Paul Lambert "rumored" to be headed to New York Red Bulls

Jeff Zelevansky

This is so stupid, you guys. This is so, so stupid.

According to all sorts of rumors bouncing around the less-than-credible elements of the MLS press, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is among the candidates for the open New York Red Bulls managerial position. This is a stupid rumor. We all know it's stupid rumor. Paul Lambert almost certainly isn't going anywhere, and if he is it's certainly not going to happen before March, when the MLS season kicks off. This is a ridiculous, throw-away rumor, and it's not worthy of much in the way of attention. So why is it something I'm paying attention to?

Well partially because this is just the newest in an increasingly long line of really bizarre transfer rumors that connect Aston Villa to Red Bulls. About a year ago, it was Stephen Ireland that was bound for Harrison, New Jersey. Some months passed, and the out o nowhere Gerard Houllier was named head of global soccer of Red Bull. And from there, the rumors have flowed.

First it was Richard Dunne. This particular link was relatively amusing, considering Dunne and Houllier seemed to be on the verge of killing each other the entire time they were within strangling distance. Shortly after the Dune rumor faded away, word that Jurgen Klinsmann himself was actively recruiting Nigel Re-Coker emerged. As of yet, all of these links have show themselves to be a great big pile of crap.

In short, there's a lesson here. And that lesson is to never, ever pay attention to any rumors involving MLS that aren't being reported by sources with real and verifiable links to the league itself. MLS is a league that a lot of people find mysterious, what with its paying David Beckham and Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane many billions of dollars (slight overstatement) but given the extent to which the league controls the flow of information, it would be nearly impossible for a managerial swoop of this magnitude to lead to the general public.

Which is the short way of saying: unless a reputable, grass-roots MLS source is reporting something, feel free to ignore it. MLS is an attractive fake target, because a lot of people have a perception of the league as some kind of free-for-all, wild-wild-west anarchic wasteland, but that's not reality. A manager of Paul Lambert's caliber coming to the league would be one of the biggest stories an MLS history, and it would either be leaked months ahead of time or sprung on everyone right at the last minute. This isn't happening, and neither are any of the rumors connecting any number of aging Villa/general Euro players to MLS. The American sources know what's going down, and if they're not reporting it, you can probably stop paying attention.

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