New York head coach Hans Backe says Thierry Henry meant no harm to FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman during their incident last week.
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Backe denies reports of extension with RBNY

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – First-year Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe on Thursday denied recent reports out of his native Sweden that said he desired a contract extension with New York.

“I don’t know, no one has talked to me about that,” Backe said. “It’s too early to talk about that.”

Backe joined the Red Bulls in January and, since then, has done a masterful, MLS Coach of the Year-worthy job in turning around a franchise that finished the previous season dead last in MLS.

A former assistant coach of Sven-Göran Eriksson’s during the latter's tenure with the Mexican national team, Backe has solidified New York with several key additions to help the team find success and consistency in what can be their first Eastern Conference title-winning year since 2000.

A win on Saturday afternoon over defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake would give New York 15 victories on the season, equaling their win total from the previous two seasons combined.

Nonetheless, Backe said no such contact about contract negotiations was made to extend his three-year contract with New York and that it is too soon to begin thinking about that.

“It’s only nine, 10 months now,” Backe said about his time with the club, “and we haven’t won anything yet.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at and followed at