The New York Red Bulls have moved on from head coach Troy Lesesne, announcing Tuesday they've opted not to renew his contract for the 2024 MLS season.
Lesesne took over from Gerhard Struber in May and guided the club to a 10W-9L-4D record as they reached the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for a record 14th straight season. The Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed, they fell to Supporters' Shield winners FC Cincinnati in Round One after beating Charlotte FC in the Wild Card game.
Additionally, assistant coach Zach Prince was relieved of his duties.
"We would like to thank Troy for his professionalism while navigating the team through challenging times and we know he has a bright future ahead," RBNY director of sport Jochen Schneider said in a press release. " … The selection process for the next head coach of the New York Red Bulls is actively underway."
Lesesne's exit was announced shortly after RBNY confirmed they mutually parted ways with longtime sporting director Denis Hamlett, who leaves after nearly a decade at the club. An extensive search for a new sporting director is ongoing.
"It has been an honor to work closely with Denis on all sporting matters pertaining to the club," Schneider said. "His insights and perspective were always important when making key decisions for the success of the organization. We wish Denis and his family all the best."
Rebuild coming in 2024?
Tuesday's shakeup provided an indicator New York are looking to go in a new direction in 2024. The standard of MLS playoff consistency over the past 14 seasons, RBNY have struggled to translate their record postseason streak into MLS Cup success.
This year was particularly testing, as Lesesne took over from Struber amid the team's early-season struggles and snuck New York into a Wild Card spot thanks to a stoppage-time Decision Day win over Nashville SC.
There's already been talk of roster additions, specifically RB Leipzig attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg. The Swedish international would presumably require a Designated Player slot, two of which are currently occupied by midfielder Luquinhas and forward Dante Vanzeir.
The future of rising homegrown John Tolkin is also the subject of much speculation. The 21-year-old left back produced 3g/6a this season and has been increasingly linked to a possible outbound transfer during the winter window.