A little bit of tragic news for New York Red Bulls fans. I just found out – as many probably have as well – that Luke Rodgers’ request for a work visa has been denied. In essence, he’s not allowed back in the US. A statement from the New York Red Bulls’ Web site said:
“After going through the entire immigration and appeals process, Luke’s P-1 Visa application has unfortunately been denied by the U.S. government for now. We have spoken with Luke about potential options and have mutually decided that it would be in all parties’ best interests to terminate his current MLS contract so he could play elsewhere.”
The Red Bulls added they would continue to follow Luke through the year while continuing to work with immigration officials to allow Luke to return to New York.
Like or hate Luke, you have to admit, this is a pretty big blow for not only the Red Bulls and Luke himself, but for all of MLS. I’m sure the league wants nothing more than to make sure European players can come to the States easily without incidents like this.
We’re still unclear on the details as to why Luke was denied, but we’re hard at it. Keep checking for updates soccer fans!
UPDATE: According to the New York Post, Rodgers’s visa may have been denied because of “a minor incident that went unreported by Rodgers that occurred between his 2011 approval and his actual arrival in the U.S.” No word on what the incident was.