RBNY Notebook: Rodgers' visa fate still unclear
HARRISON, N.J. – New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said earlier in the week that he expected an answer on Luke Rodgers’ troublesome visa situation by Wednesday.
Here’s the update: There is no update.
As has been the case for the past few weeks, Backe does not know whether Rodgers will get his visa renewed for the current MLS season after it was initially denied during the offseason.
“Still waiting, still waiting,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com during Red Bulls Media Day on Thursday afternoon. “But we can’t wait for weeks, months and doesn’t have an answer. I think we will have an answer quite soon, but I would say I would give it a week to find out what to do.”
If he does not get that answer, Backe said the team will search for a new striker. But the Swedish coach is still willing to postpone any decision.
“Of course, we have to wait for the answer,” Backe said. “But I am quite sure people said we were going to have an answer yesterday, Wednesday, but we haven’t heard anything today. It will be one, two, three days, definitely we will have an answer.”
With one goal scored in two games, it is clear New York’s talented but lackluster offense is missing the diminutive English striker to help stretch opposing teams.
“There’s no question that we miss his pace, there’s no question that we miss his work rate,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “It’s been kind of a tough transition, but for us, it is something that we need to work on as a team quickly.”
• Teemu Tainio will undergo a fitness test on Friday to determine whether he is healthy enough to suit up for the home opener against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday. Tainio suffered a deep ankle bruise in last weekend’s loss to Real Salt Lake.
• Center back Wilman Conde was not with the team for training or Media Day on Thursday as he tended to matters regarding the fixing of his license from the Mexican FA.
• Asked about whether he would like to play alongside German midfielder Michael Ballack (who is rumored to be joining MLS this summer), Thierry Henry responded in part by saying: ‘Who wouldn’t like to play with Michael Ballack?”
• Henry refused to discuss his short visit to England earlier in the week, where he went to visit Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton Wanderers player who suffered a heart attack last weekend while playing in a match.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.