File this under "Things we already kinda knew, but still find hilarious": The New York Red Bulls are one messed up organization. Or at least that's the overwhelming sense we're left with after reading this story in the New York Daily News.
I have nothing against the Red Bulls, per se. Their fans are just as deserving as any other. They are doing some things that, on the whole, are positive for Major League Soccer. But I just can't help in taking just a little bit of joy in seeing how out of touch their management is.
The story, which you really should read, details how a just a wee bit of hubris can allow a disconnected ownership group, a naive general manager and a clueless coach can -- shockingly! -- manage to spend money poorly and go from toast of the league to laughing stock. That they managed to do that in just one season is what makes is really remarkable.
For all the schadenfreude, though, this is potentially a very bad situation. Clearly, it's not good for the league to have a city in a legal fight with a team. Clearly, it's not good for the league to bring in high-priced players who don't seem invested in anything beyond collecting a pay check. Clearly, it's a real shame that a potentially great fan base is being disenfranchised.
The situation in New York really could be great. The Red Bulls play in a soccer palace. The ownership is willing to spend on talent. The fans really seem to be organizing in a positive way.
But when guys like Erik Soler, Hans Backe and Rafael Marquez are the face of your franchise? You'll excuse us while we crack a smile.