Roy Miller’s return another telling wrinkle in Petke’s Red Bull regime

(Image, New York Red Bulls)

(Image, New York Red Bulls)

Encroaching upon a teammate’s penalty kick and revealing it was an intentional act would likely earn any player an extended ride on the pine.

New York Red Bulls’ fullback Roy Miller certainly experienced a slight bout with exile for his transgressions. After being jettisoned ahead of schedule to join his National Team for World Cup qualifiers, Miller returned only to find Heath Pearce capably handling duties at the left wing of defense.

Left with little other choice, the Costa Rican defender decided to make the most of his opportunities to show his worth. That wouldn’t come during in-game action and he knew it. Instead, he excelled on the training pitch and turned heads with a three assist performance in reserve league action.

In year’s past, such accomplishments would likely be overlooked – or ignored all together. This year, Mike Petke is flipping that script on it’s head. He proved that again by giving Miller the start against DC United in a pivotal road encounter.

“That was a reward for Roy [Miller] for handling the whole situation after his comments – especially in the paper and the performances,” Petke acknowledged. “He’s the first one to hold your hand up. He’s a professional. And he’s worked hard over the last several weeks and he had a good performance in the reserve game in Chicago.”

His decision to start Miller follows a team wide mandate for players to fight for their positions. That mentality has pitted Brandon Barklage against Kosuke Kimura, Heath Pearce with Roy Miller and Markus Holgersson, Lloyd Sam against Ruben Bover, Jonny Steele, and Eric Alexander.

The results are slowly beginning to show. New York have dominated large segments of their early matches but have failed to close on them. This weekend’s match against DC United was the obvious difference. Whether that will be the norm in the long term is anyone’s guess.

Until that stabilizes completely, players like Roy Miller tell the tale of what Petke wants to see; resiliency, even in the face of tremendous adversity.

“Whatever goes on outside of this locker room is for the fans and the media. Everything that happens in this locker room is for the team and between all of the guys on this team,” McCarty noted. “We have complete faith in Roy. We know he made a mistake, he knows he made a mistake back against San Jose. He was punished for it. He learned from it, and he’s been training fantastically. He’s the longest tenured guy on this team for a reason. He showed what he brings to the team tonight.

“He worked hard, and he defended brilliantly. He helped us get forward into the attack and I think he proved a lot of people wrong. So, it’s a good performance from Roy and we’re all happy for him.”

“If I’m not going to reward my players for doing the right things and earning things, then why have a reserve league?” Petke explained. “Why have a bench up?

“I think he’s earned the start and I think he’s done well.”

  • rob

    Let’s also remember that RBNY has 3 games in 8 days, so you need to use some players and rest others to keep the lineup as fresh as possible for each match…

  • either a brillant or crazy mangerial touch. Lets see who plays the rest of the week and what other appearances bring.

  • Gruff and Manly Bob

    I thought it was very interesting that Roy seemed to have a contingent of family or friends at this game. After the game he came over w/ huge smiles and was hugging and talking to quite a few people and even took a young child in his arms. I don’t know if they came to support him for his return to the pitch or what but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.