New York Red Bulls: MLS' Newest Train Wreck

Joe GSenior Writer IJuly 9, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 24:   Juan Carlos Osorio of the New York Red Bulls looks on against the Chicago Fire at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands on May 24, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Chicago Fire defeats the New York Red Bulls 1-0  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bull)

Can somebody please explain to me how Juan Carlos Osorio still has a job?

I've never been a big proponent of blaming coaches for poor performances when they've got a roster with almost no professional-caliber talent, but the time has come for the Red Bulls to clean house and start over.

What do they have to lose? It's not like their season could get any worse. They've scored fewer points during the 2009 season than any other club despite having played at least two more matches than every other club in the league.

New York's nearest competitor for the dubious title of worst team in the league is San Jose. The Earthquakes have scored 13 points in 15 matches. New York? A pathetic 10 points in 19 matches. They've already lost two more matches than they did all of last season.

These guys could challenge Derby County's record for futility.

Tear apart the roster and the front office, and just start over.

You can keep Juan Pablo Angel and Dane Richards, but Osorio and GM Jeff Agoos should be shown the door.

Under Agoos' watch, the Red Bulls have gone from playing in the MLS title match to 11 points out of a playoff spot in less than one season. The majority of the signings that he has made as GM haven't panned out.

Khano Smith was supposed to be a great signing for the Red Bulls. Instead, he's appeared in just five matches and hasn't managed to get his name on the scoresheet. Nobody can deny that Smith has the requisite athletic ability to be successful in MLS, but he hasn't caught on with any club because of his inconsistency on the pitch.

Macoumba Kandji was another signing that was accompanied by a great deal of celebration. Kandji was one of the better players in the USL, but he hasn't made a big impact in 12 matches with New York.

In fact, aside from J.P. Angel, nobody on the Red Bulls roster has managed to score more than two goals.

Perhaps this dearth of offense could be explained by the absence of Dave Van Den Bergh, the Dutch assist wizard who was foolishly traded to FC Dallas in the preseason for Dominic Oduro and a draft pick.

Where is Oduro now? After just three matches in a Red Bulls shirt, he was traded to the Houston Dynamo for two future draft picks.

I'd be surprised if Agoos or Osorio were still around to actually make any of the picks that they've accumulated.

So thanks to some poor front-office work by Agoos, Osorio has been left with a bare pantry, but that still doesn't excuse such poor results.

New York's lone victories this season have come against a San Jose side that is nearly as poor as they are, and a Real Salt Lake side that was struggling mightily at the time. Even a single victory against a marquee club like Chivas or Chicago would do wonders to improve the perception of this team, but they can't even get the job done against clubs treading water in mid-table.

Perhaps Osorio's endless tinkering with lineups has contributed to a lack of on-field chemistry, which has in turn produced results that would make the 1962 Mets blush. The first time that Osorio played the same starting lineup in consecutive matches was in the Red Bulls' ninth and tenth matches of the season.

Even Bob Bradley doesn't tinker with his lineups that much.

The 2008 version of the Red Bulls was nothing to write home about, but they produced decent results. They snuck into the playoffs after coming out of MLS' toughest conference, and used that experience to roll all the way to the MLS Cup Final.

Their defense wasn't among the best in the league, but it was far from the worst. When the defense failed, the offense could generally pick up the slack.

This season, the Red Bulls are the proud owners of both the least productive offense in MLS and a defense that more closely resembles a sieve than a football team.

Last season's MLS Cup runners-up have shipped 30 goals this season while only scoring 15. That's pathetic on both ends of the pitch no matter how you slice it.

Red Bulls fans aren't satisfied with a 2-13-4 mark, and neither is the management in Austria. According to Soccer By Ives, Agoos and managing director Erik Stover have been summoned to Austria to explain the poor results. This is a pretty extreme move for an ownership group that doesn't like to intrude.

Changes are coming, but it won't be soon enough for Red Bulls fans.