Backe Soler Halvorsen
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Red Bulls name Jan Halvor Halvorsen assistant coach

Red Bull New York announced today that the club has signed Jan Halvor Halvorsen as an assistant coach, joining assistants Richie Williams and Des McAleenan on head coach Hans Backe’s staff. He replaces Goran Aral, who left the Red Bulls at the end of the 2010.

“We are excited to bring a coach of Jan’s caliber onto our coaching staff,” said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He brings a wealth of experience to the sidelines and his knowledge of the game will be a great asset for the club and our players.”

“We also want to thank Goran for his work with our club,” Soler said. “He had indicated his desire to return to Europe and we wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Halvorsen, 45, joins the Red Bulls staff after a career as a player and manager. Most recently, Halvorsen managed Nowegian club Notodden FK, which he guided to promotion from the country’s third division to its second in 2006. Halvorsen was with Notodden until 2009. Before coaching Swedish club GIF Sundsvall in 2005, Halvorsen was the manager of Norway’s Sogndal Fotball from 2003-04, as he led the club to an eighth place finish in the Norwegian Premier League in his first season. Prior to that, he managed Norwegian club IK Start from 1999-2002 and guided it to promotion to the Norwegian Premier League in 1999. He began his coaching career in 1996 at Norway’s Byasen, where he was on the sidelines for two seasons.

The Norwegian’s playing days were highlighted by a stint at German club Hertha BSC, making 74 appearances and scoring five goals as a defender from 1989-1992. He then moved on to Danish club AGF Aarhus, where he played in 67 matches from 1992-1994.