Petke indifferent over Red Bulls’ Open Cup ouster


Staff Writer

New York Red Bulls’ head coach Mike Petke revealed how little the team’s Austrian ownership thought of the oldest tournament in U.S. Soccer history leading up to the team’s clash against the Cosmos.

On Saturday night, it seems that same indifferent mindset rubbed off on not only the head coach, but his team as well.

On their home turf, the Cosmos overran and outmatched a listless and largely underwhelming Red Bulls side to the tune of 3-0.

Under normal circumstances, that kind of result would render Petke into a fit of rage.

Not this time.

“This has no bearing in the MLS season,” Petke said after the match. “We got five guys an opportunity tonight. We had starters mixed in as well.

“This was the World Cup to them and my guys didn’t view it that way.”

In uncharacteristic fashion, the Red Bulls’ boss greeted reporters with a smile while speaking of the devastating loss. Within minutes, it was clear; Petke had already moved on from the U.S. Open Cup result.

“Tomorrow, we wake up, we play Toronto the next game,” Petke began. “I don’t know who they play next.  We are in the MLS. Just doesn’t mean we are going to lose MLS Cup and it doesn’t mean we will win the MLS Cup.

“It means nothing,” he concludes. “We lost, we are out of the Open Cup and we move on.”

With several key names absent from their starting lineup, the Red Bulls still managed to field a strong team featuring many of Petke’s first-choice players. However, the difference in quality was evident from the opening whistle as the Cosmos put their foot on the gas pedal and never let up.

The reason, Petke says, is motivation.

“I think [Cosmos head coach] Giovanni [Savarese]’s quote last week was this is like Barcelona vs. Real Madrid.  A couple of tweets were ‘ready to make history.’

“My guys, my biggest job this week was to get these guys to understand it’s a game and we want to win it,” Petke said after the match.  “Vacation starts tomorrow, not today.

“I wasn’t able to do that.”

Perhaps the 3-0 result at the hands of their crosstown rivals should be anything but a shock. As evidenced by Petke’s comments immediately following the Cup draw, the Red Bulls head coach labeled the June 14th fourth round match up as “catastrophic.” Although he later backtracked on his use of such strong wording, his initial reactions align much closer to the sentiments reflected in his post game comments.

In the weeks that preceded the most anticipated derby in New York soccer history, Petke was careful to temper expectations without discounting the tournament outright. However, his squad’s performance on the pitch was indicative of just how much importance was truly placed on this match.

“Did I see this coming?  Perhaps part of me saw there was at least a 50-50 chance we weren’t going to win because of the occasion for [the Cosmos],” Petke admits.

“Me, I was up for it, I was trying to get the guys up for it, but at the end of the day, we have a much needed rest we start tomorrow for a week, then we have a game against Toronto we have to prepare for.

Whether or not the Cosmos approached this match as their World Cup, the Red Bulls simply never showed up. The mere presence of this Open Cup match seemed to be nothing more than an inconvenience; a rude interruption of what the Red Bulls had already made up in their minds as “vacation time.”

In the end, it doesn’t seem that Petke will be losing any sleep over his side’s early exit from the US Open Cup. Perhaps the 500 fans that made the trip to cheer on their team shouldn’t either.

  • Colin French

    There was something uniquely embarrassing about this performance. Team is under .500 and clinging to a wild card spot and they feel like they can dismiss the tournament because it isn’t part of the MLS season? RBNY aren’t winning the SS again this year, that means you’re now down to one option. There will be a lot of questions asked if this underperforming club loses again this year.

    • The real Stan

      I’m done with this, RBNYTilltheendofthisseason then I have to reevaluate how much I care about this team and how much they care about us as fans. They don’t promote our team, everything they do from training ground to partnerships is in NJ, and now this glorified assistant coach is talking on behalf of who? Definitely not the fan base….I’m a New Yorker and I defend this team, support this team and this is how they approach a historic game, I wonder if Mike would be saying the same thing of Cahill was there… This team couldn’t even stick around to applaud the fans…this surpasses the Backe open cup nonsense a couple of years back…yeah no more easy support and fanboy bs, I want results on and off the field, they can’t deliver then it’s time for fans to reevaluate our options

  • jspech

    Wll w/tht said, the RB has taken their rightful place, they are to the Cosmos, what the Mets, Devils, Jets, Nets are to the Yankees, Rangers, Giants & Knicks. They give zero, F about the desire of their supporters. Glad I never followed. Go Cosmos!!

    • Thumbs

      Really the Devils in the same breath as Mets and Jets ?? The Devils have been the class of the NHL for over decade , the Devils have made the playoffs all but four times between 1988 and 2013, including thirteen berths in a row from 1997 to 2010. They finished with a winning record every season from 1992–93 to 2009–10. They have qualified for five Stanley Cup Finals in their history, winning in 1994–95, 1999–00 and 2002–03, only one Cup short of the Detroit Red Wings (with four) as the most since 1990.
      I wish the RedBulls gave even half the commitment to excellence that the Devils have .

  • Anonymous

    Petke embodies the sleepy clueless view of MLS regarding the other 99% of North American clubs. Will they wake up before it’s too late? Probably not.

  • Anthony

    Glad he isn’t my head coach, his comments are utterly pathetic matched only be the pathetic manner in which his club was outclassed by a superior soccer club

  • “It means nothing,” he concludes. “We lost, we are out of the Open Cup and we move on.”

    If this is the attitude of the coach and organization, well, I’m out.

  • Brooklyn1976

    This is what is wrong with US soccer. MLS does not have money in the pot to improve US soccer. A tournament like this is taking seriously in most countries. Do they have to win? no. They have the stadium, and the MLS stamp of approval. This is why we need Promotion and relegation. It keeps your organization competitive. I know this has nothing to do with relegation or promotion but I am talking about respect, and not just some lame ass realization like who cares we are better because some one said we are, we are in the top league and that makes us better bullshit with no way to knock them off their high horse because the system is rigged.

  • Tony

    Who on this page is charged with commentary? Get to work the press should be all over this disastrous game! Petke needs to be fired!!!! No heart!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The US Open Cup, although cool, is not important. I agree with Petke, the loss means nothing. The cosmos are nothing, all that matters is MLS, the MLS cup, and CONCACAF Champions league.

    • Mr Anonymous – if all that matters is the CONCAF champions league and you are out of the cup, that means the only way for you to get there is to win supporters shield or MLS cup – your team doesn’t look like its going to do either. The Red Bulls fans should really be questioning the integrity and drive of the Red Bulls organization – your own announcer Shep Messing questioned it last night live while on the air – your club is an embarrassment to American soccer. Its a shame that you were the only professional soccer club in NY for 19 years – until now that is – the Cosmos are back!

  • Brooklyn1976

    seriously, This is why we are not a soccer nation. So upset because it reaches deeper about our view and development

  • Brooklyn1976

    Anonymous- Why hasn’t a MLS team won the CONCACAF Champions League since 2000? The only one…”all that matters” is losing. Let alone the best in Mexico play in Copa Libertadores and not the CONCACAF Champions League. Talk about second fiddle. Knowing is half the battle…

  • Lenny

    Vacation time? If this weren’t a World Cup year there would be no “vacation time.” That’s a bullshit stance. Take every goddamn match seriously, especially a Cup match. Didn’t Petke learn anything when Backe sent him to Chicago? We are so screwed for CCL. Oh, and DC United is in first place in the East. Fucking hell.

  • Brooklyn1976

    The Brooklyn Italians are a better team than the Red Bulls


    Spin it any way you like, Mike. Sad to say, the organization and management of the team you work for is an embarrassment to MLS. The Red Bull Corp. has proven they don’t know what they’re doing. This franchise is snake bitten. Get out while you can.

    • Akbar

      RedBull Corp is a cancer on world soccer. They infect legitimate football organizations, destroy their identity, and turn them into zombie-clubs whose only purpose is to sell more energy drink. With that operating philosophy, this type of attitude towards the Open Cup is no surprise. Complete disgrace.

    • Dan V.

      I’m going to start off by saying that I “was” a redbulls supporter when they were the only NY team to watch. I started following when they had Amado Guevara and then Juan Pablo Angel, the signing of Henry and opening of Redbull arena were great even though I disliked the Redbull brand and thought it was so ridiculous.
      I’m from Long Island and I would only make 3-4 games a season cause the trek was atrocious. And then the Cosmos came, playing at Hofstra approx five miles from where I live. And let me tell you the Class and Integrity of this organization swept me away. It showed me that MLS is not the only game in town and the NASL and Cosmos have the potential to really compete at the best level in this country.
      Petke is a joke. Every word that has come out of his mouth in regards to this rivalry game has been disrespectful and obnoxious. “RedBull Austria doesn’t judge me on how well I do in the Open Cup, because they don’t understand it.” You are telling me Redbull Austria doesn’t understand a domestic cup competition? With winner gaining berth in Champions League? What a joke!
      Petke also kept mentioning how much of a vacation his players need? I’m sorry can this organization turn its fans off any more than this?? “It was their World Cup to the Cosmos, my guys didnt see it that way.” WHAT?! I’m sorry, but I feel bad for the 500 traveling fans that expected a game.
      RBNY got embarrassed, thoroughly destroyed. And the only thing Petke says after the game was, “it meant nothing, we are out of the cup, now we vacation”?? How can you not reprimand your team and performance after such an embarrassment.
      My prediction for RBNY is that so many fans will jump ship they will eventually sell and re-brand as a true NEW JERSEY team. The Cosmos played with such heart and passion and thoroughly demolished on the field and off the field. They are a class organization.
      RBNY has no excuse whatsoever. They fielded A LOT of starters and even though Henry and Cahill weren’t available, Cosmos were missing starters as well.
      RBNY, as I was once a fan, and then an occasional fan, you have managed to disgust me to the point that I wish for your total failure.

  • The list of reasons to support the blue team keeps growing: Path train, now Petke, Shaurt stadium sucks!!!!!

  • Hope Petke reads these comments during his precious holiday!

  • Pingback: Savarese Responds: It's not the Cosmos' World Cup ... 'It's The Open Cup'()

  • Bronx Boy

    Petke’s attitude was pretty ridiculous, Congrats to the Cosmos, obviously wanted it more. Looking forward to NYCFC starting play next season so we can get more of these rivalry games. Have never been a Red Bulls fan but get the feeling I will be joined in the stands by a fair few disgruntled former fans of the Jersey side come next season. Let’s hope the organization can show a bit more class – making sure you can buy a ticket in a designated stand for your initial season ticket payment might be nice!

  • Anonymous