The New York Red Bulls announced today that they have named Mike Petke head coach effective immediately. Petke had been serving as head coach on an interim basis for the last few weeks and even handled the clubs’ SuperDraft.
The 36-year old just finished his second season as an assistant coach on New York’s staff after a long playing career. He joined the coaching ranks in 2011 following a 13-year career that included two playing stints with the club from 1998-2002 and 2008-10. He holds the current club record for games played, with 169 (196 in all competitions), games started (158 regular season) and minutes played (14,060 regular season).
“Mike is very passionate about our club and has shown us that he has the leadership and organizational qualities to be our head coach,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. “He is a terrific servant for this club, from being a top player to most recently heading our reserve squad. Mike has earned this opportunity and he will have the full support of our staff to help ensure the team’s success. We believe that his experience both as a player and coach in American soccer will be a significant asset as we head into the 2013 season.”
Petke is another former player and in a long line of younger coaches getting a shot in MLS. Petke joins the ranks of Ben Olsen, Oscar Pareja, Jay Heaps, Jason Kreis and even guys like Preki, Jesse Marsch and Robin Fraser as former players that are now coaches.
He doesn’t have coaching experience outside of being an assistant but he does know the league and how it works. Something that can’t be said for previous Red Bulls managers.