Evening Links and Thoughts: New York Hires GM

Evening Links and Thoughts: New York Hires GM

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 7, 2009
  • Erik Soler, Evening Links and Thoughts

Erik Soler seems confident but will he actually get New York back on the map in MLS? (RBNY)

Erik Soler was formally introduced as the new general manager and sporting director for the New York Red Bulls today and while the hire on paper seems okay I still wonder where this club is actually going.

Soler, the former IK Start man has some connection to Major League Soccer. From Robbie Russell who use to play for his club at IK Start to former MLSers like defenders Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman, Soler’s roots to MLS aren’t very deep.

“Of course I’m not going to claim I’m an MLS expert,” he said. “I’ve become a generalist in football. I’m an expert in European soccer, but I think I have a sensible ability to learn things quite quickly. The most important thing, of course, is to understand more in the coming weeks and months and also build a good team around me that has all the knowledge.”

His first order of business is a big one, find a new coach. A lot of the signs should point to current interim manager Richie Williams but most people agree today that the club is probably going in a different direction. If I am a betting man I’d wager Williams is more likely to end up in Chicago than New York. In fact I’m willing to say that will actually happen before the end of the month.

So who exactly will lead this team into 2010? We know it will be someone that has little to no MLS experience. And for those wondering about Jeff Agoos’ status with the club, apparently his role will now be mostly limited to selecting players in the SuperDraft next month. Again Soler isn’t probably familiar enough with the college game here to even pick a player or two from that group. Remember Rudd Gullit doing that for LA a couple years ago?

I look at this move for this club and continue to shake my head. I want to say its a good move hiring someone like Soler but I just think the club doesn’t get “it” here. The only real positive I saw from this hire is that Soler aims to get this club more involved with it’s big brother club in Austria.

It is one thing to think outside of the box but that has been getting this club into trouble for nearly a decade and a half here. If it isn’t the owners not giving a coach a good enough shot to lead a club out of a mess or not hiring the right person it just seems like they will never fully get things right until they wise up about their moves. Soler may prove us all wrong when he picks a coach here but until then I can’t say this is a great move for this club. Hell it didn’t even seem like some of the New York media that cover this team got that excited over this move.

Who knows, maybe we’ll all be wrong about Soler but if history has anything to say about it with this club we probably won’t be wrong.