Report: Sousa denied work permit, paving way for Petke

It took the New York Red Bulls nearly three months to find their new head coach. According to a report in the New York Post, we may finally have an idea as to why.

Brian Lewis reported on Friday morning that former Portuguese international Paulo Sousa, who had emerged over the last several weeks as the top candidate before somewhat shockingly dropping out of the discussion, was actually offered the job outright. The only reason he's not the man calling the shots right now is that he was denied a work permit.

That opened the door for club legend (and reported favorite of sporting director Andy Roxburgh) Mike Petke to land the head coaching role.

Lewis also reports that former Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser has emerged as one of the front-runners for an assistant's job under Petke.

Fraser, a two-time MLS Defender of the Year and US national team veteran from his playing days, had a disappointing two-year run in charge of the Goats that ended after last season, but few are more qualified for the job of top assistant. He served in that role for four years under Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake, helping construct the team that won the 2009 MLS Cup and, in 2010, set the league record for fewest goals conceded.

The Red Bulls declined to comment on either report when asked by MLSsoccer.com.