SECAUCUS, N.J. — New York Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio resigned Friday and was replaced for the rest of the season by assistant coach Richie Williams.
Less than a year after playing for the Major League Soccer championship, the Red Bulls have the worst record in the league at 2-16-4.
The Red Bulls said a search for a new head coach would begin immediately.
"It has been a difficult season for Juan Carlos and he felt that it was in the best interest of the team to step aside," Red Bulls managing director Erik Stover said. "I want to personally thank Juan Carlos for his efforts with the Red Bulls organization. It was under his leadership last season that the team won the Western Conference Championship and reached the MLS Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. We wish him well in his future endeavors."
Osorio apologized to Red Bulls fans for the team's play this season.
"I want to thank the players for their hard work," Osorio said. "I would also like to thank the club for the opportunity to coach the team for the past two seasons."
Williams, 39, takes over as interim head coach for the second time in his four-year coaching career with the team. He also served as the Red Bulls interim head coach from June 27-Aug. 12, 2006, taking over for Mo Johnston and going 4-3-2 over that stretch.
Osorio joined the Red Bulls as head coach on Dec. 18, 2007. In his two seasons, he led the team to a 12-27-13 record and an appearance in the 2008 MLS Cup Final.
New York was one of the original MLS franchises, with the team originally called the New York/Jersey MetroStars when they took the field in 1996. Since its inception, the team has struggled to retain coaches.
Eddie Firmani was the original coach and he was replaced that first season by Carlos Queiroz. Carlos Alberto Parreira coached the following year and Alfonso Mondelo ran the team for part of 1998 before being replaced by Bora Milutinovic, who finished the '98 season and coached in 1999.
Octavio Zambrano and Bob Bradley followed with three-year stints. Mo Johnston coached for about 1? years with Williams taking over before Bruce Arena was hired to finish the '06 season and 2007. He was replaced by Osorio.