April 9, 2013
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Petke takes the blame on the blown leads
By Michael Lewis
|Mike Petke: “I put it on myself. We played well on the road, we go up a goal, with all the experience we have, all the talent we have, against a team like Chicago which – all due respect, they have quality – we shouldn’t have given up a lead."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
On the Red Bulls, the buck stops with the head coach.
So says the head coach, Mike Petke, who has taken the blame for the team's failure to hold leads late in three matches this young Major League Soccer season.
The Red Bulls have lost four points in three road matches from the 83rd minute. That includes their most recent game, when they allowed the Chicago Fire to score the tie-breaking goal in the 83rd minute and the insurance goal in the 89th minute en route to a 3-1 result.
“I put it on myself," Petke said during a Tuesday conference call. “We played well on the road, we go up a goal, with all the experience we have, all the talent we have, against a team like Chicago which – all due respect, they have quality – we shouldn’t have given up a lead.
“We have to go over more time in practice, go over late-game situations, up a goal, down a goal. I can’t put that on the players. I take this upon myself. Look at the first game: We’re up 3-1 at halftime. Look at Philly: We go up and give a goal back. We go up in Chicago, and give three goals back. That comes back to me.’’
* In their season opener on March 3, the Red Bulls saw a two-goal advantage turn into a 3-3 draw at the Portland Timbers, who tallied an own goal in the 83rd minute. That's two points lost from that game.
* In their second game at the San Jose Earthquakes, the Red Bulls allowed the equalizer in the 83rd minute and the game-winner two minutes into stoppage time. That's one point out the window.
* And last Saturday, they allowed the winless Chicago Fire to score twice in the final seven minutes -- Maicon Santos scored in the 83rd and 89th minutes -- to transform a 1-1 draw into a 3-1 loss. That's another point.
The Red Bulls owned a 1-0 lead against the Philadelphia Union, which equalized before the Red Bulls' Thierry Henry tallied a late goal to give the home side a 2-1 victory.