Here's some of what the Red Bulls had to say tonight after their 4-1 win over the Sounders:
Coach Mike Petke On the match:It was a huge, massive result for us. I mean listen Seattle’s the best team in the league right now. It shows in points and the way they play, so I’m very happy with the result and that’s it. On if he was surprised when he saw Seattle’s starting lineup:We prepared for a lineup this week and obviously it was a little different when they gave us the paper, but I mean you look at their front line tonight to start. Between [Chad] Barrett and Kenny [Cooper] I mean they have a lot of goals in this league, you know, they’re experienced players, their midfield was pretty much a starting midfield, and their two center back’s, and [Jalil] Anibaba’s experience as well. They had an overtime match on Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever it was, so they have quality that they could do things like that with. So was I surprised? You know I was as much surprised as I wasn’t. I don’t know if that makes sense. It could have gone either way. On Bradley Wright-Phillips:Bradley was a – you know I didn’t give the lineup until today pre-match, which I usually give the lineup the day before because we were really waiting on – he got the ‘OK’ yesterday, I made the decision to play him, he said he felt great, but I wanted to see how he woke up today, and Bradley, you know, three goals tonight, huge goals, great goals. I’m proud of him and I told you a million times that his main focus is not the [MLS single season scoring] record, but of course the record would be a nice little icing on the cake for him, but he’s producing for us so I’m very happy. On the team’s recent play against the top teams in the league:The first part, why did we beat Arsenal 1-0? It doesn’t matter who they put out there, their only loss of the preseason. Perhaps my team likes the challenge of playing the top teams? I don’t know. All I know is that I think we have 10 points out of 12 in our last four games. We need to keep doing the same mindset, it doesn’t matter who we play. We have a lot more cover for each other in the last four games, especially with Dax [McCarty] and Eric [Alexander] putting a lot of work in in front of our back four. We just need to keep going with that. On why he took Bradley Wright-Phillips out of the match:When I got the ‘OK’ that Bradley was able to play it was one of those things that perhaps it’s not a terrible idea not to play him but he’s good to go, so I knew he wouldn’t do 90 [minutes]. I don’t like bringing on substitutes at halftime; I don’t know if it’s superstition, I just don’t like it. So we said lets give him 10 more minutes and see, but it was pre-planned, you know, it was going to be 45-60 minutes, somewhere in that range. New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-PhillipsOn getting the start following his injury:I just came prepared to start and, yeah, he (Petke) gave me the start. I felt alright.
On scoring after missing a few games:Yeah when you haven't played for a couple of games it's good to not do anything and get a tap in, I was happy with that.
On his mindset after the early goal:I didn't really, I know Seattle's a dangerous team. I was thinking more just keep a clean sheet, I wasn't expecting a hat-trick but that's how football goes.
On closing in on the MLS single season goals record:Sorry, I don't really want to talk about the record. We haven't clinched a playoff place yet, so that's a bit selfish. I just want to clinch a playoff spot.
On how he felt last season to this season:How did last season go for me? Honestly, I don't think last season was too bad. I came to a new team, a couple of goals. I wasn't starting every week, so I enjoyed it last season.
On how much fun he is having on the field:I'm getting kicked every weekend, so it hasn't been too much fun, after the game is a lot of fun but during the game it's not too much fun.
On teams playing him differently from the start of the season to now:Yeah they're a bit more aggressive. I don't have the body for that, I don't think they need that much aggression for me. I'm not strong or anything, but yeah it's been a bit more aggressive.
On Roy Miller's pass that lead to his third goal:With Roy his left foot is brilliant and I know that we have tried sometimes to get those balls on occasion and we have been so close, and today it worked. Great ball in by Roy, I didn't have to do much.
On exposing Seattle on the left side:I think both of our wings are very good, but on our left side with the balance of Roy and Oyongo, they can both do the same thing. If one goes forward the other one can defend, they're both left back and wingers so it causes teams a lot of problems.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam On Seattle challenge:Yeah it was always going to be a difficult game, we didn’t know what lineup they were going to come out with, we were a bit surprised by the lineup, but we’ve been strong at home lately. I mean it was encouraging to see that they didn’t have their main men out straight away and it’s nice to get a first goal so soon into a game and then that settled us down and then ended up being a good day for us. On if he was insulted by Seattle lineup:I mean I wouldn’t say its disrespect, I mean I can imagine why they’re doing it, they had the cup final in the week so obviously they have a big squad, but I wouldn’t say disrespected but it was definitely something that we could capitalize on and we did. On Bradley Wright-Phillips performance:Bradley, he keeps doing it doesn’t he? I’m really proud of him. He’s had a great season and he really hasn’t trained much this week And to come in and get a hat-trick for us, I mean it’s phenomenal and I’m really proud of him. New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry (postgame on NBC SN set)On the win over SeattleMy focus is trying to get some points against L.A. We all know [that] if you don’t go down there well and well-prepared, you can easily [concede] three or four. We have seen that recently. As long as we defend the way we do defend, we can score goals against any team. Recently before the run we’ve been having, we were conceding too many goals and we’ve rectified it. On Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-PhillipsHe is the “plus one”. He always goes behind the defense [and] he doesn’t care too much about combining play. He can hold the ball, though. I’m just saying he’s there to score and you see that. I’m just happy for him because, after seven games at the beginning of the season, people were having a go at him, and rightly so because he wasn’t scoring. Right now he’s our go-to guy and that’s why if the boss asks me to play on the left, I’ll play on the left for him [or] if I have to play behind him. We all try to feed him tonight again and, you know, what a game. I don’t think he played particularly well but it’s what you ask from a striker. He scored three goals and, therefore, that’s a good game.
On OyongoOyongo was impressive, he was really impressive, did really well. It was a good team but performance but him especially. He’s been one of the main revelations I’ve seen this season. He’s been the one that people really don’t know about. He’s played left-back and he’s played forward, he scores goals, he runs at defenders, he does a lot and he’s getting recognition from his country too and that’s good to see. New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCartyOn his role in the teamIt’s a role I think I started getting used to back when Hans Backe was here our old coach and it’s a role that I’m comfortable in. I’ve played it last year, I’ve played it a couple times in Dallas, and you know sometimes it’s hard for me to reign it in and be disciplined and not get in on the attacking, I still have that tendency to want to get in on the fun, go and get involved, but for the most part it’s a role that you kind of need to be more selfless and you have to be a little bit disciplined in the way you go about things because we have guys that can change games and if we get more solid defensively I think that can help our team in the long run. I’ve never been a guy that’s been about individual stuff, I could care less about that stuff, I’m all about getting wins and if that’s going to get us wins then that’s a great position and I’ll do whatever it takes. On chemistry with Eric AlexanderI think anytime you have a good relationship and a good friendship with someone off the field, you’re always going to make a good partnership on the field. A lot of respect for Eric Alexander, he gets some outside forces but he’s got a huge role on this team and he’s got a huge respect that he commands in this locker room. Everyone knows how important he is to the team so for me he’s a guy that you can’t be without. You can’t be without a guy like that on this team and he works for the team, not selfish, does whatever he’s asked, that’s how you win in this league. You have to have some players that are willing to be adaptable and guys that are willing to kind of sacrifice himself for the team and that’s the guy that Eric is.