Stover addresses state of the Red Bulls

Erik Stover 1 (  

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The New York Red Bulls are just playing out the string in MLS, enduring one of the worst seasons in league history, but the recent departure of former head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, and the expected shake-up of the club's front office structure has the club in the headlines again.

For those of you who missed it, here is my piece on the state of the Red Bulls and just how they ended up in such a mess.

The task of cleaning up the mess will fall to managing director Erik Stover, who will ultimately decide who will run the team's soccer operations, and who will be the head coach, once the current season ends.

Stover took time out from handling damage control to answer some questions from SBI. Here is the Q&A exchange, which took place via e-mail on Friday:

SBI– What do you think have been the key reasons behind the 2009 season becoming such a bad one for the club?

STOVER- Looking at the entire season, there have been a lot of things that have contributed to our poor results. Some have been small and some have been big. The biggest thing that we learned from this season is that we don’t have a clear system in place on the sporting side and that changes are required.

SBI– Would you call the period of time since the Red Bulls purchased the MLS cub in 2006 a successful one, on and off the field? If so, why would you call it a successful period?

STOVER- I would call the franchise successful since Red Bull purchased the franchise. Though, this season has certainly been a challenge with our on-field performances. For people that have followed the team for a long time, Red Bull has done a lot to change the culture. The Metrostars used to practice in a parking lot and sometimes they would get on a bus not knowing what field they would train on. Red Bull has invested in a number of things to improve the franchise for the long term.

First, we invested in Montclair State as an interim solution for a consistent training facility. It's certainly a dramatic improvement over what the Metrostars used to have. We are also still committed to building a permanent training facility in East Hanover, New Jersey.

Second, Red Bull has invested in players and designated players. Juan Pablo Angel is arguably the best Designated Player in MLS.

Third, Red Bull has invested in Red Bull Arena, a soccer-specific stadium that will open next season. All of the funding for the stadium is being covered by Red Bull. There are no public funds being used. I also firmly believe that if Red Bull did not own this club, the stadium site would still be an empty dirt lot of unrealized promises.

Fourth, Red Bull has invested in its Academy here in New York as well as four others around the world. We believe we are building the top academy here in the United States. Also, we’ve started to see the results as our U-20 team just won the USL Super 20 league crown earlier this month. And a number of our Academy players have been called into the US National program camps.

Fifth, on the business side, the season ticket base has more than doubled since Red Bull took over in 2006. Though its not where we’d like it, we have seen it grow. Again, Red Bull has committed the resources to make the organization successful. We have had to overcome a number of years of mediocre performance and it takes time to turn it around. It’s not an overnight project.

SBI– What do you see as the positive aspects of Red Bull as MLS owners?

STOVER- The positive aspects of Red Bull are they are committed to doing things in the right way and is committed to winning. As mentioned above, we have committed significant resources, not only here in the United States, but around the world for soccer. If you look at what Red Bull is trying to do with the sport around the world, you can't argue that it's something less than ambitious and not true to the sport.

In my time with the organization, Red Bull has always aimed to be a leader in MLS to enhance league through players, facilities, academy, as well as on the business side. Our goal is to be a pre-eminent professional franchise.

SBI– What, if any, mistakes do you think Red Bull has made since buying into MLS?

STOVER- This season is clearly not what we expect from our club but we have a plan to correct things moving forward. An objective observer would say that an MLS Cup appearance and the completion of Red Bull Arena are significant accomplishments.

SBI– What do you see as being the biggest challenges Red Bull has faced in being an MLS ownership group?

STOVER- Stadium construction has proven to be more difficult than anticipated. Environmental issues, lawsuits and government bureaucracy have all played havoc with our construction schedule. Once we get into Red Bull Arena our business model and our identity will change significantly for the better.

SBI– What do you think of the notion that having an ownership group located outside of the United States is bad for an MLS team, particularly when there is as much of a disconnect between the parent company and the club as there appears to be between Red Bull and the New York Red Bulls?

STOVER- This simply isn’t true. We are in constant contact with the parent company. If you look at all of the Red Bull sporting properties you will see an intense desire to succeed.

SBI– Do you see Red Bull Arena being the type of catalyst that can help rejuvenate the club and restore some of the fan base the club has lost over the years?

STOVER- The idea that we have lost our fan base over the years is not true. Our season ticket holder base has more than doubled since we took ownership of the club.

The opening of Red Bull Arena next year will give us the opportunity to re-launch soccer in the New York Metropolitan Area and to connect with a whole new group of fans. This will be an authentic soccer experience and we expect it to exceed people’s expectations.

We are also aware that it’s the product on the pitch that counts and we’re committed to building a winning franchise.

SBI– By all accounts Red Bull Arena will be, by far, the best stadium in MLS. What will be the keys to turning the team on the field into one of the best in MLS?

STOVER- Going into this year, we thought the MLS Cup appearance, and the stadium moving along very quickly, that we were riding a wave of momentum. And you can look at the stands on game day and see that some of our season ticket holders are showing their frustration by staying at home.

But, I think we have an opportunity to turn things around. If you think about it, our supporters have been with us a long time, and there have been a lot of ups and downs with this organization, and I think as we can turn the page on the season, the optimism will come back in.

The keys will be to put a competitive team on the pitch. Winning solves a lot of problems. Also, we need to provide the best fan experience possible. I am confident that we will do that next season.

SBI– Does it surprise you that there are still persistent rumors about Red Bull selling the team and why do you think such rumors persist?

STOVER- These rumors are completely without merit. I don’t know where they come from. It just doesn’t make any sense. If you look at the business of team ownership and stadium construction, it is really a ridiculous notion.

SBI– What is your message to Red Bulls fans who have grown disenchanted with the club after this dismal season, and find it hard to continue supporting the team after so many years of mediocrity?

STOVER- I would tell the fans that we understand their frustration and disappointment. We’re disappointed, too, and we feel like we lost an opportunity after the MLS Cup last year. We had momentum going into this season and we let that slip away. With that said, we remain optimistic that big things are coming. We expect to sign a second designated player and we hope to have exciting news out of our academy in the very near future. We will also be playing our first full season on a legitimate soccer pitch next year and Red Bull Arena will give us a true home field advantage for the first time in our history.


What do you think of Stover's responses? Believe his enthusiastic vision of the future of the Red Bulls is a realistic one? Think Red Bull Arena will help spark a dramatic turnaround in the club's fortunes? Are you in the camp who thinks Red Bull just isn't a good owner?

Share your thoughts below.

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69 Responses to Stover addresses state of the Red Bulls

  1. BCC says:

    That guy should run for office. So dodgy.

    But you asked great questions.

  2. Warren says:

    niiiice, second designated player.

    Just wanted to say, again, I’m a Fire fan. Now that JCO’s gone I don’t hate the red bulls at all anymore. Matter a fact, only reason WHY i hated the red bulls was because of JCO.

    Anyway, SEEMS like you guys are in store for some really good things, hopefully its not all just talk though.

    Second DP soon? This should get interesting.

  3. RLW2020 says:

    a second DP and a new stadium.. something a lot of other teams would dream of

  4. Rossi is Judas says:

    Why isn’t his head on the chopping block along with Osorio and Agoos?

  5. CSD says:

    “SBI- What do you think of the notion that having an ownership group located outside of the United States is bad for an MLS team, particularly when there is as much of a disconnect between the parent company and the club as there appears to be between Red Bull and the New York Red Bulls?”

    Ives, what are you basing your presumptions on? Making bad decisions does not in my opinion mean there is a disconnect. I think in some cases they may have over managed and been too involved.

    (SBI-No presumption there. I’m basing that comment on the comments and opinions of THREE head coaches who have coached the team with Red Bull as owner. Mo Johnston, Bruce Arena and Juan Carlos Osorio all stated that there was an issue with Salzburg’s lack of direct involvment with the New York club.)

  6. MikeK says:

    His head isn’t on the chopping block because he was bought in only to run the new stadium. He’s got a background in running stadiums, not football clubs.

    Please. Sell the team. Rename it Metro. Give us back at least some of our dignity. Season ticket sales more than doubled? Please fact check him on that Ives, because lord knows GS looks damn empty these days.

  7. I hear excuse out of Stover mouth, not accountability … Just excuse … if Osario was fire early in the season, could the season have been salvage with Richie Williams .. .. Could we be talking about a Playoff spot, instead of next year ..

    Stover sound like another former NY Metropolitan Executive … Do I hear Isiah Thomas – The former executive of the Knicks

  8. yameson says:

    Great interview. Some of what Stover says is true. If the team starts playing well; if Red Bull Arena turns out to be half as good as it seems; if the Academy players start performing, the long-term approach taken by Red Bull will look brilliant.

  9. Paul says:

    Whether or not all these things come to fruition is one thing, but at least the guy is saying the right things (focusing on the positives of the ownership group & org)… Rossi you can’t just fire a whole organization because of a poor season on the pitch, the accountability is with Head Coach and Technical director on the sporting side. Now if he has difficulty of packing out his new gem of a stadium, then calls for his head are probably fair game.

  10. if the Academy players is the approach for the Future of NY Red Bulls …. then Johnny Exantus should be brought to the team for the rest of the season and see what he could do or give you … Greumsley Joseph, Matt Kassel and Wilner St Cyr should be playing for NYRed Bulls for the rest of the season to see what you got and where the changes needs to be made for Next year ….

    I say … Play Johnny X-Man … see what you got for Next year ….

    P.S.Kassel & St Cyr are with Maryland University and there season is about to start ..

  11. Michael F. - SBI Mafia Original says:

    Great questions, Ives. Stover did answer them like a politician, but what do you expect. Only glaring omission from the questions: What is Agoos’ status? In your eyes, has he earned the right to keep his job?

  12. DC Josh says:

    DC Josh addresses the state of the Red Bulls-

    They suck this year.

  13. wykell says:

    Can someone please send a country-wide memo to stop using the f*ing phrase “moving forward”? It’s completely inane and makes me want to suckerpunch all the execs that use it, as if it is possible to “move backward or laterally” through time.

    That said, good questions Ives, and I agree with some other commentators that he seemed to dodge a few of the questions, but he did give us SOME useful information, and I pray for the day of a 2nd DP.

    Thirdly, with all due respect to the ESC (and other long time supporters groups), I just can’t quite see how people think that the team name “Metro”(stars) was any better than NYRB. It is (or was?) a mega-corporate name that 101 should clearly be able to recognize from the now missing “MetroMedia” building that was directly in front of their faces if they ever looked up. One crap name replaced another, and I honestly think that Red Bulls is WAAAY better of a name for a sports team than “Metro”. Also, considering that part of Jerz is anything BUT metropolitan, it was a tenuous connection at best .

  14. sack says:

    So basicly pay no attention to the facts new york soccer fans, Red Bull Arena will solve all our problems and they actually have tons of fans…they just need to re-connect with them.

    What a load of crap, not that i expect him to say otherwise, but Red Bull is a total failure here and its in large part due to their faulty business model and branding.

    Erik talks a good game, on par with Garber in many respects, but he can’t hide from the facts.

    If they dont go through with a sale, i predict their franchise will suffer a huge kick in the nuts and by this time next year nuetral observers will view the laucnh of RBA as a total failure.

  15. A.S. says:

    IMO, the team’s demise can be traced to one particular thing: the players brought in have been absolutely horrible. Beginning with the failed Reyna experiment, the team has lost major talent (Altidore, Van den Bergh, etc.) and has brought in absolutely nobody to replace them. Somebody needs to go back and list all of the players Osorio, Agoos, etc. have brought in the past couple of years – Pietravallo, Cichero, Jiminez, Khano Smith, and on and on and on. Teams continually need to bring in talented players to replace and supplement players who are either aging (Angel) or are lost in transactions (Altidore, VDB). Red Bull has failed miserably to do so, as they have not brought in a single high-talent player recently.

    This team simply lacks the talent that other teams in MLS have. The run to the Final last year was nice, but it really masked the lack of talent the team had – the 2008 Red Bulls were very lucky just to make the playoffs on account of their lack of talent. Then they get rid of their best player in 2008 (Dave VDB) and some of the others have played a lot more poorly this year (Richards, Angel). The talent simply isn’t there.

    I, for one, don’t really blame Stover for this. He is – and shouldn’t be – a talent evaluator. He is there to provide resources to the people he brings in to evaluate the talent. And those people failed miserably.

  16. dieterhansi says:

    Can someone explain to me what “hybrid model” means, as in The Red Bulls are a hybrid between a typical MLS and European club in terms of how they operate?

    Also I watched Stover on the post-game show yesterday and he intimated that the fact that their season was really bad (as opposed to mediocre) will perhaps make it easier for them to make changes to the way that RB operates. But he did not explain this more fully. I can understand why he might not want to say (he wouldnt want to piss off Salzburg), but can someone (Ives?) translate for me? What changes might we expect vs. the status quo aside from personnel?

    I believe him insofar as RB not selling. Makes absolutely no sense to me at this point. The sunk costs in the stadium are massive and cannot be recovered right now.

    Salzburg may be aloof but they are not stupid, they have built an awesome global brand. Soccer is different, sure, but still..what they need to be reminded is that NY is a truly massive potential market for them and they risk truly alienating existing fans if they keep it up.

  17. BCC says:

    Van den Bergh was a “major talent”? Yikes.

  18. sack says:

    Additionaly, i love how Stover trys to deflect the blame on previous owners by saying he has to overcome years of suck. Nevermind the fact Red Bull and all their resources have had 4 season to make a big impact as the promised us in 2006 and have failed epicly to make even a small dent here beyond what the previous owners of Metro did.

    The only thing they did was take an existing stadium deal and improve it. THAT IS IT! Youth academy was installed and winning under AEG and Metrostars.

    Fact is Red Bull has run this team like a bunch of amatuers and it shows, yet we are all supposed to believe that now all of a sudden they are going to turn from inept bungling morons into brilliant football executives that will transform soccer in NY!!


  19. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Actually, his list of accomplishments (stadium, academy, Angel, etc) is fairly impressive. If things broke better for them this year – say by having ONE of the new signings work out – most people wouldn’t be complaining. Of course, playing this poorly the year after reaching the MLS CUp is going to piss people off…Can’t say I blame them

  20. inkedAG says:

    I read your article and honestly, who still thinks Osorio is a quality coach? Who?? Show me who that person or those persons are so I can kick them in the ass in the hope that it pushes their brain back into their heads!!!!!

    Osorio’s quality is what has made the team 2-16-4. and the team was 12-27-(forget the ties) under his reign. That’s quality????

    And Stover should be canned as well cause if this fool thinks RB has been a success, he’s dumb as rocks. Again, 2-16-4 is only a success if you had the intention to suck massively!! RB has become WORSE since 2006 and EVERYONE KNOWS IT!!

    And I’d like to see his season ticket holder numbers because there sure ain’t peeps in the seats come game day. Stover is no better than de Grandpre because he’s just as adept to spewing BS as that other turkey!

    (SBI-While there are obviously people who now think Osorio is a terrible coach, there are plenty of players and coaches throughout MLS who still think Osorio is a good coach and several who would still jump at the chance to play for him.)

  21. Dannyc58 says:

    Thank you Ives.

  22. The Metrologist says:

    “SBI- What, if any, mistakes do you think Red Bull has made since buying into MLS?

    STOVER- This season is clearly not what we expect from our club but we have a plan to correct things moving forward. An objective observer would say that an MLS Cup appearance and the completion of Red Bull Arena are significant accomplishments.”

    One nice example of how to sidestep the question and trot out weary old talking points, combined with a Dubya-like inability to conceive of, much less admit to, making mistakes. It’s not just Stover of course – it’s institutional. This is who they are, and you can’t believe word one of what they have to say.

  23. A.S. says:

    When you’re talking MLS, yes, Dave VDB is a pretty major talent – for the years he was in NJ, he could start for most every team in the league. Let’s face it, he was the team’s MVP last year.

    BTW, when I write above that I hope that somebody should go back and look at all the players that JCO/Agoos brought in during their tenure, I really hope that might be something that Ives could do as part of a look back at the JCO-era. (Maybe it’s an off-season project…)

  24. Keith Brown says:

    Season ticket sales are down………..way down for next year!!!

    Only around 1000 deposits as of last week, as of sales rep at Saturdays game.

    ESC members staying away in droves, or staying outside in parking lot to party.

    True Fan base is at its all time low.

  25. NY is simply the worst in class among MLS teams in identifying and developing players. Nearly all MLS struggle to identify good players – at US colleges, the USL, and in the overseas markets where MLS teams can afford to shop. Nearly all MLS teams have also demonstrated a remarkable inability to develop good players once they sign them. Teams are almost all impatient with their young players. If Stover is talking about improving these two aspects of NY, he deserves some patience from the fans. If not, then it’s just more management-generated hot air.

  26. CapeCodFutbol says:


    Thanks for this very interesting piece. Unfortunately Stover’s answers left a lot to be desired imo. NY deserves to have better than being merely one “sporting property” in a multinationals portfolio.

    I do not think that the problem is a “foreign” ownership group. I think the problem is THIS foreign ownership group.


  27. Mikemike says:

    CSD – Mr Dieter Redbull has not attended one RBNY game. That shows fans there is a disconnect.

  28. Mikemike says:

    Also, FIFA has to step in to the picture with this Redbull (or Barcelona) team buying thing.

    Pretty soon, every country will have one Red Bull Team, one Barcelona team, One Chelsea team, one McDonald’s team…

    Like broader capitalism, Soccer needs to be protected against monopolies.

  29. bkupp says:

    Watch, after the season RB will *again* try to steal one of the top established coaches from other MLS teams: Schmid, Nicol, Yallop, Kinnear.

  30. whatagame says:

    “We built a nice stadium..we sell a nice drink…what’s the problem?”

  31. Braden says:

    Would have liked him to answer the following questions:

    1) Why did it take so long for Red Bulls to address the poor on-field results this year?

    2) Is Red Bulls satisfied with the player acquisitions and salary decisions being made by Jeff Agoos?

    3) Does he feel that the organization has a good relationship with its fans?

    His answers are damage control bullsh*t. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear Red Bulls announce a sale within the next month. The big question is whether we’re going to have another situation where the team’s owners don’t own the stadium.

  32. Mark says:

    I’d like to think that the good news about the academy means that Dilly Duka or one of the other prospects will be signed.

    I wasn’t able to make the game yesterday due to family commitments, but I did catch Stover on the Red Bull post-game show, and Shep and Steve asked similar questions, but Stover did mention that the fanbase would be in for an a-ha moment as Red Bull would finally be tapping into Saltzburg. He made it seem like a big deal, and I have to admit, I’m intrigued. I really hope the “surprise” doesn’t underwhelm.

  33. Adam M. says:

    My sense is that Red Bull wants to ride out the storm this year and re-launch the team to the region next year with the Stadium and, I suspect, a high profile DP who will arrive after the World Cup. Generally, I think the end of the World Cup will open the door for MLS to a lot of older quality players who have no shot at 2014.

  34. 505anthony says:

    These sound like cut-and-paste marketing presentation answers to me, which perhaps at this point is all we can expect. But I still think RBNY fans deserve a message directly from Red Bull stating their intentions for what’s to come and offering some kind of recognition for the massive mess that is this season.

    It’s hard enough supporting Energy Drink FC. But to have such an embarassing team doesn’t help. Hopefully, with Ritchie in charge, the team will continue to salvage what’s left of this season and regain some diginity–for all of us.

  35. seth|NYC says:

    No MLS team with two DPs has ever made the MLS Cup playoffs.

  36. David Ogilvy says:

    I always thought Red Bull screwed up with their branding and marketing of the team when they bought the club. As someone who is an expert in this field buying the team didn’t seem to piss many people off as much as how the corporate entity pushed their agenda in a poorly implemented manner in the NY sports market. First, they should have kept the name New York Metrostars (even if they play in NJ for branding reasons). That would have kept the intact fanbase with the club in that the ownership wouldn’t have rocked the boat too much in changing the name. They then should have announced with great fanfare that their jersey would be sponsored by Red Bull (no one would have minded this as it’s part of the nature of soccer). Then they should have gone out into the community more like they did in the old days when they were building identity for the beverage with trucks and cans of the drink and soccer balls to all the youth and adult soccer events in the metro area. Show that they are part of the local grassroots of the soccer community. Go to every soccer event no matter how small or large. Sponsor small five on five events up to large 11v11 events. Sponsor the Cosmopolitan League Cup by branding it. Give free product to every sports bar in NYC and tell them to show the games on all their TVs on gameday. Giveaway a lot of tickets early on to people. Do a post-game motorcylist jumping five-hundred cars just so the team gets on ESPN and the local news. All this of course, while getting their players out to every youth event they can just so they show their involvement in the local soccer community. Do this for the first two years you own the team. And after slowly encroaching the soccer playing and watching community, announce the stadium deal, the naming of the stadium and the outline for implementation. Even if the front office sucked and the team had terrible results, if they kept with the attitude of “hey we bought this club with the hope of being winners for many years to come once we get into our new stadium” the community would have stayed behind the team because they would have felt them in the community. But when you just come in as a big corporate entity, act like know-it-alls, do everything wrong on the community relations side and then pretend like the new stadium will be the answer to all your problems. Well, you’ve got problems that may never be solved. An alienated fanbase. People who think the name is corny. No caring about the older fans. These are issues that a full page ad in The Daily News for your games cannot solve. I expected so much more from a company built by marketers even if they don’t understand the game of soccer.

  37. Al17 says:

    Oh DAMN!!!

    I feel for Red Bulls fans. Seriously?

    When someone feels the need to defend Crap, you know the problem is worse than we thought. What’s worse is that it’s an insult to our intelligence as soccer fans. Sometimes if you won’t speak the truth, you should just shut the hell up. Mentioning that we now have a such & such practice field is a joke. Ummmmm….mmm HELLO!!!!You’re supposed to have proper facilities as a professional organization. It’s like a school saying oh, we’re good cause we have text books. What the F…?

    I’m a Fire fan and will knock NY/NJ any chance I get because it’s what We Chicagoans do the New Yorkers but No team except the Packers & St. Lou Cardinals deserve this type of crap.

  38. bigvic says:

    hopefully that 2nd DP will be announced on the 1st of Jan. A full page apology to NY redbulls & NY in the Times would also be appropriate

  39. Daniel says:

    Mikemike said: Also, FIFA has to step in to the picture with this Redbull (or Barcelona) team buying thing.

    Pretty soon, every country will have one Red Bull Team, one Barcelona team, One Chelsea team, one McDonald’s team…

    Like broader capitalism, Soccer needs to be protected against monopolies

    HA HA HA HA HA! That’s a good one, say something funny Mike.

    Do you think FIFA actually cares? If they allowed Chivas to get a USA side then Red Bull can get any club in any league and that means Barcelona if they choose to get this club they could call it Barca-USA.

    This is FIFA, not Government politics. Blatter doesn’t care and he will allow it to happen, why? Because the MLS doesn’t play during the International Calendar and needs to be more European outside of the Scandinavian countrys & Russia who can’t because of the terrible cold weather.

  40. JoeW says:

    Let us hope that STover is “spinning” rather than being honest. Because if he’s staying what he really thinks–that the team has had some successes, that people really expected them to build on the MLS Cup appearance–that it was a true reflection of the team, than he doesn’t know personnel well and is likely to make some bad choices (or buy poor explanations for bad choices).

    The good side of MLS is that it’s possible for teams to turn around very quickly. it’s not impossible that RBNY could do so. But right now, the team is a mess. And as good as JPA is, you also have to wonder if–given his age, his back problems, his performance the first 2/3rds of this season–do you want him back as a DP? I hate to say “blow the team up and start over” becaue when a team is playing poorly it’s very hard to realistically evaluate individual talent–poor team play makes the individuals look bad. But it’s real hard to be optimistic about the state of the team. Then again, Richie Williams may have then run off 10 points in 10 games and I’d be singing a different tune.

  41. Neumannator says:

    All this talk of doubling season ticket holders seems very hard to believe. We’ve held out since about 1998 but we finally made the decision to walk. We did not renew–every game to sit with a few hundred other poor bastards (btw, I have tremendous respect for Red Bulls fans and the ESC section especially) to watch a poor product game in and game out, year in and year out. My family and I are done. And I don’t drink Red Bull either…

  42. ba says:

    stover gave plenty of dumb responses in this one but to question whether his statements about the cup final and the stadium being built are significant achievements is even dumber…besides maybe 2 teams each and every single one of them would kill for that stadium

  43. Aguinaga says:

    Under direct questioning as the face of RBNY and to a lesser extent the parent company, this guy dodges, ducks, and redirects like Manny Pacquiao. If it’s any indication as to the way they do business & they work under, we are once again being duped into believing things will get better when in fact that primary guiding philosophy for RB has not changed and will never change. Iow, market & sell drink cans above all else, everything after is secondary. Good read Ives.

  44. Darkman says:

    “Second, Red Bull has invested in players and designated players. Juan Pablo Angel is arguably the best Designated Player in MLS”

    I think Blanco and Schelotto have something to say about that.

    (SBI-Schelotto wasn’t originally signed as a DP and Angel’s production has definitely out-done Blanco’s since both arrived in 2007. Stover did also say arguably.)

  45. CoachK says:

    STOVER- Looking at the entire season, . Some have been small and some have been big. The biggest thing that we learned from this season is that we don’t have a clear system in place on the sporting side and that changes are required.

    The biggest mistake is leaving this clown where he is He is clueless?

    1) Talking about keeping Agoos in another capacity?? Pleeze ok maybe water boy?

    2) Angel as a DP?? Ok agreed but that was all Arena 0 to do with him so he gets 0 credit. (Nice try Erik)

    3)Red Bull Stadium Ye think after 11 years we should all FINALLY get excited Hey I still don’t believe it will open next year and oh yeah what about only 200 parking spots No tail gates eh?? OOPs forgot we ALL need public transportation adding 40min to our commute?

    STOVER- Red Bull has done a lot to change the culture.

    Yeah like totally ignore what is going on?? Huge disconnect between Austria and NY/NJ..???

    Fourth, Red Bull has invested in its Academy here in New York as well as four others around the world. We believe we are building the top academy here in the United States.

    Oh really so how come we have yet to see ONE player make it on a Long Term basis. Johnny X Matt Kasel etc We find em and then somehow DC or Columbus grabs them ?!What is the point of that?? Danny Szeltela landed up in Coumbus then DC but is from NJ.. Hey Wake up ??NY NJ clearly has some remarkable YOUTH talent but we have 0 plans to actually get them into our senior team? Instead we prefer to buy hand me downsand left over goods from So America?

    Fifth, on the business side, the season ticket base has more than doubled since Red Bull took over in 2006. It’s not an overnight project.???

    It’s doubled from what 6,000 die hard fans to 12,000 in 10 + years nice going? We have the lowest fan base in the country taking into account the amount of soccer played in this area.and how popular the game really is?? We should have a min of 25,000 every game?!

    Ives you are either too soft on this idiot too nieve or trying to be politically correct Bottom line he needs to go as well ! We need a passionate leader who wants to win badly, prove something to the fans and feel our pain. We do not need a mouthpiece and pencil pusher thank you very much but Erik you clearly are NOT that leader!?

    Coach K

  46. inkedAG says:

    These must be the same people who saw the little things Reyna did.

    And if any player wants to play for JCO, let them. I sure hope they enjoy being played out of position and be given no direction on how to succeed. And I hope they enjoy playing on a horrible team cause that’s what is in store under a JCO-led team!!

  47. Phil says:


    There’s only one way to save this mess…sell! This can’t be good advertising…and we all know that’s what Red Bull wants.

  48. Simplicio says:

    I give Stovers the benefit of doubt. I’ll wait for next year. I am a season ticket holder and I am keeping a healthy perspective. I am giving them another chance because they are building a stadium and that shows to me they want to be in the biz.

    What I am not buying is the second DP. Angel is going to be retiring soon, no? So, the second DP will replace Angel but we will really have one DP. And, even if Angel stays, both DPs will only amount to 1.3 because of old age and being past their prime. But, OK, its the MLS and not the EPL.

  49. He makes some valid points about the investments they have made.

    1. Stadium – they funded it. He is right, it would still be dirt without their capital.

    2. Academy – something that does not happen overnight, but you guys are in a region that produces good Footballers. I think the academy will start producing regularly in the next couple of years.

    The probably understand player development more. He does mention that Red Bull have an international network in place.

    3. Why utilize the 2nd DP now? I think they are smart to hold onto it for next year.

    I know you guys are thinking about the now, but I would say that Stover has laid out what sounds like a good plan.

    If their plans pan out, NY will be on top of the world in US Soccer again. He is right, they are laying down some groundwork that is in it for the long haul.

    You are going to have the best stadium in the league for God’s sake. They made it happen – they took the stage out of it. Once you get into the new stadium, all this angst and anger will probably go away. With a strong academy system, you will probably have the talent to go along with it too.

    Patience my dear friends, patience. Your time is coming.

  50. Tony in Quakeland says:

    JCO’s failures with the Red Bulls strike me as a matter of player signings – a disaster with limited MLS funds. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad coach – it means that he should be paired with some one who is better at picking talent and has the authority to execute. There are many coaches who should stick to managing what they are given, especially since once they are freed from their vested interest in justifying player selection, they tend to make more objective decisions. In other situations, JCO might be successful again.

  51. Eric_the_King_7 says:

    Did David Ogilvy really just make a post on SBI, or is someone just toying with me? To know Ogilvy follows SBI and is a possible NYRB supporter – that would be the highlight of my day. Mr. Stover sure isn’t a highlight.

    Mr. Ogilvy – any chance that your NY offices are looking for graphic designers? Even if you are a pseudo-Ogilvy, i think your post was actually spot-on. The approach from Red Bull since its takeover has been nothing more than an isolated attempt to just throw money at a problem. Blindly investing just because there is a market and investing with an intelligent business plan/approach in a fairly knowledgeable market are two completely different things. Unfortunately, it appears that the fans have been stuck with the former.

  52. Tony in Quakeland says:

    paul lorinczi: I think you’re right. Fans tend to think only in the immediate term. Someone the other day remarked about the team not “deserving” a stadium – as if the one year perfromance should have any bearing on a venue that should operate for decades. Stover may be taking the longer view.

    Ives: Any chance that Stover is just not privvy to conversations with barcelona?

  53. Neumannator says:

    Please stop patronizing Metro/Red Bulls supporters with cries of patience. That’s just a flat out insult.

  54. sack says:


  55. new yorker says:

    RedBull, Please sell the team now!!!

  56. CrispyST3 says:

    Theres only gna be a 2nd DP cuz Angel is bout to retire……duhhh

  57. The Little Birdie says:

    At least these comments show that the passion is still there for NYRB fans. It’s amazing what a winning team can do (i.e., in the past, it has hidden all these underlying problems that did not magically arise in the past four months; in the future, it will lead the same disenchanted, critical fans to be joyful and blind to similar systematic issues).

    The Little Birdie’s Two Cents:

    I think that if NYRB truly plan to utilize their parent’s resources to build a quality franchise, and in doing so, spend significant money on quality players and staff, they need to bring in a Theo Epstein-type GM to take over the “soccer operations” post. Period! Most European clubs are now sipping the kool-aid and doing the same thing (and contacting guys like Theo in the process to discuss systems and statistical analysis). Why so many supposed experts, media and bloggers place so much value on hiring someone with “MLS experience” but no business experience — someone like Alexi Lalas, Jeff Agoos, even Bruce Arena to make business decisions is nonsense. I like those guys, but being a former MLS player or coaching in college where your budget is 9.9 scholarships does not give you the right skill set for the job. Sorry. Certainly, having a strong understanding (or the ability to figure them out immediately through being very sharp and pro-sports-minded) of MLS’ rules, particulary it’s unique single-entity structure and player roster/salary limitations is important. An effective GM — one who makes all soccer-related business decisions will be able to hire a Head of Player Personnel (i.e., Agoos if he wants to stay with NYRB), a Head Coach and other soccer personnel who will report up to him so that he can make informed decisions.

    FYI: My favorite comment thus far is “NY deserves to have better than being merely one “sporting property” in a multinationals portfolio.” Ummm… what do you think Anschutz, Hunt, Kraft and the rest are??? Nearly all — if not all — sports franchise owners (clumping in MLS’ so-called owner-“investors”) are successful business owners or leaders who have enough money to play around in sports. You think on their books they consider their sports teams as something more than an “asset” or “property”? They don’t expect, necessarily, to make money. As long as they come close to breaking even, they love the fun, adventure, fame, marketing, social cache, etc. of it. JOKE: Q:How do you become a millionaire? A: First become a billionaire, then buy a sports team.

  58. Zoti says:


  59. frysk says:

    Give us back our Metro. (but leave the stadium) 😉

  60. anotherbodymurdered says:

    I thought this company made an energy drink, not Kool-aid.

  61. Murphy says:

    The stadium is a big deal. I’ve never gone to a Red Bulls game even though I live in the area. I will definitely try to go to a game next year at the new stadium.

  62. David says:

    I’ve never understood why people hate Red Bull so much. The company has many sporting business ventures that are quite successful and I don’t doubt they will get this one right too. Their F1 and Nascar teams are competitve and the Salzburg team is in Champions League qualifying. They are footing the entire bill for the new stadium which is huge because no teams do that anymore. I don’t think Red Bull is the problem, it is the people they trusted to put together their on field product. Once they get that combo right it will all come together.

  63. inkedAG says:

    David, I love your sarcasm.

  64. Paul says:

    What a bunch of double-speak. He just realized that “we don’t have a clear system in place on the sporting side” ??? This guy is a construction manager, not a football guy. There is still no evidence at all that he has a clue about hiring people on the “sporting side”. Season tickets are up, but attendance is way down, and if he doesn’t get the hires right this time, no amount of infrastructure improvement is going to save him, or the team.

  65. KingSnake says:

    So, the stooge responsible for screwing it up, is supposed to auto-magically unscrew it.



  66. Sean says:

    I’d like to see Red Bull keep the team, rename them something that won’t change if Red Bull ever decides to sell the team, keep the Red Bull logo as their advertisement and stadium name (though smaller sized logo on the kit) and get more involved, care more about the club.

    The taste left in most fans’ mouths over Red Bulls is going to take a long time to go away. That’s not just Red Bulls fault, in fact, it’s more the fault of all the previous mismanagement. The current roster sucks. A second DP won’t do much to make Red Bull a championship club. And, definitely excited to learn more about the academy.

  67. Sean says:

    And, Paul, when have NY ever dominated the soccer world… I don’t know whether to laugh my ass off or stab myself in the chest.

    Oh, I get it, you’re talking about the Cosmos. I think I’ll do both. Laugh and stab myself in the chest…

    … Dominated the soccer world. LOL. Give me a break. 😉

  68. Addage says:

    If you are a betting person, you bet on failure. Running a sports franchise is not like flipping a coin. It’s not a 50-50 proposition. A franchise that has consistently failed is very likely to be influenced by its past performance. NY is the soccer equivalent of the Titanic.

    If you are a fan, then have a little heart. They are trying to get better. They will search for a talented front office to manage the team. They have improved the infrastructure that supports future success. One good hiring decision could change it all.

    As a fan, I am an optimist. But if money is involved, I bet they fail.

  69. achat pc says:

    Hello everyone,
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