When Hans Backe was announced as the new head coach of this club I already had my doubts about how he would attempt to make this club either better or worse than last years squad. As we all know foreign coaches from Europe outside of Steve Nicol have a track record of failing terribly in MLS. But since he instilled the confidence in his players and getting them to a strong level of fitness, the positive results came quickly than most of us have imagined.
The man in the middle on the left of Eric Soler has already done a solid job in getting this club to play and prepare for their matches either during the undefeated pre-season or the first two regular season matches to start out of the gate quickly. They are moving as a unit attacking with the ball & defending the goal when they don’t have the ball. It maybe a simple 4-4-2, but it’s not so simple if a single cog is loose and it could ruin the machine.
All the players have bought in to what head coach Hans Backe has praised and either with him on the sidelines or not, they have the belief that they can get into a match and pull out a result either doing it pretty, or scrapping for the full three points. But during the match against the Sounders, Backe was no where to be seen and the first test of him not available was already a concern.
On the morning of the match he checked into a local Seattle hospital to see why he had stomach pains that were so sever. After an examination he was fine, but was advised to watch the match from his hotel room for precautionary reasons. He was able to fly back early Sunday morning with the club and attended training on Monday. On that same day Backe consulted with Red Bulls Team Internist, Michael Farber, MD and other specialists about his condition.
That’s when he decided to undergo a small invasive procedure that evening to remove his gallbladder after being diagnosed with cholecystitis. He’s been recovering for this current week and will fly to Los Angeles on the morning of the match when Red Bull faces Chivas-USA.
If you saw the match last week on Fox Soccer Channel you saw the club with their few new additions in Joel Lindpere, Roy Miller & Tim Ream along with the rest of the starting eleven that stayed from last year execute their game plan. They also played with some inspiration to get the win for their new coach that has, shall we say fixed the complicated matter from last year.
While Juan Carlos Osorio did get his side to their first MLS Cup Final, the tinkering of the line up away from home caused alot of problems in 2008 & finally overtook them last year. Sometimes over managing can take the confidence out of your side and they could lose faith very easily. Yes once again it’s only the first two matches of the season and there is still a long way to go including qualifying for the 2010 US Open Cup, but right now the players have confidence in Hans Backe & their top assistant Richie Williams if Backe is not available due to illness.
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