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Costa Rican Head Coach to Red Bulls: You Don't Know Defense

Costa Rica's head coach throws out Roy Miller's club form because the Red Bulls don't know how to play defense.

Kevork Djansezian

Roy Miller didn't play in either of Costa Rica's World Cup qualifying games due to an achilles injury, though it didn't seem to matter much; the Ticos are in the World Cup.

But Miller's absence didn't make Costa Rican Head Coach Jorge Luis Pinto's job any easier. Miller is, apparently, a key player for the Central American side. While that might come as a surprise to the legion of Miller haters here in New York, Miller's importance to his country's team has little to do with his club form. In fact, Pinto, throws it out when evaluating Miller because the Red Bulls have no idea how to play defense.

Take it away, Goal. com's Thomas Floyd...

"I can't evaluate Roy just for what he does in New York," Pinto said. "It's not our fault that they don't have a real concept of a lineal defense. I don't think they work specific concepts for a real back line. ... We work a full concept of defensive lines and Roy learned those concepts and used them well."

While harsh, it's hard to disagree with Pinto's assessment -- except for maybe the "lineal" part, I'm pretty sure the Red Bulls play with backline not a "back random-smattering-of-players" -- as he's got a point: The Red Bulls have the most goals against out of any currently playoff bound team, save the Philadelphia Union. However, coaching wasn't what was hurting Miller, it was his own stupidity. If anything, it was Mike Petke's coaching that saved him. He likely would've been shipped out of any other team for his mind numbing series of gaffes.

But regardless, good for Miller that he's an important cog in a team that's headed to the World Cup.