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February 7, 2014
... the Red Bulls broke up their Fla. trip in two

The Red Bulls return home from Orlando, having trained the past 11 days in central Florida.

On Tuesday, they will return to the Sunshine State for a pre-season friendly against the Philadelphia Union in Jacksonville.

So, why didn't the Red Bulls stay in Florida?

Head coach Mike Petke had a good reason -- for the mental health of the team.

"It's little things in my experience, Robin's [Fraser] experience, John Wolyniec and our coaching staff's experience as a player," he said during a Thursday night conference call with the Red Bulls media, "It's very tough to be away from home for long long periods of time, Two to three weeks, it's almost counterproductive.

"It's seething that we took into account this year. So its important to go nine, 10, 11 days away, come back, see the family, We'll be away three days for next week then we'll be back for the weekend and then we're away again for two weeks for the remainder [of the pre-season]."

Petke remembered his first two seasons in Major League Soccer.

"My first couple of pre-seasons in this league, in '98 and '99, I think I was away three 1/2-four weeks straight at one point. It becomes counterproductive. So we didn't want that. It is very much designed. We're hoping we see results because of it."

After the Jacksonville encounter, the Red Bulls travel to Orlando for the Disney Pro Soccer Classic as they will play our matches within 13 days. They will meet Sporting Kansas City on Feb. 19, the Montreal Impact on Feb. 22, the Fluminese Under-23 on Feb. 26 before taking on an opponent to be determined in a placement match on March 1.

They will return to the New York/New Jersey area on March 2 before heading to Vancouver to meet the Whitecaps in their season opener on March 8.

A week later on March 15, the Red Bulls will host the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena in their home opener at 4 p.m.

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