May 15, 2014
NOW PICTURE THIS
The Petke family's World Cup photo for Cahill
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Mike Petke on Tim Cahill: “I told him to enjoy it. You never know with Tim, but this might be his last World Cup. To enjoy the moment, soak it all in."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HANOVER, N.J. – There was no real final message from Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke before Tim Cahill left this week for the World Cup. No “win one for the gipper” moment, no schmaltz. Instead, just a text message from the head coach to Cahill with a photo attached showing Petke's family.
In the photo, Petke's young children were posing with a World Cup sticker of Cahill, huge smiles on their faces.
A week or two ago, Petke's wife Kim bought their children some official World Cup stickers as a reward for some recent good grades in school. Petke described his children as “total soccerheads” and the kids – as expected – ripped into the packet of stickers. The stickers were then to be placed in a World Cup book to make a commemorative item. In one of the first packets of stickers opened, the children found Cahill in his Australian jersey and instantly, the kids were buzzing.
So they placed the sticker in its rightful place in the book and Mike took a picture that was then texted to Cahill. He said the Red Bulls midfielder “got a kick out of it.” So sums up their relationship.
Watch the way Cahill celebrated last year's Supporters Shield winning match at Red Bull Arena and the way he ran over to Petke after one goal and it is clear that the passionate head coach – himself a former player for this franchise – and the passionate Cahill – very much the heart and soul of this team – have a rare synergy. The two are cut from the same cloth and both men are the one's most responsible for last year's run to the top of the league.
Before Cahill left to join Australia, Petke spent a few moments with the player just to offer him some encouragement on the eve of the World Cup.
“I told him to enjoy it. You never know with Tim, but this might be his last World Cup. To enjoy the moment, soak it all in,” Petke said.
“Tim's someone who has done so much in his career, this is a special moment for him. His entire family will be there so it will be enjoyable for him. He needs to make the most of it, on and off the field.”
With that being said, this new sticker obsession might become an expensive one for the Petkes. Now that the children have found Cahill, they have a new mission. And it likely means buying more stickers.
“Now they want to find Roy [Miller],” Petke said with a laugh.
Miller left this week to take part in his second World Cup with Costa Rica.