Red Bull New York announced today in a media release that it has named Hans Backe as the club’s new head coach. Backe will keep assistant coach Richie Williams, the former interim Red Bull coach and goalkeeper coach Des McAleenan for his staff.
Jeremy Holsopple will also join the staff as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“I have followed Hans’ career for many years and I think he will be an excellent coach for this team,” said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “Hans brings a vast amount of experience from a variety of different clubs in Europe and he has been a fantastic mentor for many young and established players. We are confident that he will be able to help our club accomplish our goal of competing for a MLS Cup.”
“I am pleased that Richie Williams and Des McAleenan will remain with the club,” Soler continued. “They are both important to the success of the organization with their depth of player and league knowledge.”
“I am extremely excited to join the Red Bulls,” Backe said. “It is evident with the stadium and the resources available that Red Bull is very committed to making this club the best in Major League Soccer. I hope that I can bring my expertise to the club and build a winning squad for our supporters.”
Backe enjoyed success in a number of European leagues, capturing four Danish titles with FC Copenhagen (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04) and Aalborg BK (1998-99). He also won the Danish Cup in 2004 and the Danish Super Cup in 2001 and 2004 with Copenhagen. Backe was with Aalborg from 1998-2000 and headed Copenhagen from 2001-05.
The 57-year-old Swede joins the Red Bulls after a short stint with English League Two side, Notts County. Prior to being hired by Notts County, Backe worked as an assistant manager at Manchester City in the English Premiership with former England National Team manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, from 2007-08. Backe later joined Eriksson’s staff when Eriksson became the Mexican National Team head coach on June 3, 2008.
Backe started his illustrious career with Swedish club, Djurgardens IF, before moving to other major teams in Scandinavia including Stabek, Hammarby IF, Osters IF and AIK. He has also coached at SV Salzburg and Greek Super League team, Panathinakos.
Before coaching, Backe played professionally for a number of Swedish clubs, including AIK and IF Brommapojkarna. Backe also worked as a soccer analyst and commentator for Swedish TV4 and was an advisor to Osters IF.