Sousa linked to Red Bulls coaching job


With Montreal’s coaching hire on Monday morning, the New York Red Bulls are now the only MLS team that hasn’t hired a coach for the 2013 season.

That looks likely to change this week and a new name has emerged as a candidate to be Hans Backe’s replacement.

Alexi Lalas has identified Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa as the new leading candidate to take over as Red Bulls head coach, saying in a recent episode of his podcast that Sousa is “a good bet” to be New York’s next head coach. Sousa has most recently been manager of Hungarian side Videoton, but he has now left that position, which could open the door for his move to the Red Bulls.

Lalas also stated that Claudio Reyna will join Sousa as an assistant coach, a development first reported by SBI last week.

Sousa, 42, has spent time coaching English sides Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Leicester City before coaching Hungarian champions Videoton.

The emergence of Sousa as a leading candidate for the Red Bulls job has come at a time when Gary McAllister has gone from favorite to be hired for the position to fading afterthought. Sources tell SBI there had been some internal debate about hiring McAllister (a move Gerard Houllier wanted to make), but

What do you think of this possibility? See Sousa being a good fit? Think the Red Bulls are making a mistake by not hiring an American coach?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- New York Red Bulls, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Sousa linked to Red Bulls coaching job

  1. Cabrito says:

    A half-hearted attempt to pander to the Portuguese-American community in Newark?

  2. Adam says:

    I think I speak for most RBNY fans when I say that while we would have all preferred a coach with more MLS/American experience, this choice is leagues better than McAllister. The pick of the Scotsman would have screamed cronyism given his relationship with RB upper crust. Especially considering his obscene price tag with only limited head coach experience (to be kind!).

    If RB floated McAllister to drastically drop its fans expectations, mission accomplished I would say.

    • Rabid RBNY says:

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Dan in New York says:


    • Sean says:

      Agreed. If we’re going for a foreign coach, I would like to see Owen Coyle, personally. He has an excellent eye for talent and is a players’ coach – not in the Backe, kind of passive way, but rather in the passionate, vocal leader who will be screaming on the sideline, inspiring the lads.

      If one with MLS experience, maybe a Steve Nicol. But, it’ll be interesting, nonetheless.

  3. az says:

    He sounds like a good coach, a better coach at least than some of the other names thrown around so far.

  4. Brain Guy says:

    Euro-complaining commencing in 3, 2, 1 . . .

    • Chris says:

      It has nothing to do with “Euro”. Coaches without MLS experience struggle. It’s a fact.

      • T-lover says:

        Except this situation is different, because Campos has made all the trades and will be the one working the salary cap.

        • Sean says:

          That could be an even worse situation, leaving the talent on the club to Campos??? Really? I’ve seen this recently and I think it’s off-the-mark. No coach has no say in talent. And, just because the talent is there already because they’re waiting so long doesn’t mean that’s a good thing.

          • T-lover says:

            The fact is it doesn’t mean Sousa has no say, however to make the moves will be Campos and this leaves the coach, with only having to worry about winning. As far travel and the day to day job, Reyna will help with that. The problem with foreign coaches, is that they haven’t been given help to succeed in MLS. NYRB is making sure he has the help that is needed.

            • Joamiq says:

              It would be convenient if it worked out like that, but I doubt it. One doesn’t need much imagination to foresee Sousa complaining about how he needs better players and why isn’t Campos getting them…

              • T-lover says:

                He didn’t complain while at Hungary, where they work with tight Budgets. Also NY already has a lot of talent. I think you are pulling for something that isn’t there.

              • Joamiq says:

                Why would I be pulling for discord? I’m a RB fan. I appreciate your optimism, but as we know with this team, these things just tend to go wrong.

            • Paul says:

              A whole lot of THIS

              • T-lover says:

                How will this go wrong, people complain yet we still had 57 points last year the same as RSL, who finish second in the west. Again this is new management, give them a chance, so far every move they have made, has been right.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Prior MLS experience is not a prerequisite for MLS success. Steve Nicol took NE Revolution to the MLS cup final in his first season and was named MSL coach of the year. His teams did had several trips to conference and MLS finals in subsequent years too.

    • ed - houston says:

      yeah he is not going to listen to his american assistants, eurosnob

  5. Dos says:

    read a few reports of McCallister’s salary demands – something in the 2 mill neighborhood!

    This kind of blew me away, especially given that he was new to a league where understanding the nuances of the roster rules is a premium, along with having a feel for the culture of the league.

    What are the highest paid MLS coaches making? A guy like Arena with a track record etc?

    This choice looks a little more based on merit, than based on prior relationships with RB front office staff . . . especially given the experience managing a few championship sides

    What do you guys think?

  6. sdbransonusa says:

    If you’ve never seen “The Four Year Plan” documentary about the rise of QPR to the Premiership, he has a starring role when he is appointed coach, quickly falls out of favor, and then throws management under the bus and gets fired. I don’t know if he’s a good manager or not, but the movie is entertaining. I would venture to bet that he would be a better hire than the guy that Montreal grabbed.

  7. Shane says:

    Heh heh, things are looking up . . . . regarding my chances of being able to continue laughing at the Red Bulls.

  8. Kevin_Amold says:

    Great hair….

  9. Difficult to know how good or bad Sousa is, given he’s never been at a club long enough to stamp his authority on it. He has good hair, he looks very fashionable in a suit or open-necked shirt. When he’s worked with good players and a settled club, he did a good job, as he did at Videoton and Swansea. When he had bad players and basketcase owners, he did a poor one, as he did at QPR and Leicester. Given this is the Red Bulls, I imagine this will be more of the latter than the former.

    • T-lover says:

      How is that NYRB image at all? They have a talented team, with rafa gone, NYRB is in a much better place.

      • Sean says:

        All the right moves for NYRB with the exception of a few.

        1) Getting rid of Lindpere, a talented, left-footed fan favorite.
        2) Not getting rid of Roy Miller
        3) Getting rid of another academy player
        4) Not hiring a new coach yet
        5) Possibly hiring Sousa

        • T-lover says:

          All the right moves for NYRB with the exception of a few.

          1) Getting rid of Lindpere, a talented, left-footed fan favorite(you mean theplayer who had a horrible season last here, and who might be on the downsideof his career.)
          2) Not getting rid of Roy Miller(have the off season finish yet?)
          3) Getting rid of another academy player(wasn’tthat the old management, you know, the one that hasbeen FIRED)
          4) Not hiring a new coach yet(WHICH IS WHAT THEY ARE DOING SOON, IT TAKES TIME TO HIRE A COACH)
          5) Possibly hiring Sousa(what’s wrong in hiring a guy who lead a less talented team, to their best finish in the Europa league, because this image that foreign coaches fail. People fail to mention the number of American coaches that fail, which is a larger sample size to judge, then foreign coaches)

          • Sean says:

            1) He didn’t have a horrible season. If his reduction in effectiveness was due to much, it was the mismanagement of Backe.

            2) No, the off-season hasn’t “finish” yet. But, this is such a no-brainer, it makes you wonder why he wasn’t let go before others.

            3) Nope, talking about the one they allowed to get picked up by Portland.

            4) Completely. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that you have someone other than the coach (who must put the team together and coach them to victory) putting the team together without the coach’s style or insight in mind.

            5) Read about Sousa. He’s been anything less than inspiring. Certainly are better options out there, including ones with MLS experience.

            • T-lover says:

              Sean says:
              January 7, 2013 at 2:09 PM
              1) He didn’t have a horrible season. If his reduction in effectiveness was due to much, it was the mismanagement of Backe.(Wasn’t Backe the manager in 2011, when he had a great season? I know its easy to blame the manager, but the players have to take responsibility for not playing well. If it was his first season under Backe, I would have agreed with you but it wasn’t)

              2) No, the off-season hasn’t “finish” yet. But, this is such a no-brainer, it makes you wonder why he wasn’t let go before others.(no brainer for who? because with new management they usually have to evaluate some players before they release them.Also they must find a replacement before releasing a player as well. Which is why I think they have a much better player to replace Lindpere)

              3) Nope, talking about the one they allowed to get picked up by Portland.(so wait, you are made at them for giving away one guy, when the NY academy is loaded with talent, including the two academy kids they just signed?)

              4) Completely. Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that you have someone other than the coach who must put the team together and coach them to victor putting the team together without the coach’s style or insight in mind.(How do you know they didn’t have the coach style in mind, when making the trades? They must have known the likely candidates,right? Also are they finish in making player signings yet? no, still plenty of time to get more players, that the coach of the club may like.)

              5) Read about Sousa. He’s been anything less than inspiring. Certainly are better options out there, including ones with MLS experience.(Well considering his age as a coach, is that really surprising?I mean the guy is only 42 years old, which is still young for a coach. You have many top coaches in the game, that has had ups and downs in their career. Its all part of learning your craft, failure and success can improve you as a coach. Also at Swansea he played a counter attacking style, which is not the possession style of soccer they were used to playing. Still Swansea finished at their highest position at the time, for almost 30 years.However his counter attacking defensive style of play was because of his personnel. In Hungary, he played a enjoyable style of soccer and lead a Hungary club, to their best finish in the Europa league.)

            • lprevolution says:

              “he played a enjoyable ” a – *an*

      • Camjam says:

        It’s their image because they’ve earned it. RBs make crazy decisions year after year after year. In between each stop, they promise that they’ve learned from their history; but seeing is believing dude. I’ve seen you say that the new management is different, and while I like their work this offseason, we’ve got to see the results first.

  10. Ted says:

    Good article on Sousa

    link to

    Looks like there might be a reason he is coming to MLS

    • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

      Wow! Great article. Thanks for sharing. It really doesn’t paint a great picture of him, does it? Like I said above, perhaps Reyna can counterbalance his failings.

      • Ted says:

        I like that he is able to get teams to play better defense, but I don’t see the pedigree that gets any RBNY fan excited.

        • T-lover says:

          At Swansea city they played more counter attacking football, not the Possession style, they play now. However it was down to the personnel they had. In Hungary, the style was more attacking, which is why they got further then any Hungarian team before, in the Europa league

    • Sean says:

      Thanks so much for this article. If there’s one thing I don’t want, it’s another manager in MLS that doesn’t push players hard in training.

  11. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I read up on him last night. Seems to be doing a great job with his current, now former team. Of course how coaching in Hungary translates to the US I have no idea. But I do feel better about it knowing Reyna will be his assistant.

  12. Sean says:

    If he comes to Red Bulls, that will make five clubs in five years, none of which were a resounding success. His last club was successful but he also broke the three-year contract after one year, it was announced today. I am not on board with this potential deal.

    Red Bulls, after making a lot of good moves, is back to disappointing their fans.

    • T-lover says:

      So just because you have a basis against foreign coaches, makes it not a good move? The funny thing is we have a small foreign coach sample size, compared to that of American coaches, yet you find a lot of unsuccessful American coaches. I think that European coaches are better then a lot of our coaches. We have some good coaches, however finding good America coaches is very rare.

    • Pete says:

      I am excited about this move , really was hoping for the deal with Mclister to fail as this would be terrible hire. I watched all the games that Videoton played in Europa Ligue , and if our players play hard for him as Vidi players did I can sleep well at night.

  13. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I wish they would get Stevie Nicol. How many time did his team slay us?

  14. Brain Guy says:

    This rumor seems to be based on a single source, the old redhead himself, Alexi Lalas. I think maybe everybody should take a deep breath. I mean, Lalas has been wrong once or twice in his career.

  15. el paso tx wants NASL says:

    If u want american soccer which is playing kick ball and pushing down players, then hire an american coach who lacks skill, tactics and plays predictable. I have always said,an american coach should go to europe and study the game and stay there for years. Then come back to Mls, with a foreign coach next to you and take over a team. Its so easy but american soccer fans need to open their eyes in order to improve MLS play and college play.

    • T-lover says:

      Well yes and no. Bruce, Zigi, Kreis, Porter and Vermes clubs play very good soccer. So you do have a lot of very good American coaches in the US. However it is rare, so having a European coach is a good idea.

  16. Joamiq says:

    Welp, this is my response, in JPEG form: link to

  17. solles says:

    yeeeah i dont know about this one, I’m not Red Bulls by any stretch but having watched Sousa’s QPR side a ton I have to wonder what it is about his time at the 3 clubs since then in the past 3 years that made anyone at NYRB think he could be successful in MLS.

    Could be totally wrong but to me this could easily be another JCO.

  18. Ferenc says:

    My mother tongue is hungarian and i was livng in that country in the past 6 six years – I have seen his team on the pitch a couple of times and I have read a bunch of articles in the Hungarian press about him.
    Videoton is far the richest football club in Hungary supported by the hungarian prime minister and his oligarch friends, Sousa took over the this team as hungarian champions after the season in 2011. In the next season( 2011/12) they finished on the 2nd place. (The team, which finished on the 1st had an unbeaten season.) This year (2012/13) after a half season Sousa’s club is 4th int the leage and they have no real chance to win the leage again, but they played some great games in the Europe Leage (not so prestigeous international club tournamnet) against stronger opponents (swiss champions Basel, portuguese team Sporting Lisbon, and turkish Trabzonspor). These winned games have were the greatest succes for hungarian club football in the last couple of years.

    Sousa isn’t a bad manager, who is able to reach solid performances and his benefit is also, that he was a world class soccer player in the past, but he had a row with hungarian national team manager, once Sousa didn’t shake hand with him, and he also headbutted a hungarian journalist. So he has some temperament also which can cause problems later.

  19. Paul says:

    I think this is the happy medium that fans wanted, alot of fans didn’t like the scot because of his inexperience and not familiar with MLS, we wanted Steve Nicole, so here comes Paulo with enough international experience to have us overlook the fact he probably doesn’t know much about the league. If this happens I will feel good about the appointment

  20. Adam M. says:

    So Red Bulls might hire a manager who speaks Portuguese? Now I wonder why they might do that? Its not like any Brasilians have been on their rader recently.

  21. Bob34 says:

    “Sources tell SBI there had been some internal debate about hiring McAllister (a move Gerard Houllier wanted to make), but” But what? Man, I can get over dropped, misspelled words and/or the wrong word but dropping off the whole last part of a sentence? You’ve got too much on your mind today or something…

  22. I am a partner in a website that covers Hungarian Soccer. Tomasz Mortimer did an exclusive on Sousa’s time at Videoton if you are interested: link to

  23. James J. says:

    Just saw the Four Year Plan and I don’t like Sousa at all!!! He would be terrible for the head coaching position at RBNY! At QPR he was not connected with the players, had no control of the locker room, and was a loose cannon!!! I’d say that Petke, Reyna, Nickel, Wynalda, even McAllister would all be better options. This guy would be a disaster!!!!! Red Bulls you gave me so much hope for the upcoming season, your moves looked like the club was finally going in the right direction, PLEASE PLEASE DON’T GET SOUSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Pingback: Paulo Sousa verso la panchina Red Bulls |