RBNY’s Cahill takes shots at Sporting KC after Wednesday’s loss at Red Bull Arena

Tim Cahill Sporting KC Getty Images


HARRISON, N.J. — It wasn’t just the team’s first home loss or their failure to take sole possession of first place that had Tim Cahill up in arms. It was the play and behavior of Sporting KC that rubbed him the wrong way.

Usually a reserved figure, the Australian striker stared off into the distance while recounting his disappointment to reporters after Wednesday night’s deflating 2-0 loss. 

He held little back.

“I don’t think there’s anything special to their team,” he bluntly began. “I think we didn’t perform tonight compared to the game on Saturday. We’ve got to be really disappointed with what happened tonight. They won, credit to them, there is not much to say about that game except to put it behind us because that’s another team.

“They are a very physical team. You see every time there is a challenge or something going on in the middle park, the ref gets swarmed, asking for yellow cards, they are asking for free kicks. I didn’t see this in football, you know what I mean?  Just play the game and get on with it

“That’s what frustrated me the most tonight. The poor ref was smothered every time there was an incident. The ref is on the pitch to do a job; he doesn’t need their coach and their player swarming the ref, asking for yellows, asking for fouls.  We lost the game ourselves. Yeah, they are a good team, but we definitely should have competed a lot better and I really wanted to win this game so much tonight for us, for the fans, for what we have done the last two months.”

This isn’t the first time Cahill has expressed his displeasure with Sporting KC.  Earlier in the week, the Red Bulls DP bristled at some comments made by Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes after their last encounter. 

“They had a few comments from the manager after (the 1-1 draw in Kansas City) about us parking the bus but in this game you have to have different tactics to play as you saw at (D.C. United).”

Clearly, the disdain carried over into this game.

“They have some strong players but as I said, they turned it into that sort of a game,” he continued.  “They wanted a physical battle, they wanted the scrap, they wanted to nick their goals and they wanted to sit back. They did their tactics quite well, and it worked for them. What they do, the style of play they play in this league. It’s just one of them ones. The ref probably had one of the hardest games he ever had. 

“I’ve never seen a ref get swarmed so much by players. Every little incident, every little tackle and touch. It’s not right.”

The blame wasn’t all on Kansas City on this night. In fact, Cahill credited them for their win and was also quick to point out the Red Bulls' own faults for the loss. Wednesday marked the 12th time this season that the Red Bull conceded a goal within the first 20 minutes of play, a stat that Rafa Marquez called the team’s 'cancer'.

“We’ve got a lot more fight than that,” Cahill asserted. “We still created the chances, we conceded two really soft goals and when you get down like that so early, it affects the team, it affects the way the team plays. Tonight wasn’t a night we could come back but it’s got to be put right as soon as possible. 

“We’ve said it, it’s so important to concede two goals that early … you just can’t do it because it’s an uphill battle,” he continued.  “You have to deal with it. We’ve (given up early goals) for the majority of the season and now we have to put it right. There is no way of changing it except by us working hard and getting a good understanding.

“Collectively we take the blame together. It’s not just about the back four – it’s about all of us.  It is one thing we have to do is take responsibility as a team and put it right. Kansas City come away, got the three points, very scrappy, the ball was in the air a lot … it was just a weird game and one I just want to forget about."

Cahill may have wanted to quickly forget the result, but he admitted there were plenty of lessons to be learned from the humbling defeat that now has the Red Bulls five points behind Sporting KC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We just need to look at ourselves and that’s it," said Cahill. "Don’t look at anyone else, don’t look at them, and we go back to the drawing board and make sure that we play a lot better. Still, at the end, we should have got something from it, and that’s the most disappointing thing because our home record has been tarnished.  Hopefully this is a bit of a wakeup call and most of us go away upset … I mean really upset. 

“This could have been a special night to bounce and keep on.”

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61 Responses to RBNY’s Cahill takes shots at Sporting KC after Wednesday’s loss at Red Bull Arena

  1. Old School says:

    It’s cool Cahill.

    Most of us don’t think there’s anything special about your club either.

  2. Bill says:

    Somebody call the whaaambulance for Cahill.

  3. Matt says:

    Didn’t SKC headbutt one of their players? Oh wait, it was Henry that headbutted Kamara towards the end.

  4. Mouf says:


  5. JamieHex says:

    So Cahill never watched Chelsea while he was in England?

  6. drew11 says:

    Cahill has the right attitude for a DP. Good signing.

  7. Mark says:

    If Cahill did not like the ref swarming just wait till they play LA Galaxy :)

  8. chris says:

    This is why this team will never win anything. A bunch of stuck up complainers.

  9. BFBS says:

    Am I the only one interpreting his comments as an (inadvertent) compliment to the intensity of MLS play?

  10. DJ says:

    1st try: Holy crap, I hope Cahill still has room to think with all those SKC players getting in his head.

    2nd try: Cahill may need some medicated body lotion after all the high pressure got under his skin.

  11. DJ says:

    LOL, double win for referencing the NYRB sign misspelling.

  12. Mike r says:

    Welcome to MLS…land of hack a man soccer. But he should be used to that style from the Premiership

  13. DJ says:

    The money is special. For one Marquez, you could have gotten one entire SKC (including reserves).

  14. al17 says:

    He played in EPL and he’s bitching about Physical play in MLS?
    Never liked him as a player because he always seemed to be the bitchy type.

    I’m not a Sporting KC fan but this guy ranting about Physical play is a joke.

  15. loosek says:

    He’s not complaining about the physical play, he’s just saying that’s all they wanted to do. And he’s right. SKC has a good amount of actual soccer talent (for an MLS team), but on the field they unfortunately are forced to mirror the attitude of their coach. Peter Vermes is the biggest loudmouth crybaby in the league. A shame really, because his team could really be elite in MLS if they’d dare to raise their expectations.

  16. Mouf says:

    Ya, seriously, they could win competitons and be competing for the Supporter Shield if they just, oh wait

  17. 99 says:

    just want to point out that they’re at the top in the east, 3 points off for the sheild, won the Open Cup, were 1st in the East last year and 3rd the year before.

    i’m no KC fan, but they’ve kind of met some of those raised expectations already.

    i’m also no Vermes fan, but evytime I’ve watched KC play this year, it has been failry entertaining, regardless of their method.

  18. Paddy Megroyn says:

    +1 Spot on.

  19. josh says:

    I don’t know… sounds like he gives a sh*t. That doesn’t always seem the case in the history of RBNY DP (and NY/NJ superstar imports pre-DP rule). Gotta count for something.

  20. Paddy Megroyn says:

    +1 meant for loosek’s original comment.

  21. solles says:

    he’s not wrong though, SKC are a bunch of whiny kids.

  22. jloome says:

    I hope so, since that’s not the aggression he’s talking about. He’s talking aggressively getting in the ref’s face every five seconds, which seems endemic these days in MLS. We should start seeing some yellows and reds for it, frankly. The league would be better off.

  23. Rob says:

    Yup.. they should all totally be made of glass and hit the grass on every stiff breeze like the KC midfielders and forwards right?


  24. Rob says:

    He’s not ranting about the physical play.. he said he knows it’s part of the game. He’s commenting on the constant crying of the KC players and their “swarming” the ref every 30 seconds. That’s what children do and the ref should have controlled all of that from the get go.

  25. Cahill is Garbage says:

    SKC would love to trade him for Backe. i wonder what type of attractive soccer he could piece together with our line-up and lack of over the hill DP’s like cahill. Our team is elite enough to have better crowds than that when we play orlando city in the us open cup.

  26. Aguinaga says:

    Cahill is right about the KC’s play. If that’s their “style”, so be it, however awful. If it wins, kudos to them. Only positive is we get to do this again very soon

    Looking forward to Cahill next year. Coming in midseason and trying to get used to the league/country and do well right away isn’t usually the case. It just takes time. Took Henry a year before he adjusted and look at how he plays now. I think we should expect much better from Cahill next year. For now, he had two good chances I can think of to get a great header on goal and missed wide both time from 15 yards or so after getting a clear shot. Else Backe should’ve had the balls to sub him, he had a bad game.

  27. Smacking says:

    I have as much sympathy for players whining to the press after a tough loss as I do for those that whine to refs during the game. Both are a nuisance that deserve little attention.

  28. Brain Guy says:

    loosek’s right. Starting with Vermes, SKC loves to yap and complain to the officials at every opportunity. Cahill wasn’t complaining about physical play (although Espinosa and Collin earn their share of cards), but about physical play coupled with incessant whining. I hope his spirit spreads to the rest of the squad.

  29. JayMah says:

    As good as SKC plays, I put them in the same “dirty” physical play as SJ. Heck, SKC’s Collin plays so dirty he hit his own man during their first match-up, after he went headhunting all day. But Cahill is right about SKC whining all game, while their keeper was constantly time wasting

  30. Chief Hung Like A Bear says:


  31. Chief Hung Like A Bear says:

    Cahill: Australian for overrated.

  32. Schaef says:

    I was at the game last night and frankly both Cahill and Rafa played like the overpaid underwhelming ex pros they are. NYRB, the highest paid bunch of ex pros in MLS, were completely outclassed by young SKC. Hats off to them, they totally deserved the W. Henry is the only ex pro on NYRB worth his weight.

  33. Nate Dollars says:

    he’s scrappy!

  34. BCC says:

    Barcelona has revolutionized the way teams play, but it has also changed the way players interact with referees. Cahill should watch more Spanish soccer. Every time there is a foul, several guys swarm the referee and ask for a card. Saint Messi is one of the worst offenders.

    I seem to recall Klinsmann praising this approach not long ago.

  35. Nate Dollars says:

    +1 (you break even!)

    if cahill never saw players crowd the ref when he was playing ‘football’ in the PL, he must not have been paying attention.

    sounds like he’s just annoyed that mls isn’t as easy as he thought.

  36. Ben says:


  37. JoeMormon says:


  38. JoeMormon says:

    Nobody hacks harder than SKC and SJE and whines more when they get touched. Nobody.

  39. Charles says:

    For Pete sake Cahill don’t you think we would rather hear from the winners ? You lost 2-0 at home.

    He should write a book on why they didn’t
    win. He is only a few pages away.

  40. Ben says:

    Maybe New York should stop worrying about the other team talking to the ref and try marking people in the box on corners–Kamara’s goal was one of the easiest tallies I’ve seen any team score all season. He’s KC’s most dangerous player on set pieces, and went from the penalty spot to the edge of the six-yard box without anyone in white paying the least bit of attention to him. Sapong’s goal was pretty much luck–the ball pinballed to his feet–but Kamara’s goal was purely the result of laughable defense (and nice service by Zusi). The story of that game wasn’t “KC plays super-physical” (though they do) or “KC works the refs” (welcome to soccer everywhere in the universe circa 2012–for instance, NY’s superstar initiated a head-butt to try to draw a penalty at the 90th minute). The story was that NY’s brain lapses on defense continue to undermine a team with more resources and star power than anyone else in the East. Whatever else you want to say about SKC, they always play hard, and they almost always play smart. If NYRB matched KC’s intelligence and effort on the defensive end, they would run away with the East, but for whatever reason they haven’t to this point.

  41. SmartestGuyInTheUniverse says:

    Not a fan of Cahill’s comments judging the league, but he’s right about KC.

    LA and KC are completely shameless with the whining and crying. PowerBottom FC

  42. Swarley says:

    Collin and Espinoza are the type of guys that EVERYONE wants on their team, and hates to play against.

  43. Swarley says:

    Tim? Is that you?

  44. whoop-whoop says:

    Cahill….. stuck up…?…… really. Haha.

  45. KarlthewonderYak says:

    I only saw one time where the team swarmed the ref and that was when Henry headbutted Kamara. Not sure what the complaint is about.

  46. hartley says:

    Seems to me that Cahill is the one whining.

  47. hartley says:

    It’s hard to see other players swarming the ref when you are the first in line.

  48. Max says:

    With Colorado changing their style, SKC are the new thugs of the US

  49. DJ says:

    ^Definitely this. +1

  50. DJ says:

    Cahill, you’ve posted enough on SBI for one day.

  51. Andy says:

    Sounds like a whiny b*tch to me. With all the talent they have, he shouldn’t be worried about the other team no matter how he thinks they play.

  52. loosek says:

    I can’t argue with anything you say. I’ve seen them in person a few times recently and found them almost breathtaking. And yet, they leave a sour aftertaste, and I think it all starts at the top.

  53. Eric says:

    I’m reveling in the irony of seeing fans of the team that employs Rafa Marquez (you know, the same guy who broke Shea Salinas’s collarbone and petulantly chucked a ball at Landon Donovan) whine about another team’s on-field antics.

    Seriously, NYRB fans, get over it.

  54. stmilli says:

    Or wins more….

  55. stmilli says:

    Or watch Henry last night, he acted like he was the one reffing the game.

  56. I say complete BS to the people that talk about SKC being prolific floppers, for a few reasons:
    1. Coach Peter Vermes just last week came out with a statement saying dropping at every touch is BAD and that the guys’ focus is on the game. In fact, he discourages that behavior.
    2. At the end of the game, what team ends up with the yellow card?
    3. So there’s the one free kick Sapong scores on. What other fouls were so critical that NYRB lost? I’d be happy to know.
    4. You even hear Vermes saying after the game that there were a few potential PKs he could complain about, but he doesn’t. If they truly were so obsessed with playing the diving game, he’d whine about those for ages.

    As to those who say SKC is a physical team- yeah, it’s called a contact sport. At the point where the ref seems to be making fair calls, it’s just another style of play.

  57. Michael says:

    Do they not have irony down under? Pot meet kettle…

  58. Michael says:

    People have always complained that the good teams play physical and try manipulate the refs. The bad teams do these things to, its just no one cared when you suck. I don’t hear any opponents complaning about how TFC plays, why do you think that is? Because its hard to complain about picking up 3 points.

  59. Michael says:

    I don’t understand why people dislike SKC’s style of pressuring the opponent reguardless of field position. Why should they just allow their opponent to possess the ball in their own half and setup their attack? SKC’s tactics are clearly successful at limiting their opponents scoring chances while forcing turnoves in the attacking half that lead to opportunities for themselves. Heck, one of NYRB players actually crossed the ball in front of his own goal to Kei Kamara last night because of the pressure. To me it seems to say more about the quality of other MLS teams when they can’t handle it.

  60. Eric says:

    +1 re: #4. Bill Gaudette should have been sent off for cleaning out C.J. Sapong one-on-one in the penalty box. He didn’t get any ball whatsoever. Ref swallowed his whistle on that one.