Petke not concerned over turf issues for Red Bull All Stars


The New York Red Bulls will be well represented for Wednesday night’s MLS All-Star game. Captain Thierry Henry leads a trio that includes World Cup hero Tim Cahill and MLS Golden Boot leader Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Naturally, there are concerns related to the turf in Providence Park — particularly for the team veterans. Henry is notoriously opposed to playing on turf. Cahill left Saturday’s match with an injury as well.

Red Bulls boss Mike Petke has addressed those issues with All-Star coach Caleb Porter ahead of the match, and is happy with the response.

“When I spoke to Caleb (Porter) weeks ago upon their selection, he said he plans on playing them no more than 45 [minutes],” Petke revealed. “However, I understand anything can happen. I appreciate Caleb mentioning that to me and I know he’s a man of his word and will stick to it, but obviously anything can happen. Some of the guys might get injured, they might not have any subs left, any crazy thing can happen. But as far I’m concerned, I’ve been told that they’ll play 45 at the most each.”

While much has been made about Henry’s participation in a turf match, it must be noted; he has, in fact, praised the field at Providence Park and has played a handful of matches on that field. In fact, it is the only turf field he has ever set foot on since becoming a Red Bull player.

Clearly, the turf won’t be an issue for Henry — and isn’t one for Petke either.

“I’m more concerned with their travel, playing on the turf and minutes they’re going to play,” Petke noted. “I’m not so concerned about injury because those things can happen in any game.

“I’m hoping they play 45 minutes at the most and they’re well rested for the more important game which is Sunday.”

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