New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke has been left to rue what might have been had his players not conceded five penalties already this season.
The Red Bulls have played nine MLS games in 2014 but have already given away a handful of spot kicks with three of them directly affecting the result.
The MLS season record is ten penalties in a campaign which indicates that the Red Bulls are well on the way to setting their own record (one they wouldn’t want to keep) if they cannot switch on for the entire 90 minutes.
“It’s frustrating, to be honest with you,” Petke said. “And Luis (Robles, keeper) must be extremely frustrated.
“I think that it’s just a little bit of falling asleep at times.”
Speaking of the Columbus penalty, Petke added: “It’s the second penalty we’ve given up this year in that exact same way: a player coming around one of our defenders, blindsiding him, and our defender having to react too quick, instead of perhaps being in a better position.
“The ones that concern me are the brain lapses that we have had a couple of times, allowing players to get in front of us, and then reacting too late.”
Vancouver Whitecaps striker Kenny Miller netted from 12 yards as the Red Bulls were beaten 4-1 on opening weekend, Colorado Rapids’s Vicente Sanchez slotted home to level in the 1-1 draw on March 15, Chivas USA’s Erick Torres opened the scoring in the 1-1 draw on March 30, Philadelphia Union’s Sebastien Le Toux converted in the 2-1 win on April 17 and last weekend, Columbus Crew’s Jairo Arrieta scored late in the first half in the eventual 1-1 draw to notch up five penalties so far for the Red Bulls.
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