The New York Red Bulls engaged in a thorough search to find their next head coach, but the team ultimately went to their own staff to name a man in charge. New York named assistant coach Mike Petke their next head coach. At 37-years-old, Petke is the third youngest head coach in Major League Soccer.
Petke is a former player for the New York/New Jersey Metrostars and holds team records for games played, with 169 (196 in all competitions), games started (158 regular season) and minutes played (14,060 regular season).
He was a three-time all-star during his time in New York.
“Ever since I joined New York in 1998, this is the club that has always been closest to my heart,” Petke said.
“I am thrilled to have earned this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is truly a dream come true. I know there is a lot of work ahead and our challenge is not easy. However, I am excited to take hold of my new responsibility and hopeful that I can help build a hard-working team that our club’s loyal supporters can all be proud of.”
Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh issued a statement confirming the decision and pumping fans up for their next head coach.
“Mike is very passionate about our club and has shown us that he has the leadership and organizational qualities to be our head coach,” Roxburgh said.
“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.”