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Petke refutes claim Cahill was benched due to international duty

Photo by USA TODAY Sports


HARRISON, N.J. — Just 24 hours after midfielder Tim Cahill reiterated his commitment to his national team, the Australian forward found himself on the bench as his side kicked off a crucial matchup with the Houston Dynamo.

Despite all of the interpretations that could potentially surround Cahill’s initial absence, head coach Mike Petke stated that any conspiracy theories regarding the Australian’s benching were “both ridiculous and laughable”.

Cahill was eventually introduced into the game in the 85th minute before receiving a straight red card just three minutes later for a tackle on the Dynamo’s Boniek Garcia. Regardless, Petke insisted that, despite the recent headlines, Cahill, who will miss the next two games due to his Australian commitments and suspension, started on the sidelines due to gameplay reasons.

“The only thing I’ll say is that the last 24 hours have been very interesting,” Petke said. “To suggest that a player was not in the lineup because of an international call-up is both ridiculous and laughable. We have four games left, three now, that are huge.

“The steam that this picked up in the last 24 hours has been, to me, ridiculous. I put the selection process, as the coach, which, last time I checked, I make the decisions and I’m allowed to make the decisions, the selection process for tonight’s game went as this: I want to put the eleven players out that I thought would get us a result and we got the result.”

Petke went on to reiterate that he and everyone else at the the club takes pride in all of their international stars.

“To suggest that we would leave a player that we thought could help us out because he’s going to the national team, we’re proud of him,” Petke said. “We’re proud of Roy (Miller), we’re proud of (Ambroise) Oyongo going to the national team. They represent their country and they represent their club.

“It’s become a big story, but it’s not. It’s not a big story… The story tonight is a 1-0 win.”


  1. As a lover of language, Petke’s words piss me off. Very strange, political, condescending statements. Furthermore, what he implies, that he didn’t thinking starting Cahill would get them the same or better results, isn’t just asinine…

    So what is the reason he thinks this? Is he dumb?

    I doubt Petke is straight up dumb, but these comments are ‘ridiculous and laughable’.

    • I thought it was absurd when I read it, and I knew it was absurd when the normally diplomatic AMP got knives-out angry about it. This man hates words, I have to agree. Particularly meaningful ones.

      • True. The formation that Petke adopted – with great success – to provide the back line with more cover has left Cahill without a place to plug into the starting lineup. He doesn’t want to play next to McCarty in front of the defense, he’s not a playmaker to put between Henry and Sam, and you’re certainly not going to start him in front of BWP. So where do you play him?

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