MLS- New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls Notes: Petke opens up about Sam omissions, Miller makes shocking admission, and more

Mike Petke RBNY (ISIphotos)


UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — When New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Tuesday that Lloyd Sam needs to return to fitness and get back to ‘a mentality level’ to be considered for selection, questions were raised as to what he meant by that.

Now we know.

Petke offered a clarification on Wednesday as to what it will take for Sam to dress for the first time this season, saying the dynamic 28-year-old midfielder – who has not traveled with the Red Bulls in either of their first two games – needs to be dedicated to working hard regardless of if he is a starter or not.

“I need to see every day that every player is committed to the position that they’re in,” said Petke. “Whether it’s a reserve player, whether it’s a starter, whether it’s on the verge, when I look around, I want to see everybody tuned in and see everybody clicked in.

“There’s many things I mean by a mentality level: Understanding his role, in a way, being okay to work and to get back to that position and I need to see all that combined into one. You see a guy like Eric Alexander, who played right midfield against San Jose, he had a goal and he worked his ass off. That’s the type of mentality that I want.”

As far as Sam goes, he feels he is ready both in terms of his fitness and mentality.

“I want to be involved. I’m available,” Sam told SBI. “I feel fitter, so I feel ready, so I’m waiting to be put in.”

Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Red Bulls practice:


Roy Miller has had a history of blunders and mental lapses during his time with the Red Bulls but his latest one might take the cake.

After being whistled for a hand ball in the penalty area late in last Sunday’s match vs. the San Jose Earthquakes, Miller negated goalkeeper Luis Robles’ save on Chris Wondolowski’s penalty kick attempt by encroaching. Wondolowski scored on the retake and New York lost, 2-1.

Why, however, would Miller step into the box only moments after surrendering the penalty kick? Miller says because he meant to.

“I did it on purpose with the thought that Wondolowski would miss [on the retake],” said Miller. “Simply, I wasn’t in agreement with the situation that was going on and the penalty kick being given, because for me the handball didn’t have to be called but some refs call it and some don’t.

“I did it so that if [Wondolowski] made it, he would have to do it again and then he missed. I had the unfortunate luck that Luis saved the initial attempt.”


While Juninho returned to training on Wednesday for the first time in a week, arguably just as big of a development for the Red Bulls was goalkeeper Ryan Meara also partaking in training. It was the first time Meara had practiced alongside his teammates since undergoing season-ending hip surgery last season.

“Ryan’s not obviously ready for this weekend but it was very encouraging to see him be in more plays than he has been throughout preseason,” said Petke. “It was nice to see him out there. He took one in the face today, which is good I think.

“It reminds them of what being a goalie is about, so very happy that he was out there today.”

Meara did not participate in the full session, stopping after some small-sided games about midway through practice.


The Red Bulls will likely soon have another option up top.

Petke said the club is close to agreeing to a deal with forward trialist Peguy Luyindula, the 33-year-old Frenchman who has been with New York since preseason.

“He has done exactly what we had hoped he would do and the price is phenomenal,” said Petke. “As far as that’s concerned, I know nothing has been signed, but we’re very close, leaning towards signing him.”

The addition of Luyindula, who has been improving with each passing week that he has been with the Red Bulls, will give the club some much-needed depth at forward. Aside from Thierry Henry and Fabian Espindola, the only other forwards on the Red Bulls’ roster are youngsters Josue Martinez and Amando Moreno.


Think Sam should be given a chance to start this weekend? What do you make of Miller’s admission? Do you see Meara earning the starting spot once he is back into a rhythm?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Spencer

    Someone should explain the rules to Miller. Wondo only has to retake it if he makes it if someone on his team encroaches.


  • Charles

    If Wondo makes it and he is in the box, they don’t count it ?
    or was this the NFL’s Pete Carroll timeout, freeze the kicker idea ? Get the penalty called as he is about to kick.


  • divers suck

    Roy Miller has lost his mind! What kind of crazy thinking was that?! It was a legit PK call by the ref. Even if it wasn’t, Roy Millers logic completely escapes me.


  • Murphy

    Come on get rid of that guy…

    And from what I saw last year, I think Meara might be better than Robles. Hope he comes back soon.


  • JoeSchmoe

    What the heck he doesn’t even know the rules! And he admits to intentionally breaking the rules to punish the referee?

    My god


  • Mark

    I’d like to see Sam at least on the bench, as he provides a speed option that I’m not sure we have otherwise. Not sure if Martinez or Moreno can provide that type of speed as I haven’t seen either of them play more than a handful of minutes.


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Oriinal

    Roy Millier isn’t the dumbest player in soccer. He’s the dumbest player in sports.


  • Alex

    Roy Miller is an idiot and the red bulls are even more of a joke. Any real team would cut this guy after last weekend. His statement about why he encroached doesn’t even make sense. If he did encroach and Wondo scored it would have counted.


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