View Full Version : NYRed Bulls may be a mix of X-Cosmos front office Execs., GM/President and Coaches.

04-19-06, 10:35 AM
Franz Beckenbauer's plan to Run the NYRed Bulls might have ex-Cosmos teammates Giorgia Chinaglia as Top Executive, Seth Messing as GM/President ... Carlos Alberto or Win Rijsbergen as Coach and Vladislav Bogicevic & Johan Neeskens most likely would be assistant coaches.

April 17, 2006
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Michael Lewis
BigAppleSoccer.com Editor

Former Cosmos great Franz Beckenbauer realizes that the magic of the Cosmos would never been able to be duplicated in MLS, especially in these days of the salary cap.

But if the one-time Germany World Cup champion captain and coach has his way, the New York Red Bulls would have a definite Cosmos feel to it, BigAppleSoccer.com has learned.

Beckenbauer has talked to several high-profile former teammates about running the Red Bulls this season, according to reliable sources, although no exact timetable has been established as to when they would come aboard.

In the wake of club president and GM Alexi Lalas leaving the Red Bulls and taking on similar duties with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday, here is one possible front office and coaching scenario, according to reliable sources:

Beckenbauer, who is a good friends and a special advisor to Red Bull Austrian billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, would oversee everything (he would take over after his duties as World Cup organizing committee president end in July). Giorgio Chinaglia would be chairman and Shep Messing, currently a player agent and the Red Bulls TV color announcer, would be president and general manager and call the shots on a daily basis.

According to sources close to the team, there are two possible head coaches to replace Mo Johnston: defender and Brazilian 1970 World Cup championship captain Carlos Alberto, who most recently directed the Azerbaijan National Team, is the front-runner. Former Dutch international Wim Rijsbergen, the assistant coach of Trinidad & Tobago's World Cup team, also is in the running. Vladislav Bogicevic and Johan Neeskens most likely would be assistant coaches, the same sources said.

Carlos Alberto was offered to coach the MetroStars -- the Red Bulls' forerunners -- in their inaugural 1996 season, but rejected it because of the low salary ($80,000), he once told BigAppleSoccer.com.

During the April 7 Red Bulls-Metros-Cosmos dinner at Delmonicos restaurant in Manhattan, many of those former teammates sat at a "power table" along with Beckenbauer, discussing the future of the MLS club.

That front office/coaching scenario could change depending on what Beckenbauer's title is. He is still negotiating his exact role with Mateschitz, sources said.

"Franz is not looking for a quick fix," one source said. "He wants to win championship after championship."

Beckenbauer could not be reached for comment.

Scratch the possibility of former Metros defender Lothar Matthaeus coming aboard because he and Beckenbauer do not get along, sources said.

Former Metros all-star midfielder Roberto Donadoni, who attended the team?s reunion on April 8, also is not in the picture, as he is expected to get several offers to coach in Italy's Serie A, sources said.


READY WITH LIFE VESTS : Mo almost sounds resigned that he will get fired.

In some respects New York Red Bulls coach Mo Johnston sounded like a "dead coach walking," on Monday, waiting for the axe to fall in the wake of club president and general manager Alexi Lalas? resignation and rejoining the Los Angeles Galaxy in the same capacity.

Even though he has an undefeated regular-season record over parts of two seasons, (2-0-4) Johnston's job is said to be on the line because the team's new owners, Red Bull, want to make sweeping changes. The Red Bulls are 0-0-3 this season.

Asked if he thought his job was in jeopardy, Johnston replied, "Every day when you step on the field you always feel that. And even as a player, people want to take your job. I have the greatest job in MLS, and this is the New York job. For me, personally, I don?t feel any pressure. If they fire me tomorrow, like I said, I walk through the door with a smile on my face. I believe I was making strides to move forward and to make a better organization."

If a move is made, Johnston hopes that it is done quickly for the sake of the fans and organization.

"I?m very confident in terms of handing this organization something in terms of a championship," he said. "Hopefully I can do that. If I?m not here, then so be it. But don?t make the confusion and don?t upset the fans anymore, because they?re the first people that need to know, because they?re the ones that pay the money. We?ll always move forward, but they don?t need things being unstable again. Hopefully we can get the change done."

After Lalas' departure and swirling rumors, the players, not surprisingly, are concerned.

"I?ll have them prepared for the upcoming game against D.C. if I?m still there," Johnston said during a conference call. "We have to sit and wait. And it?s something that?s not a good thing. But for me, it?s business as usual until such notice."

The fate of assistant GM Chris Canetti, who is running the show for the time being, and Johnston, is undetermined. Canetti said the club could learn of Red Bull's reorganization plan within seven days.

"We?re all in the same predicament," Canetti said. "We?re all being evaluated day-by-day by our new owners and we?ll all find out what our fate is here very shortly."

The move gave Lalas a rare and unique hat-trick as the No. 1 man of three MLS teams within 10 months. He left the San Jose Earthquakes (now the Houston Dynamo) last June to take on take similar responsibilities with the Metros.

Didn't at one time Carlos Alberto coach Viollette FC Haitian club in a tournament ?