May 6, 2014
WALKING THE WORLD CUP TIGHTROPE
Red Bulls want to keep Cahill, Miller through Toronto game, while national teams want them after Chicago
By Michael Lewis
|Mike Petke on Roy Miller (above):
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Left back Roy Miller and midfielder-forward Tim Cahill will play at least one more game with the Red Bulls, maybe two, before they have to report to their respective national teams for World Cup preparations.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke obviously would like to have both players for Saturday's home game against the Chicago Fire and the May 17 road match at Toronto FC. But that might not happen.
The Costa Rican Football Federation wants Miller after the Chicago confrontation; like with Australia and Cahill.
"Ihe initial indications that we're getting and they're not concrete in stone, is that after the Chicago game both federations would like to have them," Petke said during his Tuesday conference call with the media. "By FIFA regulations, we really don't have to release them I believe the 18th or the 17th, which would allow them" to play vs. Toronto.
Petke, sporting director Andy Roxburgh and the Red Bulls have to be diplomats, especially with the Costa Ricans.
"It's a tricky situation, though, especially with Costa Rica," he said. "They are usually very adamant about 'We want Roy now and there's no questions asked.'
"If it's a friendly game, two years out from the World Cup, you've got a lot of wiggle room. If we refuse Roy to go in the game before Toronto and if that jeopardizes in any way him playing in a World Cup or minutes in a World Cup or something like that, i would be a very sad, a very angry person."
Petke said that he believes that Major League Soccer has announced that it will release all American players for U.S. National Team training camp on May 14, which certainly doesn't help the Red Bulls' cause.
"I understand why they did it," he said. "So a lot of federations are looking at that and they [say] 'we want our players as well.' "
Roxburgh is monitoring the situation, Petke said.
"We're going to figure out what's best for us and the team, but also the players," he said.