Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Red Bull turning to Cosmos to revive New York

With Alexi Lalas off to LA, talk now turns to who will replace him and how deep the changes will go.

Jack Bell writes up all the talk in today's New York Times. He points out that Franz Beckenbauer, an adviser to Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of the company that makes the Red Bull energy drink, likes to work with people he knows and the people he knows best in New York are his former Cosmos teammates.

Chris Canetti, the team's assistant general manager, said that they are working on new plans and they will be released soon, possibly within the next seven days.

That reorganization is likely to bring Giorgio Chinaglia to a top executive position. Shep Messing could replace Lalas, who became president and general manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Messing is a native New Yorker and a former Cosmos player who is now an agent and the color commentator for Red Bulls telecasts on the MSG Network.

That answers a lot of the front office questions, but there is still the matter of coach Mo Johnston. If they are making so many changes, it would be hard to imagine them not changing their coach, so whom would they turn to? Bell says they might be able to get Bruce Arena, but rightly points out that he is a lot more interested in Europe then MLS (side note, how would the DC faithful react to this?). He also lists a bunch of former Cosmos with coaching experience such as Carlos Alberto, Wim Rijsbergen and Vladislav Bogicevic.

So should we start the deathwatch for Mo? Unless he manages to completely reinvent the team over the next several weeks, meaning winning three or so matches in a row, Mo is gone.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the piece is this:

The Red Bulls are also re-evaluating the plan to build a new stadium in Harrison, N.J., a project that was begun six years ago by the previous owners, the Anschutz Entertainment Group. Red Bull is more inclined to stay in the New Jersey Meadowlands, which is recognized around the world as the soccer destination in the New York metropolitan area.

What are they thinking? My only guess is they hope to bring in some big names, like Ronaldo, and want to have more then 25,000 seat capacity. If that is their thought process, it is pretty strange to me. Why continue playing at a location where you will always be the third, at best, most important client when you could have your own venue that you and you alone control?


Blogger Jarrett said...

Oh Lord. Up until I read this, I was all in favor of the Red Bull thing. Now I'm quickly becoming skeptical.

The Cosmos failed the first time for a reason, no? Hopefully Don Garber is smart enough not to let Giorgio run riot in New York.

12:27 PM  

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