Erik Solér (far right) was named Red Bull Sporting Director and GM

The club today announced the appointment of Erik Solér as its General Manager and Sporting Director. The appointment was made by Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Head of Red Bull Global Soccer. Solér will be responsible for the overall management of the New York Red Bulls, including its sporting division – comprised of the First Team, the Red Bulls Academy, its developmental system and scouting.


RedBullsReader had a chance to sit down with Erik Solér to get to know a little more about him, and for him to share his thoughts on a few subjects.

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UPDATE: Solér sat down with some members of the media today.  Read their reactions.

Bend it like Bondy
Soccer By Ives
MLS Insider
New York Times Goal Blog
We expect something from Brian Lewis on the NY Post blog soon.

What are your thoughts on the hiring?  What direction do you think Solér can lead the franchise?  Who do you believe will be his selection for head coach?



  1. IMSYE87 Says:

    How long until you hire that mistake er– tony adams, now?

  2. Dannyc58 Says:

    Stop asking us to comment if you won’t respond to us. Its a joke.

  3. MattS Says:

    So lets answer the questions…
    1. Indifferent
    2. Nowhere
    3. Someone other then Richie Williams just because hiring Williams would be the only sensible choice

  4. Erik Says:

    After listening to this interview I actually have a good feeling about this guy. Ok yes he does know very little about the MLS but it is clear he lives and breathes soccer and that is what we need. After the last years it became clear that the whole organization needed to be changed and he seems to be they guy to do this. Not only does he understand the soccer culture he seems to also be a pro in building professional organizations. Another big pro is that he actually is friends whit the people in Austria, that means he might have more luck getting through to them.
    So lets just see how he will do and please stop being so negative about every thing!

    • Dannyc58 Says:

      Lives and Breaths soccer? He was out of the game most of the time since the 1990’s unless it would make him money (as an agent/owner). I’m not saying he can’t do well, but I don’t get that impression from his interview.

      • Erik Says:

        Does not matter he was out of it. He played it as a pro so he understands the game. You might not like the fact he makes/made money as an agent/owner but that gives him a ton of crucial experience. The kind of experience we were clearly missing the last few years.

  5. emilio Says:

    Whats wrong with him being in it to make money, all agents, or team directors make money. He is a soccer man and thats good.

    • Dannyc58 Says:

      Nothing wrong with wanting to make money, I just disagree he “lives and breaths soccer”. He “lives and breaths” making money. Which is fine, but lets not act like he has a record evaluating talent.

  6. Iain Says:

    Seems like a good company man, let’s hope the ‘brand’ improves the ‘product’ on the field. After all, who doesn’t want their kids running around proudly wearing Red Bulls gear … it’s every Football fans dream.

  7. eltigreferoz Says:

    Honestly if these reports of Tony Adams becoming our new boss are serious, I’m going to have a conniption. It’s a like a bad joke, at the expense of season ticket holders. Tony Adams–what are the board a bunch of nostalgic arsenal fans. WTF!?!? The man has won like four games in charge of any team, Wycombe or Portsmouth.

  8. kahlva Says:

    Going only on vibe and what he says here – this seems like a spectacularly bad hire.

    He seems totally unqualified to be in a managerial position of a sports franchise – “owner” and “psychologist” and a “player in the 80s” do NOT equal a very qualified Sporting Director of a Major League Soccer team.

    And… where’s the passion? Where’s the excitement? Totally corporate. THIS is the Red Bulls brand?


    The only way they can possibly salvage this is if they hire someone with tons of MLS experience (RICHIE. WILLIAMS. OK?) and give that hire a large amount of flexibility and control.

  9. Matt Says:

    About what I expected. He seems well spoken and fairly knowledgeable about football in general, though not MLS. More telling will be whatever information they can get from him this afternoon at the press conference.

    I’m an optimistic guy, and at least he is not Agoos, Lalas or DeGrandpre, so good luck to him and here’s hoping for better days ahead.

  10. Cindy Says:

    i could put him in my pocket! haha

    if having Soler in an official capacity now stops Agoos from making big decisions [like the protected players list] then i’m all for it. best of luck to him and hopefully he’ll do good things for this team.

  11. eltigreferoz Says:

    That said, I really hope Soler is our answer. And I hope he’s clever enough to see what we need and make the right choices. I will give him every support. I mean, who could do worse?

  12. Mr Fish Says:

    He’s a psychologist. I’m sure he has experience dealing with depression.

  13. kpugs Says:

    I can’t believe it took this long to name a GM, and it turns out to be a guy who knows nothing about MLS. And we still don’t have a manager, even though Richie Williams is sitting right under our noses.

    I don’t care if Soler turns out to be the second coming of Jeebus. The fact is this club needs to be remade on the pitch, and it is absolutely pathetic that it is taking this long to name a GM and manager. It makes me sick.

  14. Alle Says:

    He may not know anything about the MLS, but if you ask me, he’s better than Agoos. He has already been chairman of IK Start in Norway, that’s real experience. Now, if he keeps Richie, I don’t think we’ll have any problems next season in terms of recruiting players. Be happy he speaks good English atleast.

  15. ik start Says:

    Erik has been around in Norwegian and European football for years and has contacts all over the world. He sold his profitable business of executive search because he wanted to work with football. Other people can teach him about MLS, he is obviously able to learn and he know the game.

    The team Start is based in a 75,000-people small city in Norway and he did not succeed, actually the bank took over the club, and later his ex-partner bought back the club from the bank (some months ago) and now they are almost bankrupt again. So this chairman role is bs.

    The team includes Clay Goodson.

  16. Magnus Says:

    I see people complaining about his knowledge about MLS, but what is there to know? He knows everything worth to know about soccer. His experience from european soccer could only be helpful for the MLS and The Red Bulls. Lets face it european soccer is better than MLS. I think Solér will do great things for this team.

  17. Jim Says:

    The problem is, Magnus, that MLS operates unlike any other league in the world. Its single entity, the players are signed to the league (not the individual clubs), and there is a salary cap. This drove a much larger soccer name (Ruud Gullitt) out the league and back to Europe crying in his Armani hanky.

  18. Magnus Says:

    I understand that. But Erik won’t be running this club by his own. He’s here to manage and get the best people to the club. His contacts within the European soccer network will be crucial for the club.
    I certanly understand those who question his knowledge of the MLS, or the lack of it, but I don’t think it will be a problem. I’m sure he’s been studying the league since he was offered the job and he will surely learn more in the months to follow.
    He got the job and he got it because he is a highly competent leader. Complaining (I’m not saying you are) won’t do anything better. His performance will tell if his the right man for the job or not. I think he is, but surely you can, and many probably will, disagree with me.

    I will definitely follow the club more closely from now on.

    • lou Says:

      He seems like an intelligent man, but after the season we had can we really afford to have a man learning on the job in the months to come? New jobs are hard to adjust to, so having to adapt to a completely unique league must be next to impossible.
      The key to our success next year, isn’t erik learning more about the league and it’s absurd rules, it’s erik being a savy leader and appointing the right people to run this american soccer team. That means finding the right people for the FO, hiring the right coach, building a relationship between us and the austrian side, and using his scandenavian connections well.
      He is better then marc de grandpre, that’s for sure.

    • Matt Says:

      You’ve gotta understand, Magnus, that we have easily the most negative fans in the league. Not for no reason, of course. For the past 15 years the franchise has been epically bad (with a few exceptions). So everyone immediately assumes the worst will come to pass. Combine this with American arrogance toward foreigners in MLS and some of the dismal failures who have coached here – most recently Gullit – and you can perhaps begin to understand the hostility toward Solér.

      Personally I wish him well. This is the same organization that put guys like Stillitano, Sakiewicz, Lalas, Mo Johnston and Jeff Agoos in charge, and now we’re going to complain about the appointment of Solér?

  19. Alle Says:

    Let’s just remember that he’s not Gullit, because Gullit was a coach, Soler’s the sporting director. A lot of good can come out of this, especially if Richie stays. With Soler involved in the recruting, we should be able to bring in more talent (and not the kind that we saw from Agoos and Osorio in South America). I’m confident we’ll be able to move forward under him.

    • DS Says:

      You know that in 2 years Agoos and Osorio only brough in only 5 South Americans out of about 22 players they signed (not including drafted players), so stop complaining about South Americans.

      Gullit was a great players and has never really shown much as a coach. He is not comparable to Solér in any way. He was brought in as a name and failed horribly at coaching a team. Solér is not in the same position and was not brought in for the same reasons.

      I am hopeful for what he can bring to the team. I think he will do better at bridging the gap between Austria and NY, and from his experience will be better at managing the company. We all know that at times it seems like some of the people running the team have no idea what they are doing, nor do they know about soccer. He has managed multiple companies and knows about soccer and about players from all over Europe. Those qualities have been greatly missing in the management of this team.

      Let’s wait to see who he appoints as head coach. Unless it’s Tony Adams, then he should be let go immediately.

    • Alle Says:

      I did not compare Soler with Gullit in anyway, I just noticed that someone was trying to compare him with Gullit above.

      As for the South American comment, it’s fully justified. I also forgot to mention the Central American players as well. You have admit, the recruiting hasn’t gone well over there, at all. I would like to bet that if we went to Africa, we would have found more gems there then the clubs we scouted at.

      Players like Rojas made me ask myself whether we’re playing for the playoffs or not. If we want to move forward, we need to be serious in the players we get. We can’t just look at a player and say “Oh, he’s good for us”, we have to take time and plan out the kinds of players we want. Last season was an absolute joke and I don’t think I’m speaking for myself there.

      • DS Says:

        The Gullit comment was not specifically directed at you Alle, it was directed at anyone who felt there needed to be a comparison.

        I completely agree that the scouting has been terrible, too many players have come in and failed to perform. I just don’t want to blame it on South Americans. Yes the scouting network needs to find players from all over, not just one area, but they have actually done that. We have/had one of the most multinational rosters in the league, and it didn’t work at all.

        I don’t really care where a player is from, all that matters is how they can perform for the team on the pitch. If Solér and the new coach can bring in quality players to improve this team (which shouldn’t be too difficult to improve) that is all that matters, not where they are from.

  20. BG Says:

    I liked what I saw of Soler in the interview. Two complaints upthread seem particularly ridiculous: One is that he lacks intimate knowledge of MLS. As has been pointed out before, so what? The point is to make MLS better and that will necessarily involve hiring people from outside the population of ardent MLS fans.

    And “Where’s the passion?” Uh, he’s not “corporate,” he’s Norwegian.

    • Magnus Says:

      I like your last comment. I know we Norwegians seem a little boring, and I must admit it is true. We’ve not got the Italian or Spanish passion. We don’t brag and we follow the Jante Law. We can do business though.

    • Jamison Says:

      If I was on an airplane that lost its two pilots, and they replaced him with a guy that had only flown helicopters, I wouldn’t look at his tons of flying “experience” and say “He’s never flown an airplane. So what?”

      Just sayin’.

  21. lou Says:

    I’m not going to go and make assumptions about the hiring of this guy just yet. Obviously after all that has transpired over the past year or so, my confidence is fairly low. But if this guy shows he can use his connections well to acquire talented scandenavian players, and if we hire the right man for the job (richie williams) things may start to look brighter.

    • lou's an idiot Says:

      atleast if richie gets hired, him and soler would see “eye to eye” on certain things 😉 haha

      • lou Says:

        oh lou’s an idiot made a funny. But then again every post he makes, even the serious ones, could be consider jokes.

  22. Fredrick Says:

    I’m just throwing this out there. What about trying to get a successful coach from Europe? Roberto Mancini is free.

  23. Tim F. Says:

    Welcome Erik! Best fortune! As you know, we want a winning team!

  24. eltigreferoz Says:

    I have to say that I’m much more enthusiastic about Soler now having read his interview from Ives. One thing has me worried, though: Richie Williams. If Soler can convince Richie to stay at RBNY at a lower capacity than head coach then (if RW’s not going to be boss), he has to do it. I think the talent there is unmistakable, and if we let him go to DC or Fire, then we will forever rue the day. Also, I hope that he’ll be getting Richie’s advice for the upcoming (more so than, say, Agoos). Richie was convinced we needed an attacking midfielder and I think every fan would agree.

    Also, I wonder if rbny might look into Darius Vassell. He’s currently playing in Turkey but seems unhappy there. At 29, he still has great speed and used to play alongside Angel at AVFC. Maybe a better proposition than Henry, while sans the *starpower*. Anyway…


  25. Jamison Says:

    Norwegians are cool, this isn’t about Americans hating Europe. We just don’t want to blow 4 draft picks while he learns on the job, or three years of our life following a team waiting for the thing to turn around. Could he be a success? Possible. Is it likely, noT very. Hopefully he’ll be given chances/resources that no European has ever had that will make him a success. Tom Petty is right, waiting is the hardest part.

    • DS Says:

      Wait, are you trying to say that you think this can be turned around in less that 3 years? You think this team can be turned around in 1 or 2 years? Are you serious?

  26. redbulls4ever Says:

    AGAIN, please N.Y. Redbulls corporate office, don’t make us regret the loss of Richie Williams. D.C. United are waiting in the wings………………………………….. WILLIAMS FOR N.Y. REDBULLS COACH

  27. emilio Says:

    Its MLS same salary cap, draft picks, wise signings, if things are done well a turnaround is very possible.

  28. NYFINEST Says:

    “”Soccer is about filling the stadiums and to fill the stadiums you have to play the type of soccer people like, you have to attract people with some good players they like to watch,” he said. “There are millions of things you have to do with the team and the organization to be able to produce what people like to watch.”
    that what he said
    This year REDBULL was horrible to watch people. i don’t care bout Richie. give us an attractive attacking minded coach. i had found myself taping SEATTLE SOUNDERS game. they are fun to watch. just give us a team so we could b proud of

  29. Alle Says:

    At this point, Richie is the only man who can take us forward. No one say Mancini since it’s highly unlikely he’s interested, and Tony Adams would just kill the club on a whole. I respect him as a player (as I like Arsenal ofcourse!), but taking him would be like putting Rojas as manager. It’s just not going to work for us.

  30. el Says:

    I think the club should look into the availability of LDU Quito forward Franklin Salas. He is only 28 and could make an impressive combination up front with Angel.

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  32. Dario Says:

    I have a bad feeling about this…

    He does not understand the league, the system or the country. I will not judge him now, but after a few seasons.

    Well at least we can look foward to the stadium, hopefully it wont be half empty.

  33. Dario Says:

    and…Richie Williams HAS TO get the job.

    Come on now. Give the fans what we want!!!

  34. why Says:

    god help us WE WANT HENRY

    pettrovallo burn

  35. James Fitzmaurice Says:

    I also have a very bad feeling about this. Where are we declaring to go!


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