Mike Petke
USA Today Sports

Mike Petke takes full blame for loss: "I got it wrong"

New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke is taken the full blame for his side's season opening 4-1 loss to the Whitecaps in Vancouver on Saturday night.

"I got it completely wrong," Petke told reporters after the match. "So it comes down to me. My gameplan obviously was wrong. The whole focus was for the first game, the whole preseason and the week leading up. With the result, obviously I got it wrong."

The Red Bulls dodged a few bullets in the first half at B.C. Place and were somewhat fortunate to only be down a goal at halftime after Vancouver's Kenny Miller converted a penalty kick in the 35th minute.

However Whitecaps midfielder Sebastian Fernandez blasted in a fantastic shot from 24 yard just minutes into the second half that essentially put the game away.

"It was huge," Petke said of the Fernandez's 49th minute goal. "They capitalized on our mistakes and at the end of the day, we had no answer. For me, it's back to the drawing board."

While New York had the better possession through the match, the Whitecaps did more with their chances. Vancouver put 10 of their 14 attempts on target, compared to the Red Bulls four of eight.

Petke's team didn't wait long to move on to preparing for next Saturday's home opener against the Colorado Rapids. The Red Bulls were flying home just hours after the match.

"What I said to the players is 'get it out of your head,'" Petke said. "'Go home, reflect a little bit and I will do my best to come up with something better.'"

His players took the message.

"We will put it behind us," said midfielder Lloyd Sam. "I'm looking forward to next week just to put this one behind us, erase it from our memory. Hopefully it's a quick week and we can play again at home and set it right."

"The quicker we get this behind us, the better off," added Bradley Wright-Phillips, the team's goalscorer on the night. "We now have to put on a better performance at home."