Luke Rodgers’ ongoing visa saga is nearing a resolution. And the New York Red Bulls certainly hope to be seeing him back on US soil sooner rather than later.
Speaking to reporters in a conference call on Thursday, New York head coach Hans Backe said Rodgers will meet with he US embassy in London next week. At that meeting it will be determined if the forward’s visa will be renewed for the upcoming MLS season.
Backe and the rest of the Red Bulls organization will be keeping their fingers crossed that the fiery fox-in-the-box striker gets the green light to return.
“[He has] an appointment on March 8, so we have to wait until the middle of next week and then we’ll know,” Backe said.
After initially looking to have been approved for his return last month, Rodgers’ visa renewal was denied due to an unspecified issue.
Should it be denied again, the Red Bulls say they have no plans to bring in someone else to replace the diminutive English striker, who was second in scoring for his side last year with nine goals and also added three assists.
“We’re not doing anything or I don’t think we can say that we have any Plan B,” Backe said. “I mean we have Thierry [Henry], we have Kenny [Cooper] and [Juan] Agudelo as the strikers. So we just stay quite calm and wait for the answer from the embassy.”
Backe also revealed that Rodgers is currently training with English Premier League club Aston Villa in an effort to stay fit and sharp for the season, assuming his visa is approved.