Red Bulls, Roxburgh strive for some stability

Red Bulls, Roxburgh strive for some stability

HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Sporting director of the New York Red Bulls for just more than a week, Andy Roxburgh already knows what this good-but-not-great MLS franchise needs to get over the top.

And the former manager of the Scottish national team took it a step further on Tuesday, laying out the problem while also establishing a foundation for the solution.

``Stability is absolutely vital,'' said Roxburgh, 69, who met with the media for the first time at Red Bull Arena. ``I know this franchise hasn't been as stable as it needs to be. We want to create stability, have a greater level of steadiness. We have a real desire to make this franchise one of the best in MLS.

``And to do that, we need to create stability.''

That's certainly a good place to start. The Red Bulls, dating back to their days as the MetroStars, have gone through 13 coaches and will get another one soon, now that ownership has decided not to renew Hans Backe's contract after three seasons. There have been eight different general managers/sporting directors in that span, as well.

Clearly, it's been a revolving door.

Jerome de Bontin was brought in as general manager in September. One of his first moves was to hire Roxburgh.

``There's enormous potential here,'' Roxburgh said. ``The MLS is growing and growing and I find that fascinating. This is a really interesting challenge.''

Roxburgh is a former Scottish national player who once was a teammate of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. In fact, Roxburgh consulted Ferguson, who lives in New York during the offseason, before taking the job with the Red Bulls.

``I asked him and he thought it would be an interesting move for me,'' Roxburgh said. ``He's come here to watch the Red Bulls play.''

Roxburgh also spoke with Carlos Alberto Parreira, who coached the MetroStars in 1997.

``Carlos Alberto indicated that this was a place to go,'' Roxburgh said. ``He offered encouragement and gave me some background about the franchise and MLS.''

Roxburgh left his post as the first-ever technical director of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), a title he was given in 1994.

``I'm curious by all the subtleties of MLS,'' Roxburgh said. ``I have to get more familiar with budget numbers and such. I understand the business plan here. There are certainly interesting aspects of it.''

Roxburgh's first priority will be a new coach. He didn't criticize Backe, stating that ``Hans did a good job and he's a good guy, but it's a natural break and we'll start again.''

Roxburgh conducted two interviews for the position Monday and hopes to have someone in place before the end of the year.

``It could be an American,'' Roxburgh said. ``We don't want to rush to judgment here. We want the best. Clearly, it would be an advantage if someone coaches in MLS. If the head coach isn't American, then one of the two assistants will be an American. We have enough quality American coaches and we know the importance of having an American coach.

``First of all, we're in America.''

While Roxburgh has already conducted meetings with the returning players, he will not allow the team to influence his decision about a coach.

``We'll listen, sure,'' he said. ``But when it comes down to it, we'll make the decision.''

The Red Bulls already cut ties with 10 players after a season in which they went 16-9-9 and advanced to the postseason.

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Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Derrius Guice saw 'Avengers' on Monday night — and brought a bunch of Redskins fans with him

Those who are worried about Derrius Guice's character picked up some added evidence when, on Monday night, the Redskins rookie invited a bunch of fans to watch Avengers with him in Ashburn.

Man, what is this guy's deal?

First of all, not everyone likes superheroes. So how did he know that those who joined him actually wanted to see Avengers?  Did he even ask? What if they wanted to see that really successful, really funny, really well-regarded Amy Schumer comedy, instead?

Then, there's the issue of Guice buying tickets and concessions for those who showed up.

Some people enjoy buying movie tickets — which are absolutely reasonably priced these days — and, as far as the concessions, seriously? Candy? Popcorn? He could've at least offered to buy something healthier, like broccoli. All movie theaters have broccoli.  

Thankfully, those who took Guice up on his invitation weren't grateful for the experience at all, which hopefully means this will be the last time he orchestrates a dastardly deed like this one:

At this point, it's a surprise Guice didn't slide even farther down in the draft, like to the 15th round. Unbelievable.



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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round pick, NCAA star

The Wizards will have some recognizable names at their second pre-draft workout on Wednesday including potential first round pick Aaron Holiday of UCLA, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Here is the list with some notes on each player...

Aaron Holiday, guard, UCLA (6-1, 185)

The brother of two NBA players (Jrue and Justin), Holiday played three years at UCLA and averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior. He also shot 42.9 percent from three on 6.2 attempts per game. He registered a 6-8 wingspan at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: possible first round pick, likely won't be there in second round; would solidify backup point guard position

Devonte' Graham, guard, Kansas (6-2, 175)

The Big 12 player of the year, Graham averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists as a senior. He posted a 6-6 wingspan at the combine. His uncle played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990s.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; would provide backup point guard depth

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, forward, Kansas (6-8, 195)

A big-time three-point shooter, Mykhailiuk shot 44.4 percent from three on 6.6 attempts per game as a senior. He averaged 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could be a three-point threat off the bench

Moritz Wagner, center, Michigan (6-11, 241)

Originally from Germany, Wagner was a standout in the NCAA Tournament as the Wolverines went all the way to the final. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a junior. He also shot 39.4 percent from three and measured at nearly 7-feet in shoes at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could develop into a capable stretch-five

Johnathan Williams, forward, Gonzaga (6-9, 225)

Williams began his career at Missouri before transferring. He averaged 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior. 

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

Zach Thomas, SF, Bucknell (6-7, 228)

Thomas was the Patriot League player of the year with averages of 20.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior. He shot 40 percent from three for his college career.

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

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