New York Red Bull head coach Mike Petke was protecting Roy Miller from the wrath of the fans and media this weekend.

The 28-year old defender produced a poor performance as the Red Bulls lost 2-1 to San Jose Earthquakes last week prompting Petke to omit him for the 0-0 draw with DC United on the weekend, allowing Miller to head back to Costa Rica to prepare for the World Cup qualifier against the USA on March 22 and Jamaica four days later.

"Roy Miller had an unfortunate game against San Jose," said Petke. "He's part of the team; no one's pointing fingers at him. It's a situation I spoke with him, he's very upset about a lot of things. But he's a team player.

"And I know he was leaving tomorrow for Costa Rica, and I felt it'd be unfair for me to put him out on the bench, even in the 18 with the reaction from our supports and the media, the way things have been written. I wanted him to go home, spend some time with his family clear his head and figure some things out."

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