Jan Halvor Halvorsen has been hired as an assistant coach of the New York Red Bulls under Hans Backe.

Halvorsen replaces Goran Aral, who left after the 2010 season.

The 45-year-old Halvorsen has coached in Norway and Sweden since 1996, and steered Sogndal to an eighth-place finish in the Norwegian Premier League in 2003. The former defender played in Germany and Denmark from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s.

The Red Bulls had a 15-9-6 Major League Soccer record and qualified for the playoffs last year after winning just five MLS games in 2009. New York lost in the conference semifinals to San Jose.