October 1, 2013
MY TWO CENTS
Petke is the pulse of the Red Bulls
Alan Alcalde is a Red Bulls fan residing in Pittsburgh, Pa.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Alan Alcalde
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
Alexi Lalas was able to admit it on national television that he did not expect Mike Petke to be in his role for a very long time after being appointed as head coach of the Red Bulls.
With Petke an inexperienced coach with only two years of coaching experience at the professional level -- assistant Red Bulls coach in 2011 and 2012 -- who wouldn't think the same?
I sure had my doubts and many others did as well. Now, the conversation has turned to Petke being in the running for MLS coach of the year along with Portland's Caleb Porter and Montreal's Marco Schallibaum. Those teams have had great seasons and turnarounds but to manage the egos, money, and environment that is RBNY is a completely different animal.
Many question the turning point being the confrontation with Thierry Henry during a training session that changed everything but the reality is that the Red Bulls have shown something different this season. They have posted 10 clean sheets and some of their best performances have been lead without their superstars.
The Red Bulls have inherited the character and desire of their head coach and have the personnel to execute games in such fashion. Players such as Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Fabian Espindola, Eric Alexander and Jonny Steele consistently push their team and have willed them to earning results. This may not be the flashiest team as evident in the result against Seattle in tough conditions, but they know how to make life difficult for opponents and fight until the end. It was no surprise to see guys laying on the turf, exhausted yet proud of their performances.
As a long time Red Bull supporter that has been through the turbulent times of the Metros, the transition to becoming the Red Bulls and their recent shortcomings, it's great to see a team that has embodied the spirit and character of the people that live in the NYC/NJ area.
I tip my hat to Petke for leading the change and building a squad that will win over the fans that require nothing more but heart, desire, and sacrifice.
Now, let's see what they can do in the playoffs.
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