Rodgers denied visa, has contract terminated by Red Bulls


Photo by Howard C. Smith/



After months of speculation and weeks of waiting, the Luke Rodgers visa situation has finally been resolved – and it’s not the outcome that the New York Red Bulls wanted. 

The Red Bulls announced Friday that the Englishman’s permit was denied indefinitely, and his contract has been terminated as a result in order to free the club of his international roster spot and salary and allow him to play for another team.

“After going through the entire immigration and appeals process, Luke's P-1 Visa application has unfortunately been denied by the U.S. government for now," the club wrote in a statement. "We have spoken with Luke about potential options and have mutually decided that it would be in all parties' best interests to terminate his current MLS contract so he could play elsewhere. However, we will also continue to track his progress this year while working with immigration officials with the goal that he could join the Red Bulls sometime in the future."

Rodgers' initial P-1 application was rejected, and an appeal of the ruling landed at the desk of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For Rodgers, this wasn’t the first time he struggled to acquire a work permit. Just last season, his initial application was rejected due to an extensive criminal record back in England. He was eventually granted a one-year permit, which he overstayed, throwing him into his current predicament. 

This time, he was not so lucky.

Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler denied that Rodgers’ criminal record was the reason for this particular rejection, but rather, a previously undisclosed issue that occurred just prior to his arrival stateside that put his application in jeopardy. 

For weeks, both coach Hans Backe and Soler have hinted that they have certain replacement options available to pursue in case the Rodgers situation did not pan out. Soler reiterated that on Friday. 

"We work on both (MLS and overseas options)," Soler said. "We have a continuous list of players in all positions that we look at and evaluate, and of course we have strikers as well. Some of them are (domestic), some of them are foreign as well. We have a little bit of space, in the cap we have space, in the number of players as well so we try all the time to try to develop the roster as much as we can." 

When asked whether New York would be active leading up to the April 15 transfer deadline, Soler said, "Not much, but it could be one or two players."

Though New York found its offensive touch through Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper against Colorado last weekend, there is no telling whether that will last, especially with Juan Agudelo ruled out for the next six weeks after undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus.  

In Rodgers, the Red Bulls had a proven goal scoring threat that yielded results both individually and for the team as a whole. Through 20 regular season starts with the club, Rodgers scored nine goals and led the team to an impressive 9-4-7 record.  New York only earned a single victory without him all of last season.

What do you think of this development? Do you think New York be able to contend without Rodgers? 

Share your thoughts below.

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75 Responses to Rodgers denied visa, has contract terminated by Red Bulls

  1. ryan says:

    Why was it denied? Does it have anything to do with his court records back home?

  2. zach says:

    that is what you get for dissing landy cakes. don’t tread.

  3. ctviking says:

    This is just embarrassing. How complacent can one front office be?

  4. Adam says:

    As a DC United fan I am not sorry to see him go. I hope Agudelo gets more playing time once he heals from his knee injury.

  5. Brandon Isaacson (@BrandonIsaacson) says:

    Shocking. Not too worried as a RBNY fan, Cooper can do the job. I hope they pursue a good substitute striker, not a starter. We can’t take another major change. I like having a quiet hard working player. No more self-centered players (not that Rodgers was, I’m saying don’t bring one in!).

  6. Matt says:

    There’s the silver lining in the US getting bounced in qualifying. Get well soon, Juan!

  7. Ken says:

    As someone who’s not familiar with the US visa process, I don’t understand how he could have gotten this last year and not had it renewed this year — he hasn’t been involved in any court cases in that time, has he? Is it a different visa this time around? An explanation from anyone with more familiarity would be much appreciated.

  8. CSD says:

    I think this is on Luke.

    Maybe after QPR get relegated Joey Barton will terminate his contract and they can bring him in. No problem there I can foresee.

  9. wow says:

    Wow. Bad news for RBNY. I wonder if the FO dropped the ball or if it was out of their hands. Hopefully Cooper continues his goalscoring form, but RBNY will miss Rodgers nonetheless. His buzzing around defenses really opened up the space Henry loves to play in.

  10. CSD says:

    I have seen a few places that he may overstayed his last Visa.

  11. Kyle says:

    Glad he isnt coming back he is a (insert word here)

  12. Colin says:

    Who is Luke Rogers?

  13. Joamiq says:


  14. adam says:

    easy explanation….andrew lafiosca took a job working at immigration after being let go by the team….

  15. CSD says:

    From da Bulls:

    “When they do their back-tracking, it’s reported somewhere – not by the police, but somewhere else – and they say “Oh, you should’ve told us this.’ That’s approximately what the matter is. It was nothing criminal just something they think they should have known, and as they weren’t told they are making things more difficult.

    Read more: link to

  16. rondo says:

    magnificient human being? world class footballer? great hope for England? Bond villain? Mad Libs master afficionado???

  17. Landon says:

    whos not playing me on May 5th?

  18. GSScasual says:

    hes the guy that plowed your sister

  19. Jonny G says:

    your mom.

  20. Jonny G says:


  21. Colin says:

    Both clever remarks. GED classes must have let out early.

  22. Jonny G says:

    Luke split your mom in half, then she cried to me while i banged her. Fact.

  23. JSA says:

    Tough deal but Landon Donovan has spoken.

  24. chupacabra says:

    Ha ha. Good riddance, bullethead.

  25. wilyboy says:

    Rodgers denied by the Parity Police.

  26. chupacabra says:

    GED classes? Red Bulls fans dropped out of preschool to work as internet tough guys.

  27. Chris says:

    How could the front office drop the ball on this!

  28. ac says:

    Blessing in disguise for Agudelo once his knee heals…

  29. Colin says:

    Oh man, really?

  30. Jay Walk says:

    Is the overstay reason for real or an assumption that has turned into something it is not? RB FO AND Luke Rodgers would have really stupid to allow such a detail to slip past them especially when the goal for the team was the play-offs/MLS Cup.

  31. RLW2020 says:

    damn government!

  32. Joe Smith says:

    The department of homeland security is a bigger threat to America than a English footballer ever will be.

  33. Mike says:

    good player. too bad. over staying your visa alone is a much bigger deal than it used to be (pre-9/11). and not being forthright about your past compounds it all. dude wasn’t thinking it seems.

  34. Dannyboy2 says:

    Jonny G and GSScasual, go away. Far, far away.

  35. fischy says:

    You even read that in the post above.

    How can so many people read the post and comprehend nothing?

    It says he overstayed his visa. It also says this involves something that came up just prior coming over here. Might the two issues be connected? Yes, but not necessarily.

  36. bottlcaps says:

    Since Politicians have made a really big deal about immigration, and since 2003, very strict application of the existing law and changes in immigration policies have made foreigners visiting toe the line on overstaying visas, it is no wonder it was denied. He was extremely lucky to get work visa with criminal problems back home. Many celebrities, including a lot of rock musicians with drug arrests on their records have been denied visas. These policies were eased a bit for entertainers within the last few years (Sportsmen are considered entertainers under immigration visas) But if you are let in provisionally or on a temporary visa, what you do not want to happen is to overstay. This is now considered a “death warrant” for future visa application, especially if you were admitted provisionally or temporary.

    How the Red Bulls allowed this to happen, knowing the facts of the case, id pure negligence on their part.

  37. Dutch says:

    Luke Rodgers should play for the Portland Jailblazers!

  38. Mike says:

    yeah, interesting right?

    how do you mean provisionally? in my mind, any visa is provisional, with the exception of, say, a retirement visa. am i following you?

    i wonder how much the bulls can be considered responsible here. if they were advising him (regarding the reporting of criminal past) than they are a part of the issue. otherwise, it’s all on Rodgers. as for overstaying his visa, I have a hard time believing the bulls would encourage him to overstay. that one must fall on Rodgers shoulders i’m thinking.

  39. marco says:

    There is more than the NYRB press release of a minor infraction. More than half of the 9-11 terrorists came in on their own Saudi passports.

  40. marco says:

    British felon.

  41. Will-yo says:

    Rodgers is a menace to society. He has no respect for his fellow brother. He deserves the self inflicted “punishments” brought to him. I suspect he is not too smart an individual.

  42. Mark says:

    I see what you did there . . .

  43. Brain Guy says:

    Sounds like it’s not the overstay, but something about his past that he failed to disclose the first time, last year. Even if it was non-criminal,even innocuous, the gummint doesn’t like it when you don’t answer truthfully and completely. The cover-up is sometimes more harshly punished than the incident.

  44. CSD says:

    Actually I didn’t “read that in the post above.” No, not really saw the picture and the headline. Sorry to let you down. Sometimes I don’t give %100 to these posts. My bad.

  45. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    For once, you and I agree on something. The reading comprehension of some of the people on this site is shocking.

    As for Rogers, he was a good piece for the RedBulls last year, and while I’m sure they would still love to have him, hes not essential.

  46. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Please inform me how this is the FO’s fault. I’ll wait.

  47. CSD says:

    He should play for Montreal, they’ll let anyone into Canada. They could use some help.

  48. Scott A says:


  49. Conrad says:

    Am I the only one who got the joke?

    link to

  50. OSO says:

    Maybe they can replace him with the playmaking midfielder they really need. Cooper will do just fine.

  51. cajun says:

    Red Bulls just don’t check the England police blotters.

  52. Laszlo says:

    Guys, the RB front office cannot be blamed for this! An immigration lawyer handled this for Rodgers. The entire process is a legal matter. The lawyer interviewed his client, took notes, filled out the paper work and said to Luke – sign here, here and here. If Luke did not disclose all of the relevant facts to his attorney, then it’s Luke’s fault – no one else to blame here except Luke Rodgers. First, for his criminal behavior, then for not disclosing all relevant information to his immigration lawyer.

  53. BSI SC says:


    In the words of Landon Donovan “Who’s Luke Rogers?”

  54. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    You mess with America, America messes with you back?

  55. Conrad says:

    You’d think that sorting out the employment particulars of international employees wouldn’t come as a surprise to the front office. I mean, I suppose it’s Rodgers’s fault for not following through, but if he were my employee, I’d make sure everything was in order. Unless, you know, I was hoping he wouldn’t get his visa renewed, which could be possible.

    Frankly, I seriously doubt that Rodgers could duplicate his early success. He benefited at being the unmarked man; and he seriously tailed off as the season went on, didn’t he?

  56. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    When you live in a foreign country one of the most important things to be aware of is your visa status. How an athlete cannot know this is beyond me. I just think Rodgers is dumb, honestly. He has the history to prove it.

  57. GSScasual says:

    no. i just dosent make sense.. but you ask the question, “who is landon donovan” the answer is the guy who never nutted up or committed.

  58. GSScasual says:

    cool story, bro

  59. Eugene says:

    Bummer. Oh well, they have plenty of forwards.

  60. Dannyboy2 says:

    GSS, I was wrong. Stick with the middle school insults because your soccer analysis is just awful.

  61. Please. What are you some 70 year old grumpy old man? A “menace to society”!!! Ha.

  62. TomG says:

    This would have wound up perfectly if Juan hadn’t torn the meniscus. As it is, Cooper is playing well, and maybe Herzog can give them some depth/ some minutes off the bench until Agudelo gets back. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, but he was a useful sparkplug type of guy who complemented Henri well and knew how to score. It is a loss, but possibly a gain for our young forwards. Let’s see if they can step up.

  63. Hey Ray says:

    This is great news said Kenny Cooper.

  64. Dillon says:

    Is there any connection between those two sentences?

  65. whooooop-de-dooooo says:

    To be technical about it, lying or failure to disclose is a felony… criminal.

  66. Juan from L.A. says:

    Good riddance!

  67. thaDeuce says:

    ditto, though he didn’t play much before kenny, so it shouldn’t change much.

  68. Frances says:

    who is henri???

  69. Hay Jay says:

    This is better news said Juan Agudelo

  70. rorschach says:

    really? he can have my american citizenship for dissing donovan. my least favorite current american player.

  71. Kaiser says:

    No…the answer (for Donovan) is a 3 time MLS Champ and all-time leader scorer for the USMNT. Get it right.

  72. Kaiser says:

    or just people with common sense

  73. Kaiser says:

    Rogers isn’t a threat, just a wanker.

  74. Tim F. says:


    We hope you try for the visa again and can play for the NYRBs in the future.