E. RUTHERFORD, N.J. - While he didn't say who would be named Red Bull New York's director of soccer operations or when a decision would be made, the club's new managing director made one point crystal clear.
"No former Cosmos will be involved with this soccer club," Marc De Grandpre said in his first meeting with the New York media before Saturday's Red Bulls vs. D.C. United game at Giants Stadium.
While Franz Beckenbauer is a good friend and a special advisor to Red Bull's Austrian billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, De Grandpre says that's where his role with Red Bull New York stops. There have been reports that former players from Shep Messing to Giorgio Chinaglia to Carlos Alberto were going to play one role or another within the club.
Not so, says De Grandpre.
"The people who are in charge of this team made it clear to me that the former Cosmos will not be involved," he reiterated.
De Grandpre admits to having a limited soccer background, having played as a kid in Canada. But he said he is anxious to learn more about the sport.
"I embrace the challenge and there's a big learning curve to understanding the game," he said. "But I think we have the right staff that's going to support me, and we'll move forward."
As for his role with Red Bull New York?
"I'm in charge with everything that has to do with business and commercial aspects - marketing, sales, stadium operations, communications, new stadium development, all of those things fall under my umbrella," he said.
De Grandpre also put to rest a rumor that Red Bull was interested in playing in Giants Stadium in the future, saying the club was going to be playing in Harrison, hopefully by April 2008.
He also said that while the Red Bulls won't play at Giants Stadium on July 15 when they play host to the Colorado Rapids, because of a scheduling conflict at the stadium, an alternative site has not been determined of yet, although the club is looking into Hofstra University.
De Grandpre also followed up on Thursday's announcement by again saying that Mo Johnston is the coach of the team.
"I met with Mo and as long as I'm the guy right now, he's the guy, the coach," he said.
But that could change when the director of soccer operations is named.
"At this point, there is no there's no timeline, no deadline," De Grandpre said when asked when that person would be hired. "When that person comes in place, it will be their decision what to do with Mo."
De Grandpre joins the club after more than seven years at Red Bull North America, where he was the director of field marketing. In that role he oversaw all activities for the company's east region. De Grandpre was a key cog in the purchase and re-branding of the MetroStars, which Red Bull bought from AEG in March.
Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.