- Associated Press - Thursday, November 11, 2010

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (AP) - New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said Thursday his 15-9-6 team, arguably one of the most expensive failures in Major League Soccer history, will not require a major overhaul to contend for next year’s MLS Cup.

As top-scoring forward Juan Pablo Angel departs for free agency, the Red Bulls will be left with forward Thierry Henry, at three years and $5.5 million per year, and midfielder Rafa Marquez, at four years and $5.4 million, as their only designated players. But Backe said reaching the three-player limit may not be necessary.

“To take the next step, we’ll need three or four starting quality players,” Backe said as the players met at Montclair State for offseason workouts. “That’s definitely enough.”

But when asked if finding another international star is necessary, Backe said: “As it looks now, perhaps we’ll stay at two.”

In addition to Angel, who finished with 13 regular-season goals and one in the playoff loss to San Jose, the Red Bulls will also lose midfielder Seth Stammler and defender Mike Petke to retirement. But Backe indicated he might fill those spots through the draft.

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