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RBNY’s Cahill takes shots at Sporting KC after Wednesday’s loss at Red Bull Arena

Tim Cahill Sporting KC Getty Images


HARRISON, N.J. — It wasn’t just the team’s first home loss or their failure to take sole possession of first place that had Tim Cahill up in arms. It was the play and behavior of Sporting KC that rubbed him the wrong way.

Usually a reserved figure, the Australian striker stared off into the distance while recounting his disappointment to reporters after Wednesday night’s deflating 2-0 loss. 

He held little back.

“I don’t think there’s anything special to their team,” he bluntly began. “I think we didn’t perform tonight compared to the game on Saturday. We’ve got to be really disappointed with what happened tonight. They won, credit to them, there is not much to say about that game except to put it behind us because that’s another team.

“They are a very physical team. You see every time there is a challenge or something going on in the middle park, the ref gets swarmed, asking for yellow cards, they are asking for free kicks. I didn’t see this in football, you know what I mean?  Just play the game and get on with it

“That’s what frustrated me the most tonight. The poor ref was smothered every time there was an incident. The ref is on the pitch to do a job; he doesn’t need their coach and their player swarming the ref, asking for yellows, asking for fouls.  We lost the game ourselves. Yeah, they are a good team, but we definitely should have competed a lot better and I really wanted to win this game so much tonight for us, for the fans, for what we have done the last two months.”

This isn’t the first time Cahill has expressed his displeasure with Sporting KC.  Earlier in the week, the Red Bulls DP bristled at some comments made by Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes after their last encounter. 

“They had a few comments from the manager after (the 1-1 draw in Kansas City) about us parking the bus but in this game you have to have different tactics to play as you saw at (D.C. United).”

Clearly, the disdain carried over into this game.

“They have some strong players but as I said, they turned it into that sort of a game,” he continued.  “They wanted a physical battle, they wanted the scrap, they wanted to nick their goals and they wanted to sit back. They did their tactics quite well, and it worked for them. What they do, the style of play they play in this league. It’s just one of them ones. The ref probably had one of the hardest games he ever had. 

“I’ve never seen a ref get swarmed so much by players. Every little incident, every little tackle and touch. It’s not right.”

The blame wasn’t all on Kansas City on this night. In fact, Cahill credited them for their win and was also quick to point out the Red Bulls' own faults for the loss. Wednesday marked the 12th time this season that the Red Bull conceded a goal within the first 20 minutes of play, a stat that Rafa Marquez called the team’s 'cancer'.

“We’ve got a lot more fight than that,” Cahill asserted. “We still created the chances, we conceded two really soft goals and when you get down like that so early, it affects the team, it affects the way the team plays. Tonight wasn’t a night we could come back but it’s got to be put right as soon as possible. 

“We’ve said it, it’s so important to concede two goals that early … you just can’t do it because it’s an uphill battle,” he continued.  “You have to deal with it. We’ve (given up early goals) for the majority of the season and now we have to put it right. There is no way of changing it except by us working hard and getting a good understanding.

“Collectively we take the blame together. It’s not just about the back four – it’s about all of us.  It is one thing we have to do is take responsibility as a team and put it right. Kansas City come away, got the three points, very scrappy, the ball was in the air a lot … it was just a weird game and one I just want to forget about."

Cahill may have wanted to quickly forget the result, but he admitted there were plenty of lessons to be learned from the humbling defeat that now has the Red Bulls five points behind Sporting KC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We just need to look at ourselves and that’s it," said Cahill. "Don’t look at anyone else, don’t look at them, and we go back to the drawing board and make sure that we play a lot better. Still, at the end, we should have got something from it, and that’s the most disappointing thing because our home record has been tarnished.  Hopefully this is a bit of a wakeup call and most of us go away upset … I mean really upset. 

“This could have been a special night to bounce and keep on.”


  1. +1 re: #4. Bill Gaudette should have been sent off for cleaning out C.J. Sapong one-on-one in the penalty box. He didn’t get any ball whatsoever. Ref swallowed his whistle on that one.

  2. I don’t understand why people dislike SKC’s style of pressuring the opponent reguardless of field position. Why should they just allow their opponent to possess the ball in their own half and setup their attack? SKC’s tactics are clearly successful at limiting their opponents scoring chances while forcing turnoves in the attacking half that lead to opportunities for themselves. Heck, one of NYRB players actually crossed the ball in front of his own goal to Kei Kamara last night because of the pressure. To me it seems to say more about the quality of other MLS teams when they can’t handle it.

  3. People have always complained that the good teams play physical and try manipulate the refs. The bad teams do these things to, its just no one cared when you suck. I don’t hear any opponents complaning about how TFC plays, why do you think that is? Because its hard to complain about picking up 3 points.

  4. I say complete BS to the people that talk about SKC being prolific floppers, for a few reasons:
    1. Coach Peter Vermes just last week came out with a statement saying dropping at every touch is BAD and that the guys’ focus is on the game. In fact, he discourages that behavior.
    2. At the end of the game, what team ends up with the yellow card?
    3. So there’s the one free kick Sapong scores on. What other fouls were so critical that NYRB lost? I’d be happy to know.
    4. You even hear Vermes saying after the game that there were a few potential PKs he could complain about, but he doesn’t. If they truly were so obsessed with playing the diving game, he’d whine about those for ages.

    As to those who say SKC is a physical team- yeah, it’s called a contact sport. At the point where the ref seems to be making fair calls, it’s just another style of play.

  5. I’m reveling in the irony of seeing fans of the team that employs Rafa Marquez (you know, the same guy who broke Shea Salinas’s collarbone and petulantly chucked a ball at Landon Donovan) whine about another team’s on-field antics.

    Seriously, NYRB fans, get over it.

  6. I can’t argue with anything you say. I’ve seen them in person a few times recently and found them almost breathtaking. And yet, they leave a sour aftertaste, and I think it all starts at the top.

  7. Sounds like a whiny b*tch to me. With all the talent they have, he shouldn’t be worried about the other team no matter how he thinks they play.


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