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NY coach Mike Petke apologizes after loss to Chivas USA

Aug 26, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT

Mike Petke

It’s not like Mike Petke missed those chances in front of Chivas USA goal Sunday. That’s on Fabian Espindola (mostly) and even on Thierry Henry, who served up some dandy balls but also blew one wonderful opportunity.

It’s not like Petke himself bundled over a Chivas USA attacker at an awful time, giving up a clear penalty kick just before halftime in a match his team would eventually lose, 3-2.

And it’s not like Petke didn’t want his best defender out there; Jamison Olave was injured. (And we warned you last week that New York would miss the big fellow something fierce.)

Still, the manager took responsibility for Sunday’s big setback in Southern California.

I apologize for that loss. We lost to one of the worst teams in the league. We had many chances, we didn’t capitalize on them, made some mistakes and had no creativity in the second half.  We looked like we were confused out there.”

That last part is Petke’s fault. And the team did look confused at times. They are probably confused as to why the manager cannot convince Espindola to pass more and dribble less. Confused as to why there isn’t better midfield distribution. (Juninho was always too old and was never going to work in MLS; that’s on RBNY’s upper management, not Petke.) Confused as to why the team’s outside backs aren’t better.

Confused as to what the team’s offensive identity is. I know that I am; I just don’t see a plan when the team gets the ball.

Petke is a first-year manager, and he has always been humble enough about it. But the team is suffering because someone thought it was a good idea for the Eastern Conference’s marquee team to learn on the job.

We see how well it’s working out.

  1. Michael - Aug 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Just look at Ben Olsen, another coach who I’d say is learning on the job and suffering from it. DCU may no longer be the East’s marquee team, but having managers without experience seems to be an experiment gone wrong for many teams. On the other hand, managers without MLS experience (like Timbers’ Porter) have seemed to do OK.

  2. jerichowhiskey - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    While Henry certainly still have some quality left in him, I would like to see him gone. Petke is saddled with a forward who is technically good, but someone who is usually slow and invisible. He loves dropping back to the midfield, I’d say he should become one in the meantime and let BWP and Espindola/Akpan stay up.

  3. talgrath - Aug 26, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    NYRB is something of a mystery to me. Half the time they look brilliant, absolutely brilliant and top class; then half the time they look terrible. The Red Bulls win big games but drop surefire wins (such as against Chivas), they will get into the playoffs every year, but never seem close to sniffing the MLS cup. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde, but instead of a contrast between violence and peace, it’s a contrast between competency and failure.

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