New York Red Bulls - Emil Forsberg
Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls Announce Coaching Staff for 2024

Four months after the New York Red Bulls parted ways with former head coach Troy Lesesne and sporting director Denis Hamlett, the club has officially announced their coaching staff for the 2024 season and named a new sporting director. Here is a list of each hire and who has returned.

Julian De Guzman- Sporting Director

New York’s most recent hire came at the start of February when they officially hired Julian De Guzman as their new sporting Director. Once Hamlett left the club after eight years, the Red Bulls found De Guzman a few months later from League1 Ontario.

"We're thrilled to bring Julian into our club. Julian brings a wealth of experience, not only in our league, but also from abroad," Jochen Schneider said. "His focus on our coaching staff, our players, our second team and our academy will help propel us forward."

De Guzman’s resume includes former General Manager of Ottawa Fury Football Club, where he was in charge of day-to-day operations and helped the club make an appearance in the USL Championship in 2019. Most recently, the new sporting director founded, co-managed and was the president of Simcoe Rovers County FC in League1 Ontario. The 42-year-old also had an extensive playing career spanning 14 years with the senior Canadian National Team, including 25 games as captain.

“I am proud and honored to be a part of this renowned organization,” De Guzman said. “The New York Red Bulls have been an exemplary model of soccer in North America, and I am very motivated to achieve great things with this team. I can’t wait to be a part of the family.”

Sandro Schwarz- Head Coach

The Red Bulls announced back in December the hiring of their newest head coach Sandro Schwarz. Schwarz most recently coached in Europe for Dynamo Moscow and more recently Hertha BSC. The 45-year-old earned an overall record of 32-17-8 with FC Dynamo Moscow over two years and helped them reach their first top-three finish in 14 years.

“It’s great to be here,” Schwarz said. “I’m looking forward now to continue our process, to continue our work.”

Volkan Bulut and Vedad Ibisevic- Assistant Coaches

Schwarz added Volkan Bulut and Dedad Ibisevic to the team as assistant coaches. Bulut worked with Schwarz during his time at Hertha Berlin and Dynamo Moscow. Bulut has 11 years of experience in coaching and was a former player for teams TuS Celle FC, SC Langenhagen, VfV Hildesheim, and FC Can Mozaik.

Ibisevic was also an assistant coach at Hertha Berlin in 2022 and has experience working with Schwarz. Although this is only his second year coaching professionally, Ibisevic was a former player for the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team, making 83 appearances and scoring 28 goals. He’s credited with the nation’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal back in 2014 when he scored against Argentina.

Ibrahim Sekagya- Assistant Coach/ Red Bulls II Head Coach

Ibrahim Sekagya will be given a double coaching role this year being named an assistant coach to the Red Bulls and remaining the New York Red Bulls II head coach. Sekagya impressed the senior team’s front office when Red Bulls II finished fourth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-6-8 and an appearance in the second round of the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. In his two-year tenure with Red Bulls II, Sekagya led the club to two consecutive playoff appearances.

Jeremy Proud- Goalkeepers Coach

Jeremy Proud will return as the Red Bulls’ goalkeeper coach, working closely with keepers Carlos Coronel, Ryan Meara and Anthony Marcucci. Coronel ended the 2023 season with nine clean sheets and 43 total saves across 37 appearances. New York had 39 goals against from 95 shots adding up to a save percentage of 59 percent during the regular season.

New York has listened to their fans and is well aware of the same first-round exit result every year. With a brand new coaching staff and the signing of multiple new players including their newest designated player and Red Bull Leipzig star, Emil Forsberg, they look to change all that. There is optimism around the club and as long as they’re aggressive in the transfer market, things could change for the better.