UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – If New York Red Bulls fans had any sympathy left for error-prone left back Roy Miller, it may have vanished entirely on Wednesday.
Miller said following training that he intentionally encroached into the penalty box during the club's late meltdown during Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, hoping that Quakes star Chris Wondolowski would have to retake the attempt.
Unfortunately for Miller, his encroachment negated a save made by Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, and Wondolowski buried the game-winner with his second chance.
“I did it on purpose with the thought that Wondolowski would miss,” said Miller, who was also called for the handball that led to the penalty kick. “Simply, I wasn’t in agreement with the situation that was going on and the penalty kick being given, because for me, the handball didn’t have to be called but some refs call it and some don’t.
“I did it so that if [Wondolowski] made it, he would have to do it again and then he missed. I had the unfortunate luck that Luis saved the initial attempt.”
What Miller failed to realize was that if Wondolowski had scored, the goal would have counted regardless of his encroachment, as a retake would benefit the team which committed the violation. Thus, Miller's gamesmanship could only hurt the Red Bulls – which it surely did.
In any case, the string of gaffes late in the game have Miller feeling apologetic, even with his Red Bulls teammates and head coach Mike Petke refusing to lay the blame on the Costa Rican for the loss.
“We’re all disappointed with the situation, especially me,” Miller said, “because in my personal case, I’ve had many things [go wrong], not just this year but last year, too. That’s what affects me right now and I apologize to my teammates about that because in reality it’s not their fault.
“But in the end, we’re a team and I thank them for the support they give me.”