There might be another head coach on the international level with a strong connection to the New York Red Bulls and MLS on the horizon. Carl Robinson and Thierry Henry are both candidates for the Wales national team position, each player having ended their illustrious careers here in New York.
Earlier this week, Welsh national team manager Chris Coleman resigned his position to take over English Premier League club Sunderland, creating a vacancy for a country that has seen their international credibility rise significantly over the past five years. In Robinson, a former Red Bulls midfielder who is now head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps, there is a Welshman who surely would be eager for the job.
Robinson along with Henry, a former French international and one of the best soccer players in the world over the past quarter of a century, were both linked to the job by BBC Sports. Of the two individuals with MLS connections, only Robinson has been a head coach.
He is also Welsh as noted earlier, something that might be very appealing to a federation that has a host of young talent coming up through the ranks of the Premier League and the Championship and needs a manager committed to this youth movement.
He’s also enjoyed a fair share of success here in MLS as a head coach and has done so on a shoestring budget.
And if Robinson or Henry got the job, they’d join a pretty exclusive list of prominent national team head coaches with connections to this franchise. Former United States national team head coach Bruce Arena managed the Red Bulls a decade ago. The same could be said for Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico’s head coach, who was a former Red Bulls and Chicago Fire head coach. Octavio Zambrano, now in charge of Canada’s national team, coached the then MetroStars for several seasons beginning in 2000.
Then there are the likes of Tab Ramos (United States U-20 national team and a prohibitive favorite to become the national team’s interim head coach) and Omid Namazi (U-18 national team head coach), both of whom played for the MetroStars during the league’s nascent days. Also included in this list is Thomas Dooley, a MetroStars midfielder in 2000 who is now the head coach of the Philippines national team.