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By ESPN Staff

Red Bulls fire coach; Williams is interim coach

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Red Bulls fired coach Mo Johnston on Tuesday and chose assistant coach Richie Williams as interim coach.

Williams' first game will be Wednesday night against the Columbus Crew at Giants Stadium, managing director Marc de Grandpre said.

The Red Bulls are in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-3-7 record. The two wins are tied with the Los Angeles Galaxy for worst in the league and the seven ties are a league high.

"We are a results-driven company, and that's what today's decision is based on," de Grandpre said. "Having only two wins through 12 games is unacceptable for our organization and above all else, our fans."

The firing comes after the Red Bulls played one of their worst games of the season in a 2-0 loss Sunday on the road to the Chicago Fire. It snapped a three-game unbeaten streak for the Red Bulls, who have had eight coaches in their 11-year history, most of them coming when the franchise was known as the MetroStars.

The name was changed this season after Austrian drink maker Red Bull bought the club from Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Despite a who's who that has included former U.S. national team coach Bora Milutinovic and Carlos Alberto Parreira -- currently coaching World Cup favorite Brazil -- the franchise has never won an MLS title and has not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2000.

Johnston took over as interim manager of the-then MetroStars when Bob Bradley was fired late last season. The former midfielder-forward for Scotland and Scottish teams Celtic and Rangers guided the team to two victories and a tie to qualify for the playoffs on the final day of the season.

After beating New England 1-0 in the opening game of the two-game series, the MetroStars were eliminated on aggregate goals when New England took the second game 3-1.

Johnston, who joined Bradley's staff as an assistant in 2003, was given the full-time coaching job in November by then-president and general manager Alexi Lalas, who since has left for a similar job with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Despite scoring first in seven of 12 games, New York only won one of those games. Two of the 12 games finished in scoreless ties. Of the three games in which they've fallen behind, the Red Bulls rallied once to win.

Johnston, who finished with a 4-3-8 mark in 15 regular-season games, also had disciplinary problems with midfielder Amado Guevara, the league's most valuable player in 2004.

He was fined $4,000 and suspended for a game earlier this season for leaving the field after being replaced in the 55th minute of a tie against the Fire.