Erik Stover - From the Desk of

Here is the next installment of Q&A with Red Bulls Managing Director Erik Stover (previous installments HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). Mr. Stover shares his thoughts on the his recent trip to Austria to meet with Red Bull ownership, followed by his usual Q&A from questions you submitted.  This is Mr. Stover’s first public statements regarding this important trip.  Again, we encourage you to submit questions for Mr. Stover to reply to in future additions, either in the comments section or by emailing: (questions only please, as this is a no-reply e-mail address).

July 13, 2009

This month, I’d like to bring you up to date on my trip to Austria.

Jeff Agoos and I spent last week in Austria to meet with ownership on a number of business issues – including the team’s performance on the pitch. We met a number of times with Mr. Mateschitz and other Red Bull Soccer executives.  We discussed the sporting division in great detail and identified several areas that require short-term and long-term corrections. We recognize that systemic changes are required and that our performance this year is unacceptable.

When news of our trip was reported, many people speculated that we would make a change in the coaching staff this week. However, after much deliberation, it was decided to keep the coaching staff in place. The coaches are all aware that they are judged on the team’s performance and know that their positions are on the line. But ownership is committed to its employees – at all levels – and wants them to succeed.

I have also met with the team as a whole to inform them of the decision. Everyone understands, from the players to the coaches to the front office, that we are accountable for our actions and that things must improve. And, we’ll monitor performance going forward and take actions as necessary.

As we’ve continually stated, we believe that we have brought in a strong nucleus of players from which we can build for the long-term. So, we are focused on turning things around and improving the team – for this year and beyond.


From Lakaix15:

Mr. Stover,

I’m sure you saw the Chicago game (a few weeks ago), and the one minute Section 8 had with flares. I have a few family members that are supporters in Section 8 (ages 27, 20, 21, 20, 15, 8), aAnd they use marine flares that are harmless to others. Is there any chance in RBA that the supporters could use them? I am totally for the F.O. making whoever is handling the flare have some kind of certification from the F.O. or HFD to use them. Another way of helping from other people from using flares in the stadium is having a glass wall so others (non- ESC-GSS) and using flares and getting in to 101 in RBA. I have heard that we might be able to use Fog machine/strobe light. But I think it does not give the same effect as it does for the real thing. Also can you let us know what other things the Supporters might be able to use…. mega flags and other supporter stuff would be great….

Some of the staff in the front office are advocating the marine flares, as well.  If there is a safe and legal way to do this then we will consider it.  Some time near the end of the year we will hold meetings with the leaders of the various supporter groups to go over all of these ideas in detail.  So, I suggest you share your ideas with the leaders of your group so that we can have a thorough discussion.

Also, fencing in or walling off the supporter section is not something that we will consider.  It raises serious issues regarding building codes plus these barriers normally create more security problems than they solve.  You don’t need to look any further than the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989 to understand the dangers these can create.

From The Penalty Spot:

For those of us that view the webcam on a regular basis, can you give us a timeline of when to expect notable events? For example, when will seats start going in, grass, etc.

Good suggestion…here is a tentative schedule for some of the most visible elements:

Beginning of August – Field Drainage System work begins

Beginning of August – Horizontal roof installation begins

Mid-September – Sod installation begins

Late September – Seat installation begins

Thank you for your support of the Red Bulls!





  1. lou Says:

    Mr. stover, i’m guessing the answer would be no but, can you tell us who the unnamed player is that osorio wants to sign without bringing him in on trial? Also any comment on pavel nedved, he wants to continue to play but somewhere out of italy. At 36 his european career may be over, but Is there an chance we would be interested?

  2. lakaix15 Says:

    this might be the smartest MD in MLS, he know his football history…. this is great.

    Thank you for your post Mr. Erik, I am greatly thankfull

    as for the stadium…. wow this is great cant wait to see it on the web cam….

    Now, if only our team can be as smart as our MD lol

  3. Mentz Says:

    I just hope we start to see some changes. I hope everyone in the front office is noticing that the crowd size has shrunk with each game and lack of result. Not exactly what you want moving into a new stadium.

    I sure hope these new acquistions can adapt quickly and help get us some results not only in league play but especially in CCL coming up very soon. If we cannot get past the play-in series with W Connection some heads will roll…

  4. Iain Says:

    Any news on the big gimmick that will be required to get people into the stadium next season ?

  5. Mike V. Says:

    Did you feel like a criminal calling all your season ticket holders asking for more money after extending the teams winless streak to 11?

  6. Haig Says:

    “it was decided to keep the coaching staff in place”

    Give me a freakin’ break. Those guys are knuckleheads.

    How many more foolish moves will it take to destroy the future of this team BEYOND the 2011 season, which is the absolute earliest that we would be able to rebuild?

    I’m thinking all of you are in over your heads.

  7. Haig Says:

    “Those guys are knuckleheads”

    Des excluded. Richie might be OK, too– I really expected he would be the interim coach by now, which might give you a chance of not overseeing the worst MLS team of all time. Oh well.

  8. Matt Says:

    meh I’ve just become apathetic about this club. Don’t really care whether we win or lose on Thursday because the club itself doesn’t seem to value it very much. ]

    Man, I would LOVE to have Osorio’s job security.

  9. Anthony Says:

    We have a disinterested owner on the other side of the world who seems hell bent on establishing some non descript self serving global super brand that creates no unique individual idenity, who apprently tolorates extreme failure.

    I am often conflicted between rooting for failure and rooting for success….because i wonder if after losing and losing and losing on the field and in the pockets…red bull may sell the club to a ownership group commited to SOCCER first and second and last here whtout the alterior moives and that maybe one day all of our long suffering soccer fans here will finally have the club it desveres.

  10. Cindy Says:

    that timeline was a cool thing to ask about and it’s nice to know RBNY will meet the heads of the supporters groups. can’t say much about staffing changes aside from the fact that i assume they aren’t willing to spend the money for a lost season, which makes sense.

  11. Alle Says:

    What a joke, we’re already near disaster at this point! When will our next win be? Against LA? I’m telling you: If we lose by 2 or more, we can’t afford to go any further with this humiliation.

  12. red9fan Says:

    Mr. Stover, Exactly who the Hell are you including in this ” STRONG NUCLEUS” of Players you speak of?

  13. Tim F. Says:

    This is a difficult time for everyone… the coaching staff, players, front office and fans. We’re hoping for a second half turn-around and strong play in CONCACAF to build positive momentum for next year. Starting with Thursday’s game against the Galaxy, Donovan and Beckham. LET’S GO RED BULLS!!!

  14. afrim Says:

    strong nucleus of players? exactly how many players did we have called up to the US national team’s Confederation Cup team?

    And how many RB players were called up to the Gold Cup squad?(what essentially is a B and C squad)

    strong nucleus indeed

  15. Red Bulls Soccer Says:

    Osorio was given last chance on Galaxy game. If he loses – he is fired.

  16. Jay Says:

    The frustrating thing for me is that this team is not as bad as it’s record. Of the 13 losses, 9 have been by one goal. We are usually in every game, and there is usually one or 2 mistakes that you can point at that turned the game. If we were getting blown out every week, I’d say “Yes, we suck”, but the fact is that they are not that bad.

    I want to know what genius at MLS front loaded our schedule. We’ve played 2-3 games more than everyone else, and we’ve played 5 more than New England.

    • Mentz Says:

      Its so we can get this horrible wasted season over with quicker…

      No actually we just got screwed over big time with the scheduling. Loved the Toronto series being changed to accomodate them playing a superclub while it inconveniences us. Thanks Don Garber!

    • DS Says:

      I definitely agree with a lot of what you are saying. I don’t think we have been as bad as our record, we make a couple mistakes that lose games, and the other main problem is finding the back of the net. If we can stop the mistakes and start taking some of our chances we can end this season respectably.

      Regarding the front loaded schedule, due to injuries and the terrible run we have been on, it has hurt us. But if we had been playing really well and on a run I think we would have been happy to have so many matches, so it could have helped us. Also, I think MLS might have given us so much more free time in the second half of the season for the Champions League. If we get through W Connection it would help to have the time off to rest and travel for the group stage.

  17. Morning Ticker: City closes in on Adebayor, Beckham open to EPL return and more | Says:

    […] people speculated that we would make a change in the coaching staff this week," Stover said on the Red Bulls team blog. "However, after much deliberation, it was decided to keep the coaching staff in […]

  18. onionsack Says:

    Better than our record? Guys, you arewhat your record says you are. Fact is this team is clearly the worst team in the league this season. We lose games, we cant score goals, we make mistakes poor temas make regularly and we play with no fire.

    This is a very bad team with a few decent parts and guided by a coach who cannot seem to get them to play as a cohessive unit.

    Erik, lets not put off till tomorow what we can finish today. Its time to call Jeff and Juan into the office and issue their pink slips.

  19. GeneralMSU3 Says:

    Stover: “We discussed the sporting division in great detail and identified several areas that require short-term and long-term corrections.”

    “Sporting Division”?? The truth is starting to come out in his very own words. I think we were under the assumption that this was a soccer club. It’s obviously much more than that and the soccer team, coaches, trainers, etc. are part of the “Sporting Division”. Oh boy!…… This is where we all start to lose interest because it’s not a soccer team we are rooting for anymore. It’s a big energy drink giant that is building a stadium and has its own soccer team.

    Stover: “We recognize that systemic changes are required and that our performance this year is unacceptable.”

    Mr. Stover, in your opinion, what makes this season “unacceptable”? When did you determine that this is unacceptable? What are those “systemic changes” going to be considering we have seen any noticiable changes? We just would like to hear your opinion on this.

    And as mentioned before, which players do you consider to be our nucleus for the future? Again, we’d like to hear your opinion on this.

  20. NewcastleRBNY Says:

    Whenever I hear someone say we have a strong nucleus of players BUT we still aren’t acheiving results the only answer in my mind is that the coaching staff isn’t getting the best out of the current crop of players. They aren’t managing properly and using them to the best of their strengths. If it isn’t the players then its the coach, if it isn’t the coach then its the person who brought in the players who aren’t workng out (oh wait thats the coach again…) and finally if it is the players then its up to the coach to get them playing in a system that makes sense and can work off of their strengths.

    In case its not obvious the problem is Osorio. He has been given his time and has proven that aside from a lucky chance here and there he shows time and time again that he doesn’t know how to run this team or make proper decisions.

  21. Connor B Says:

    After years of supporting Metro and this new “thing” called a soccer team, I am glad to see I am not the only one that hates supporting a big bad advertisement….I still can’t believe I have season tickets to this…if only there was another top-flight soccer option less than 4 hours from home.

  22. Jay Says:

    The German speaking world has had corporations tied to soccer teams for a long time. Look at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. That’s Bayer as in Bayer Aspirin. Many corporations have owned baseball, football, and basketball teams. This is no different. The one advantage is that they have money to spend on a new stadium or a designated player. None of those things happen without Red Bull and I, for one, am grateful. If you want to get a look at what the stadium is going to look like when it’s done, check out:
    They are making a copy of the stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria

  23. onionsack Says:


    You cant be serious. You are drawing a really poor analogy between Red Bull Whatever and Bayer Leverkeusen, In one case you have a corporate entity that created a company club team over 100 years ago for recreation that eventually over time became a top flight club you see today. Yet, despite corporate ownership, they never used the club as a pimp device for their medicine let alone branded their entire fusball club around that concept.

    Here, you have a club that wasn’t formed, it was bought and transformed into a massive marketing platform where the entire team from thje logo, crest, name and mission revolves around the owners corporate purpose.

    Please tell me you are not so daft as to actual bite hook line sinker on this. Please tell me you are not reducing this dispute down to an aestetic “name” argument. Its not the name or the ownership…its the identity and soul of this team.

  24. GeneralMSU3 Says:


    C’mon man!!?? Seriously??……Seriously???

  25. Mastro Says:


  26. Red Bulls Soccer Says:

    Osorio last chance is totally blown. Fire the bastard!!!

  27. emilio Says:

    Mr. Stover when will you announce the firing of Osorio?

  28. DS Says:

    I’m sorry, but do any of you know where the name Metrostars came from? Do you?

    If anyone does please let me know.

  29. Anthony Says:


    You and Jay should form a bad anaology support group. There is noone on the planet that could see Metrostars for the first time and ever guess where the name had its roots..never.

    The fact you have to “fake” ask this question is proof enough. There was nothing on the surface or under it that made it apparent that MetroMedia was the ownership behind the club.

    Everytime i hear this stupid argument i want t throw up in my mouth and pray for human intelligence.

  30. Don Zorro Says:

    Jay they just don’t get it…

    ASKÖ Pasching was an Austrian football club, from Pasching, Upper Austria. The club has participated in the Austrian Bundesliga from 2002 until 2007, when it renamed to SK Austria Kärnten and relocated to Klagenfurt. During this five years the club was know as SV PlusCity und FC Superfund due to sponsorship reasons.
    BTW The club was formed on 15 June 1946 as ATSV Pasching…all those fans since then do not matter after they made it to the Bundesliga and relocated to Klagenfurt…

    Uhm sounds familiar…maybe they will get it now..

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