Tim Cahill was quick to leap to the defence of New York Red Bull teammate and club leading scorer Kenny Cooper following Thursday night’s Eastern Conference semi-final defeat.
Cooper was felled in the area by Bill Hamid in the 69th minute which saw the DC keeper sent off before the Red Bull striker then slotted home the subsequent penalty. However, referee Mark Geiger wanted a re-take for encroachment with Cooper seeing his second spot-kick saved by replacement Joe Willis.
After the match, Cooper was a dejected sole in the dressing room but Cahill swiftly defended his mate who has been a star for the Red Bulls this season.
“I’ve missed penalties in the past, and I don’t even for one instant blame [him],” said Cahill.
“He has 18 goals. Guy’s a freak.”
The defeated ended New York’s run in the 2012 MLS playoffs