NY Red Bulls part ways with HC

New York Red Bulls, soccer

Major League Soccer club the New York Red Bulls are hoping that a major change will help save what’s otherwise been a lost season. 

Per Jonathan Sigal of the MLS website and Reuters (h/t ESPN), the Red Bulls and head coach Gerhard Struber “mutually parted ways” on Monday. While assistant coach Bernd Eibler has also left the Red Bulls, they appointed assistant Troy Lesesne as interim coach for the remainder of the campaign.

The Red Bulls most recently lost 1-0 at home to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night and began Monday dead last in the Eastern Conference standings with nine points and 0.82 points per game across 11 league matches. New York next hosts rival D.C. United in a U.S. Open Cup game on Tuesday night. 

RBNY hired Struber in October 2020, and he guided them to the playoffs in 2021 and 2022. However, the 46-year-old who previously served as the manager for English club Barnsley was widely criticized by New York supporters after he failed to immediately pull forward Dante Vanzeir after Vanzeir was accused of using racist language during the April 8 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Vanzeir ultimately received a six-game suspension, and Struber acknowledged via an official statement that “the right decision would have been to immediately remove” Vanzeir from the contest “with the information that I now know.” 

Supporters groups had protested Struber’s actions and continued involvement with the club up through Saturday night. 

“I enjoyed my time at the New York Red Bulls,” Struber said Monday via an official statement. “It was also clear for me that I wanted to return to Europe at the end of this season, at the latest. It was extremely difficult for me to live here, completely without my family. I informed the club early enough about my wishes and we came to the agreement to part ways.” 

Struber also wished “the organization and the players the best of luck moving forward.” 

Meanwhile, Red Bulls head of sport Jochen Schneider thanked both Struber and Eibler.

“After many discussions with Gerhard over the past few weeks, we mutually came to the agreement that a change now would be beneficial for both parties,” Schneider added. 

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