February 17, 2013
'I just think some people need to step up'
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Needless say, Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke was not particularly happy the outcome of his team's 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution in the Tucson Desert Diamond Cup on Saturday night.
|Mike Petke: "I'm not talking about reinventing the wheel. Little things here and there. Maybe that's too much to ask."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
He was more disappointed in the play of his team, particularly in the second half.
Petke did not single out any players, but he felt some of his men had to show more on the pitch. The Red Bulls season opener is two weeks ago from Sunday, when they travel to the Portland Timbers on March 3.
"I just think some people need to step up, need to stand up,, claim things for their own, do things the right away and learn," he said. "Learn little things, things we learn in practice. I'm not talking about reinventing the wheel. Little things here and there. Maybe that's too much to ask."
It was a game of two halves. The Red Bulls dominated the opening 45 minutes, but had a major lapse of energy in the final half.
They didn't create three goals," Petke said. "We gave them three goals after a first half that we probably could have scored five or six. That's what they call pre-season we've got to sort this stuff out somehow."
Petke sounded like he wish he could have bottled the first half. He said the Red Bulls were "very exciting stuff both sides of the ball. Aggression on defense, creativity going forward, a balance through the midfield. The first half was a one-sided affair, almost."
After the break, the Red Bulls were not the same team. Except for Juninho, who scored the team's lone goal in the 11th minute, every starter game back for the second-half kickoff. The rest of the starters played past the hour mark
"We're very flat in the first 10 minutes," he said. "No desire to get the ball transferred from the defense up to the attacking end. Too many balls played to the middle, back to the same spot, middle, back to the small spot."
That resulted in two goals within five-minute span -- Lee Nguyan's penalty kick off of Jamison Olave's handball in the 53rd minute and Jerry Bengtson's score off a Donnie Smith cross in the 58th minute.
"The first goal comes off of too many touches on the ball," Petke said. "Turnover. Nobody puts out the fire. It results in an unfortunate handball, however.
"The second goal, the ball is played 20-25 yards in the air. No one wants to step up and claim it for their own. A guy stepped in and just openly had the ball."
Marko Jesic scored an insurance goal for the Revs in the 88th minute.
"The third ball was a bad giveaway from the center back," Petke said. It got put down our throats."
Asked if he thought the fact that most of the team playing beyond 45 minutes for the first time this pre-season had anything to do with the second-half performance, Petke replied, "I would love to sit here and say that. That could be the case. I don't know. I'm not going to use that as an excuse."