Red Bulls Petke says Sam’s red card “justified”

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

As a lifelong defender and now an MLS head coach, Mike Petke has always had sharp opinions about the league’s officiating. One need only look back to last month where the league’s disciplinary arm slapped him with a $2k fine for his critique of a penalty during their match against the Columbus Crew.

This weekend, Lloyd Sam was hit with a red card thanks to a dangerous challenge on a 50/50 ball with Philadelphia Union midfielder Danny Cruz.

While the referee’s decision caused debate amongst Red Bull fans, the team coach took a surprising stance on the subject.

“My initial thoughts are … he did show his studs,” Petke told reporters in his weekly press conference. “I don’t think it was vicious. I think they both went down into something. It was a judgement call by the ref that either way could be justified.”

Petke, never one to mask emotions, pointed to his initial reaction as the clearest indication of his feelings.

“If you look at the replay, I didn’t initially go crazy on the red card,” he said. “I was angry and upset.”

Watching the replay only strengthened his first impression.

“Looking at it now, it’s honestly not even in my head,” he said. “I really believe – and this may be one of the few times I don’t say something against the refs – it was a judgement call that either way would have been justified. In this way I believe it was a bit justified that he did get a red card.

“Perhaps another ref in MLS or around the world would have went the other way with a warning but overall, he did show his cleats, the ref made the call and he is justified in that.”

  • Any latest news on our eventual rebrand as “The Cosmos”? We at The Vipers Nest have been salivating for almost 2 years at the prospect of having King Cantona return and join us on our dying fanboy Red Bulls website. Not since the glory days of Paul Kemsley, Eric Cantona, Terry Byrne, and KIng Cantona have we had so little fun at the Harrison shithole. By the way, King Cantona never received his “You Suck Corrales” bobblehead doll! **** off to Matt, Miguel, and YSC! The Cosmos still live!