Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Labidou: Strange timing for New York Red Bulls to replace Erik Soler as GM

Shock waves spread across Major League Soccer on Tuesday evening when the New York Red Bulls announced their decision to replace Erik Soler as general manager.

The consensus reaction: Why now?

After all, the Red Bulls currently sit five points away from Eastern Conference leader Sporting Kansas City and still have a reasonable chance of finishing at the summit with three games remaining.

While Soler has definitely made some questionable moves in the past (Rafa Marquez, the decision to trade for and then trade away Dewayne De Rosario during a three month period), his decisions this year were primarily solid. After two years of having a threadbare bench, the Red Bulls featured MLS's most potent attack in Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Kenny Cooper and Sebastien Le Toux.

Now, instead of focusing on trying to secure as many points as possible heading into the playoffs, most Red Bulls players will be contemplating their future at the club, unless their name is Thierry Henry or Tim Cahill. The arrival of former AS Monaco President Jérôme de Bontin‏ as new GM might not necessarily mean a major upheaval but it could have significant implications for Marquez.

The Mexican international revealed to last week that he wanted to extend his contract at New York and was looking for an additional year to his current deal which ends in 2013.

"My ultimate dream is to play in the 2014 World Cup," Marquez told through a translator. "I would like to extend my contract for one more year to stay playing at this level, though I have options in Mexico [should the Red Bulls choose not to extend]."

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