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Red Bulls name Gerhard Struber as new head coach

Gerhard Struber gestures on the touch line during

Gerhard Struber gestures on the touch line during the English League Cup third round football match between Chelsea and Barnsley at Stamford Bridge in London on September 23, 2020.  Credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images/NEIL HALL

The New York Red Bulls turn to a face familiar from their Austrian sister club in order to turn things around at the Major League Soccer side.

Gerhard Struber is the new head coach of the Red Bulls, the club announced Tuesday, bringing the former youth coach at Red Bull Salzburg to MLS after about 11 months as manager of second-tier English club Barnsley FC.

"I am looking forward to getting to know my new team, hopefully very soon." Struber said in a news release. "We want to pursue very ambitious goals together and develop steadily. The challenge of working in MLS makes me proud and gives me massive motivation for a big opportunity."

The Red Bulls paid an undisclosed fee to Barnsley in order for the English club to release Struber, the MLS club said in a news release. He will join the team and assume coaching duties upon receipt of his U.S. work visa.

Struber replaces interim coach Bradley Carnell, who took over last month after the team parted ways with Long Island’s Chris Armas following an up-and-down two years in charge. Struber is the latest European import in a leadership role with the Red Bulls, following head of sport Kevin Thelwell who joined from Wolverhampton Wanderers of the Premier League earlier this year.

"Gerhard is a bright coach, and we’re very pleased to welcome him to the club," Thelwell said in a statement. "Gerhard’s playing style and experience in youth development align with our philosophy and above all, as a person he fits into our culture. We look forward to him getting here and working together to achieve the goals we have set as a club."

A native of Kuchl, Austria, Struber played for over a decade in his home country. Most of his playing years were spent with SV Austria Salzburg, which later became Red Bull Salzburg upon takeover by Red Bull GmbH, and much of Struber’s early coaching experience was earned leading the club’s youth teams.

After a stint with the Salzburg feeder club FC Liefering beginning in 2017, Struber took over Austrian top-division side Wolfsberger AC in July 2019. His time there ended after just 21 matches when Barnsley called, turning to Struber to keep its last-place side from relegation. Barnsley stayed in the EFL Championship for 2020-21, but only as the result of a point deduction for Wigan Athletic skewing the table and keeping Barnsley one spot above the relegation zone.

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