October 3, 2012
Seeing Red: Petke: Soler's firing 'definitely took the wind out of my sails a little bit'
As a member of the Red Bulls and MetroStars for so many years, very little surprises assistant coach Mike Petke, although he admitted he did not see the firing of general manager and sporting director Erik Soler on Tuesday.
|Mike Petke: “Whenever money is involved, whenever big business is involved, this is the nature of the beast."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
"It's interesting," Petke told Seeing Red! "Anybody who's been in the game for as long as I have, which is going on 16 years now, or a guy who has just been in half a year this year, a rookie, it becomes very obvious quickly that it is no long playing for a college team, a high school team, a youth team, that it' about the soccer or the love of the game.
“Whenever money is involved, whenever big business is involved, this is the nature of the beast,” Petke said on Seeing Red! “While of course, I can speak for myself and possibly 99 percent of the staff and players, when I got an e-mail [Tuesday] about a half hour before the press release went out, I had zero clue about this.”
Petke told Seeing Red!, a weekly podcast of New York soccer, said he was surprised.
“It definitely took the wind out of my sails a little bit,” he said. “Having said that, I spoke with Erik and this is the business we are in. Will it affect the players? I hope not. I don’t think it will overly affect the players. Because like I said, most players understand this is the business we are in; here today, gone tomorrow, whether it is a player being trade or a manager or front-office staff being fired or resigning.
“I don’t think it will affect us. Potentially, it can have the opposite affect and light a fire under us and say, 'Wow' we're three games from the end of the season, potentially second place after Saturday's game and a very good chance to make a run at MLS Cup. Maybe it's something that motivates us.
"Tomorrow morning, it starts fresh, getting ready for the Chicago Fire."
The Red Bulls host the Fire at Red Bull Arena at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
For the entire podcast, visit http://www.seeingredny.com.