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May 26, 2014
Petke doesn't push team hard in a short rest window

HARRISON, N.J. -- The Red Bulls have had barely enough time to catch their collective breathes from their 2-1 home loss to the Portland Timbers Saturday night.

On Sunday, head coach Mike Petke gave his team the day of.

On Monday, the team had a light practice before departing for Kansas City, Kansas to take on Sporting Kansas City in a confrontation between last year's Supporters Shield winners and MLS Cup champions (ESPN, 8 p.m. Et).

"I think it was a good thing for us just to get away from the game for a bit and make sure we realize the mistakes we made against Portland but [to] also clear your mind and prepare for another tough game in Kansas City," midfielder Dax McCarty said about Sunday.

"It’s a really short turnaround. The guys that have little injuries and stuff came in and got treatment and the guys that are fit and ready to go are just trying to recover. You have to make sure you get the right amount of rest, stay off your feet, and prepare for another tough game."

Playing on a Tuesday night, especially after a long holiday weekend is quite rare in Major League Soccer. In the age of soccer-specific stadiums, it certainly was a curious way to schedule a game.

The Red Bulls enter the game with one day's less rest, having performed Saturday night, a 2-1 home defeat to the Portland Timbers. Sporting played Toronto FC to a 2-2 draw at home on Friday night.

So, Petke wasn't pushing his team too much in practice Monday.

"It was about getting their legs moving a little bit and just getting them psychologically [and] mentally ready for the game," Petke said. "Everyone’s in good spirits. Everybody, of course, is very disappointed in the result but very happy with much of the way we played. I felt we got the short end of the stick but, you know, we’ve been on the end of those results as winners as well so, at the end of the day, you take the positives from it and you get ready for Kansas City."

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