Erik Solér is the hands-on type of general manager and sporting director. Saturday’s match in Seattle was evidence of that.
Throughout the match against the Sounders, the former Norwegian international was seen at the side of Richie Williams, who was the acting head coach after Hans Backe fell ill before the match.
Solér didn't take a seat on the bench, but stood alongside it and occasionally was seen speaking to Williams during the match.
“He prefers to have the option to be there on the sideline,” a Red Bulls team spokesman told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “There are MLS rules [regulating team personnel on the sidelines] and we’ve always left a spot for him down there."
The MLS rule is that a team can have seven player substitutes and nine team staff members for a total of 16 individuals on the bench.
While it is rare to see a sporting director or general manager speaking to a coach during a match, the Red Bulls say it could become a regular occurrence.
“He’s been on our official lineup sheet which is submitted an hour before kick-off,” said the club spokesman in reference to the first two matches. “That’s something you might be seeing more from him in the future.”