This is a rather odd time to fire someone but according to various reports (Soccer Insider), the New York Red Bulls have fired two assistant coaches today, including once interm head coach Richie Williams.
Both Williams and Des McAleenan were sent packing today. Some reports according to Steve Goff cite repeated rules violations, while another report cites punctuality.
The firing of Williams is more surprising here as he’s always been listed as a top assistant in Major League Soccer and has been with the club for 11 years. My gut feeling is the club will cite some lame excuse here for these two rather than this being a real big deal. You have to think that Williams will land someone fairly soon as he was in line for many head coaching positions. If I’m D.C. United or the LA Galaxy, I’m making room for him right now on the coaching staff, even if it is just as water boy.
As for what this means for the Red Bulls, who are left with just one assistant coach at the moment, I see this as a house clearing move by Hans Backe and Erik Solar. I don’t know if there was any in-house riff between them all but my first thought was this was a move for Backe to get more of the type of assistants in house that he wants. Williams was placed there when he took over so it seems to me that this is just a move to get someone else in.
I see this as a step back for the Red Bulls though, as Williams was someone players got behind. We’ll know soon enough whether or not this will make any impact on the club or not. The club will address the issue this evening according to the report.