Cahill praises Petke, reveals reason for Red Bulls departure

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

It wasn’t a reported $10 million dollar deal to Shanghai Shenhua or a clash of ideals with coach Mike Petke that drove Tim Cahill away from the New York Red Bulls.

He was just too old to endure another rebuilding year.

The Australian legend spoke to SI.com during Wednesday’s New Balance Soccer launch in New York City, where he candidly spoke about his departure.

“To be honest, it probably was a new transition for the club, and I am an older player,” he explained. “It’s a new change. When I first got there, we were part of that new change. And we changed the club and we really did help grow the club and the brand and everything. Now it’s starting all over again, and it’s difficult.

“The new coach, he looks like he’s really experienced, and he’s got a big appetite for the game, the same as the GM,” he continued. “But I feel when you start all over again, at 35 years old I don’t know whether I’m ready to do that.”

Part of Cahill’s issue with the rebuilding was the loss of several key teammates this offseason. “[Ambroise] Oyongo, one of the top performers from last year; Eric Alexander, the most consistent player I ever played with at the Red Bulls, a player that me and Thierry [Henry] spoke very highly of time and time again; [Jamison] Olave, one of the best defenders in the league,” he said. “It definitely is a new transition for the New York Red Bulls, and you can see there’s a method to what he’s doing there, and I think it’s going to take time. But I wish them all the very best.”

Despite several reports to the contrary, relations with former coach Petke did not play into his decision. Cahill praised his former boss and revealed he had even texted Petke the day of his firing.

“You always have respect for your manager regardless, and he couldn’t have done any more unless we’d won the MLS Cup,” Cahill explained. “So he should and hopefully will get another job in the MLS surely on his portfolio. Two seasons: Supporters’ Shield and one goal from the final. So I really feel for him. He’s a fan favorite. They loved him, but they loved him for a reason. Because he loved the club more than anyone else ever will. I know that for a fact.”

  • JP

    Its all part of the 300 page plan by Ali Curtus, Get rid of the only winning coach, get rid of all of the good players, and **** off every fan.. Then find a losing coach and no name players. Brilliant!! This will turn into a Disney movie, they will lose every game, Petke will come back and win the cup!

  • Blaise Dupuy

    “… They loved him, but they loved him for a reason. Because he loved the club more than anyone else ever will. I know that for a fact.”
    -THIS!

    Thank you Cahill. As I am trying to get over the shock of his firing and see things from both sides, I keep coming back to the fact that Red Bull has never really cared about the fans of the team they bought, and I think they made a really big mistake in desperation when they hired Petke as coach. It has only highlighted the fact that this team is nothing more than a marketing campaign for their energy drink, and that they don’t really have any interest in what the fans care about. They act as if the only thing they need to do is sell a product that is “successful” and we shouldn’t be concerned with “who” that product is, as long as it is winning. In the board room these arguments are solid and win the day. But in my life as a Metro fan there is no one who has had more passion for this club than Petke, and the only thing they had to to was move him out in a respectful manner, that allowed that passion to continue to be associated with the club. Now I only see his betrayal when I see Red Bull.

  • Kevin D

    I’m going to whine about Mike Petke until I find a job. Then I will complain about my job.

  • Alphonse Diablo

    Thank you EOS for bringing the truth about Cahill.

    Can’t wait for the NY Cosmos home opener in April 18.

    Ali Curtis’ NYRB can collectively kiss my pimpled ass.

  • Josh

    Dude checked out after he didn’t his money

  • zensum

    Posted this on reddit a couple of days ago…

    First things first…I wanted to keep Cahill and play him up top with BWP…but…

    Just a political attempt to turn around fan opinion after bailing on the team…

    Similar to Lampard’s recent statement suggesting getting to NYCFC earlier was out of his control…

    Cahill appears to put great stock in the “Cahill brand” and likely wants to avoid being seen as a villain in the very important New York metro area…

    Smart move…but of questionable sincerity…