Work permit jeopardizes Rodgers' RBNY move

BBC: Notts County denies deal for British forward

The
BBC is reporting that English forward Luke Rodgers has been denied a work
permit to re-unite with Hans Backe and join the New York Red Bulls.

The
news puts a potential kink in the team’s plan to add the Notts County attacker,
who played under the current New York boss for a stretch of the season last
year before Backe joined the Red Bulls for the 2010 MLS campaign.

The
New York Red Bulls said Thursday they were aware of the BBC report, and offered
no additional comment on the situation.

Backe
told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted the troubled English attacker, who has
had several brushes with the law, largely because of the pace he’d bring to the
front line. Backe confirmed with MLSSoccer.com that the hold-up in obtaining a
work permit stemmed from Rodgers’ criminal record, but that he hoped to have
the player signed and on the field for New York by mid-June at the latest.

The
pursuit of Rodgers comes on the heels of New York signing Brian Nielsen,
another player with a tarnished pedigree. A Danish youth international, Nielsen
has been called an underachiever by the press in Denmark and his work ethic
has been called into question.

Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.