It couldn’t have happened again, could it? The Red Bulls with a solid first half and leading this time by a goal at Buck Shaw Stadium with a performance that was just adequate to get the full three points and give Mike Petke his first professional victory as a head coach.
But something creeps in that tells you it’s not going to happen on this late evening on the West Coast. Something tells Petke that you are not going to earn this win just yet, because for him he’s seen it all before. It’s when he use to play for this club and now he’s seeing it in front of him as their new Head Coach.
It’s going to continue to haunt his life for the rest of this season. Of course that terminology is “That’s So Metro,” and once again it bit the Red Bulls hard. A lack of concentration late in the match allowed an equalizer, and two others contributed to the match winner as the Earthquakes were given the full three points on a platter.
In the 83rd minute, it was a Sam Cronin cross that found Adam Jahn on the far side of the field to head the ball hard into the net, as Buck Shaw erupted with the equalizer. Three players on the Red Bulls were at fault for lazy defending on the cross. First Tim Cahill, who tracked Cronin, wasn’t close enough and allowed the cross. Luis Robles gave up on the ball at the goal line as it was just slightly over his head, as he could’ve jumped for it. And finally, Roy Miller gave up on his run to allow Jahn to get past him and convert the goal.
But as it looked like the Red Bulls were going to get out of dodge once again with a point, Miller again failed his team. A corner from the far side was delivered in the 90th minute into the middle of the area, as it was headed towards goal Miller leapt for the ball and handled it for a penalty.
Chris Wondolowski took the spot kick inside second half stoppage time and as he struck the ball, Luis Robles made a fantastic save to his right and the point was saved. But Ricardo Salazar called for the penalty to be retaken, as Miller encroached in the area before Wondolowski entered it. That final gaffe would be the ultimate sin on this night.
With the second attempt, Wondolowski made no mistake and scored right down the middle. Once again for the Red Bulls, mental mistakes allowed them to lose points and yielded their first loss of the season. It must be very difficult when you have a lead no matter how big or small, going home without the full three points is very difficult.
Petke as the new head coach needs to handle this matter and quickly on the way back from San Jose. That would mean benching Roy Miller for his severe lack of concentration for giving the Quakes a penalty and having it retaken.
But this time around Petke has made the proper tactics and substitutions. Sadly his players failed him this time, and even those who are tagged with the DP status failed to do enough to secure any points at all. Things need to change and fast as DC United will be making the trip for the Home opener in six days.