out of options. The owners could always hire scabs. I'm sure they could field teams pretty easily, in fact. If you ask me the union is playing with fire here and for all we know the owners are just sitting around waiting to call their bluff. We should know more in a few days.

  5. Matthew Conroy Says:

    I think the ones who are most risking a work stoppage are the owners who want to just preserve the status quo and continue to have players earning McDonald's wages. The ownership in LA, NY and several other big markets seems more willing to compromise with the players association.

  6. ASN Editorial Says:

    I think the players are risking far more. They have no leverage, basically. Where else can they play? Europe? A few of them, maybe. The ones who have been capped and/or have EU passports. Other than that they're out of options. The owners could always hire scabs. I'm sure they could field teams pretty easily, in fact. If you ask me the union is playing with fire here and for all we know the owners are just sitting around waiting to call their bluff. We should know more in a few days.

  7. Royfeng608 Says:

    n Mario Gomez wear nike soccer cleats, franck ribery wear adidas soccer cleats and Thomas Muller wear puma soccer cleats in the wing

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