Despite a season that will most likely go down as one of the biggest disappointments in American sports history, the New York Red Bulls (NYRB) will have head coach Hans Backe stay for the 2012 MLS season, according to General Manager (GM) Eric Soler.
New York Daily News sports writer Stefan Bondy tweeted that Soler told him that Backe "will return next season regardless of if the team qualifies for the playoffs."
The 49-year-old Swedish coach has a 9-8-16 record this season, giving him and the Red Bulls 43 points. Predicted as the outright winner of the Eastern Conference in the 2011 MLS preseason, injuries and personnel mismanagement have plagued a under performing team.
Backe has lead New York to only a 2-2-1 record in the team's last five games down the stretch, even though he has two of the league's highest paid players, former Arsenal great Thierry Henry and Mexican national team captain Rafael Marquez, plus Frank Rost, the highest paid goalkeeper in MLS, at his disposal.
The news is good for the Philadelphia Union, who are 2-1-0 in league play versus the Red Bulls since joining MLS. The two teams face off on Thursday night in a game that may determine whether or not the Union claim first place in the Eastern conference, or if the Red Bulls make the playoffs.