I know I'm pretty hard on New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe. And, in this instance, I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt, but considering his track record, it's pretty hard. From the look of it, Backe doesn't not really know how MLS roster rules work. When asked why the team cut Homegrown Players Sacir Hot and Matt Kassel, neither of whom would have counted against the salary cap, Backe said this to MLSSoccer.com: "At the moment, we just need to pick the 24, 25 best players."
Maybe Backe was just trying to come up with a better way to say, "they weren't worth the roster spot," but it's also quite possible that he honestly doesn't feel compelled to keep more than that many players despite there being absolutely zero benefit to having fewer than 28. It's not even a cost-saving measure, as MLS pays these guys, anyway.
Just to make matters worse, Backe says that the team explored some loan deals that have yet to come to fruition and that he's still hopeful the players might want to come back. If that was really the case, Backe really should have waited a little longer to cut them as they are now able to go find other opportunities. But instead of waiting until March 1 -- the day MLS teams need to be roster compliant, which apparently won't be an issue for the Red Bulls, anyway -- Backe is already in danger of losing Hot to Sporting Kansas City, who has brought him on a trial.
It really does seem to be a comedy of errors.