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Red Bulls talk with Chivas USA coach

Times Staff Writer

Chivas USA Coach Preki is a candidate for the vacant coaching job with the New York Red Bulls.

Preki won the MLS coach-of-the-year award after guiding Chivas USA to its most successful season (15-7-8) in his first year as a head coach.

The New York club, which paid Bruce Arena $1.2 million to buy out the remaining two years of his coaching contract this month, requested permission from Chivas and talked to Preki during the MLS Cup two weeks ago.

However, published reports indicate New York’s first choice for the job is Chicago Fire Coach Juan Carlos Osorio, a former New York assistant. But the Red Bulls were denied permission to talk to Osorio.

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Although Preki is not the leading candidate, he is on a list of candidates being considered by New York’s Managing Director Marc de Grandpre and Technical Director Jeff Agoos, a U.S. teammate of Preki’s during the 1998 World Cup.

Chivas does not expect to lose Preki, a source familiar with the talks said.

New York is one of the league’s richest teams and is the only MLS club with two designated player slots. The Red Bulls were reportedly paying Arena $600,000 a season and could easily offer Preki more than what he is currently earning with Chivas.

If New York hired Preki, Chivas would get compensation. When Frank Yallop left the Galaxy to become coach in San Jose, the Earthquakes gave up a third-round draft pick.

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Preki, 44, was out of the country scouting players for Chivas USA and was unavailable for comment Monday. He was hired as coach in January with a three-year deal.

In other news, Chivas USA traded backup goalkeeper Preston Burpo to San Jose for a fourth-round (43rd overall) draft pick. Burpo, 35, played two seasons with Chivas but appeared in only three games last season as Brad Guzan become the MLS goalkeeper of the year.

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jaime.cardenas@latimes.com


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