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Red Bulls Part Ways With Hamlett & Lesesne

Photo by Matt Kremkau

 By Daniel Feuerstein

On Tuesday, November 14th, Head of Sport Jochen Schneider decided to not re-sign Head Coach Troy Lesesne and agreed to part ways with Sporting Director Denis Hamlet. After a Tumultuous 2023 season with so many ups and downs, which ended in the miracle of qualifying for the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, Lesesne took over for Gerhard Struber after the home loss to the Philadelphia Union on May 6th. he started off with a win in the fourth round of the US Open Cup against DC United, then his first win as a head coach in MLS against NYCFC in the Hudson River Derby.

He then started an unbeaten streak in all competitions in four straight till a loss in Seattle but earned a win with a Messi-less Inter Miami. Everything started to fall apart till they got toward the end of the regular season by going unbeaten in six of the final seven games with four wins and two draws while having a winning streak in the remaining three games to clinch a playoff spot down in Nashville by converting a penalty by John Tolkin. 

Even though they took down Charlotte FC in the Wild Card match and lost in two straight against FC Cincinnati in the opening round of the 2023 MLS Cup playoffs, it looks like that wasn't enough to save  Lesesne's job with the club as Schneider decided to move forward with a brand new coaching search by letting him go and his assistant coach Zach Prince. "The New York Red Bulls have opted not to renew the contract of Troy Lesesne. We would like to thank Troy for his professionalism while navigating the team through challenging times and we know he has a bright future ahead. 

Zach Prine has also been relieved of his duties as assistant coach. We wish both Troy and Zach much success going forward. The selection process for the next head coach of the New York Red Bulls is actively underway."

Sporting Director Denis Hamlett has agreed to part ways with the club after taking over the job from Ali Curtis in 2017, before that he was a part of the coaching staff in 2015 during the Jesse Marsch era. He was a part of seven seasons qualifying for the playoffs, along with reaching the US Open Cup Final in 2017 and three trips to the CONCACAF Champions League in 2017, 2018, and 2019, helping toward two of the three Supporters Shields the club won as well. 

"My family and I would like to thank the Red Bulls organization and the fans for the nine years I have been with the club," said Hamlett. "I am proud of the fact that the team made the playoffs every year during my tenure. I wish the organization, the fans, and the players all the best going forward."

So now there will be a new era coming to Red Bull Arena and the club for the 2024 season and the coaching search is officially underway. The big question that will come is who in the coaching pool within MLS is ready to take over this club, or will there be a foreign search to bring someone over to take the reigns of the club. Some chatter could be Giovanni Savarese who is well known within the NYC area for his time as the former head coach of the New York Cosmos and of course the first Metro Legend of the club.

But until the official word comes from Jochen Schneider, we must allow this critical time for the process to get done so we can wait and see who will be selected for both positions. Schneider will have to get these decisions right and make sure this club moves forward and returns to glory as a threat to all cup competitions they are eligible to participate and qualify for. Right now it's time to reflect on a crazy season that started with frustration and ended in hope but sadly bowed out yet again in the playoffs. Time to get these decisions right. 

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