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Luke Rodgers apparently not in Red Bulls plans

Dec 21, 2012, 1:10 PM EDT

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The New York Red Bulls’ makeover apparently will not dip into the past for a second bite off the Luke Rodgers apple.

Rodgers was the surprisingly effective, hard-charger whose combative, high energy style quickly established him as a fan favorite.

He was also a favorite of former manager Hans Backe – and why not? The club missed a certain bite and lacked some urgency without their bulldog Englishman around. His bruiser ways and savvy ability to play the target position presented a great complement for the silky skills of Thierry Henry.

That was all in 2011. We all expected Rodgers to be back with the Red Bulls in 2012, but work visa issues prevented his return. It became an awkward situation for the Red Bulls, who finally had to cut ties.

There always seemed to be a chance Rodgers would return for 2013, presuming he could sort out those visa troubles. But New York-based Big Apple Soccer reports this morning that the possibility is off the table. Citing a league source, Kristian Dyer reports that paperwork has not been funneled through MLS that would allow the 30-year-old striker to re-join Major League Soccer.

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