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New York Red Bulls announce South Africa international Bradley Carnell as new assistant coach

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RBNY's newest assistant coach brings a little first-hand Ralf Rangnick experience with him.

Hamish Blair/Getty Images

The New York Red Bulls have filled the assistant coach vacancy created by Denis Hamlett's promotion to Sporting Director. The club has announced Bradley Carnell will join Jesse Marsch's coaching staff.

Who? Good question. Carnell is not - as had seemed to be RBNY's preference since Marsch took over as head coach - a former Chicago Fire player or coach, nor has he ever even played in MLS. The 40-year-old made his name in his native South Africa, broke through to his national team, and subsequently spent more than a decade playing in Germany.

He returned to South Africa in 2010, and has combined coaching and media work since retiring from playing in 2011. He left his most recent position - as assistant coach with Orlando Pirates in South Africa's Premier Soccer League - in February, citing an opportunity to advance his career overseas. That opportunity is now clear: he's with RBNY.

Carnell did promise Orlando Pirates he'd be back one day. In an interview with South Africa's Eyewitness News, he said:

I told the chairman I will be back one day and head the team as a head coach and take on the responsibility and bring back the success it deserves.

How did a South African assistant coach get on RBNY's radar?

Carnell spent part of his time in Germany with VfB Stuttgart. He was at the club from 1998 to 2003. As it happens, Ralf Rangnick was head coach of Stuttgart from 1999 to 2001. Carnell's appointment would seem to draw RB Global Soccer's "red thread" ever tighter. There is now officially a RalfBall connection - or at least a connection to Ralf - on the RBNY first-team coaching staff.