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Petke coming back to New York

Mike Petke ( 

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Former MetroStars standout defender and fan favorite Mike Petke is coming back to New York some six years after leaving.

The New York Red Bulls made Petke the only player taken in Wednesday's MLS waiver draft following today's MLS Expansion Draft, bringing back one of the most beloved players in club history, according to sources with knowledge of the expansion draft results.

Petke, who turns 33 in January, was picked up to provide some veteran leadership on a defense that sorely lacked it in 2008. He will be expected to fill the void left by Jeff Parke, who was lost by the Red Bulls in Wednesday's expansion draft. Ironically, Parke finished the year just two games shy of Petke's team record for games played, a record Parke would have likely broken if not for the drug suspension that cut his season short.

Petke is currently out of contract, but is expected to agree to a deal with the Red Bulls that will allow the New York native to finish out his career with his hometown team.

(UPDATE) The Red Bulls also waived Venezuelan defender Gabriel Cichero, midfielder Gordan Kljestan and forward Sainey Touray.

Petke became a serious target for the Red Bulls once it became clear that Parke would be seeking a large contract and would most likely be heading to Europe to find one. Now Parke joins a defense that enjoyed a strong run in the MLS playoffs, but that probably needed a veteran presence like his in central defense.

Petke played in 11 games for the Rapids in 2008 due to early-season foot surgery that sidelined him for the first half of the season. It marked the first time in his 11-year career that he played fewer than 24 games in a season. Upon his return from foot surgery, and after the departure of Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo, Petke still showed the ability to be a solid defender once he reclaimed his starting spot for the Rapids late in the season. He even scoring a goal against the Red Bulls in Colorado's 5-4 win at Giants Stadium on Sept. 27th. Petke finished with two goals in 11 matches in 2008.

Petke played 143 MLS games for the MetroStars from 1998 to 2002 (regular season and playoffs), a record that still stands to this day. He compiled a team record 12,305 minutes and registerd five goals and four assists during those five seasons. He earned MLS all-star honors from 2000 to 2003. Current Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio coached Petke for two of those seasons as a MetroStars assistant, in 2000 and 2001.

Petke was traded by the MetroStars to D.C. United after the 2002 season in a blockbuster deal involving U.S. national team legend Eddie Pope. Petke spent parts of three seasons with D.C., serving as a starter on the D.C. United MLS Cup championship team in 2004. He moved to the Colorado Rapids mid-way through the 2005 season and spent parts of four seasons there.

What do you think of the acquisition? Glad to see Petke back in New York? Think he can be a solid starter? Does his return help soften the blow of losing Parke? Think he is too old to be effective?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. responding to Mike and others. by the way i’m from NY, i hardly see a commerccial on TV. if you want to b succesful u have to advertise in the most lienning radios and local tvs. you have to expose your goods to the public The Majority of People living in NY doessn’t know if NY has a soccer team. that is really sad

    there are a lot of soccer fans and fields all over Brooklyn, Queens,Staten island,Bronx and Long Island hOW COME THE ATTENDANCE IS SO POOR. whoever is in charge of the Marketting Dept is doing a poorly job, he has to go.

    Bring us some good minded attacking fierce players… if you offer the NY public some great quality product i promise u they come out and support…Most Respect to Pablo Angel. he the most respected player in NY

  2. John,

    I agree with alot of what you said, but i think since marinelli is in a bad place right now in his career and probibly has low self esteem, we can probibly pick him up for a steal. I also think that we should go for a consistent attacking mid like you said, but i don’t no why you disregard del peiro. He can draw crowds, is extremely consistent, is supremely talented, and could play the attacking midfield role behind the strikers. I think going for someone like him will allow us to not just get a consistent attacking midfielder, but also an icon for ticket sales, so i think it only makes sense to use a dp slot on del peiro if we can get him. I can’t imagine to many players that can perfrom better than him and plus he is my favorite player.

  3. I think the two pros here are:

    1. Better defense on opponent’s set pieces

    2. Some goal production on our set pieces

    These were two areas where we struggled this year where 6’2″ Petke can help us out. I think he needs to be partnered with a centerback who’s a bit faster to make up for Petke’s older legs.

  4. Bringing back Petke is about 3 things:

    1. He’s an excellent man-marker. In a system with a sweeper or a 4-man backline where he’s assigned a player to take out of the game, he’s excellent.

    2. It’s a class act. He is from NY, he started his career here. He should end his career here.

    3. With an organization(s) that has often had locker-room cancers, “me-first” players and guys just here for the buck or go to NYC discos, Petke is a big plus in practice and in the locker-room.

    He’s not a great defender anymore but in the right system he can be a great contributor. In the wrong system (3 man backline, one where he has to organize or cover a lot of territory, one where he’s expected to distribute the ball/get lots of touches) he’s a liability. I think he should have been picked up even if Parke was staying just for #2 and #3 above.

    As for Martinelli–meh! He’s talented. But he’s really inconsistent. And JCO and Curt Onalfo are very similar in many ways as coaches–continually tinkering, smart tactically. Marinelli had a lot of chances in KC. Ultimately, I think his departure is about a combination of injuries and value. I think he’s a slight more talented but more injury-prone version of Rojas. Which means I’ll take a pass.

    RBNY need to get away from “A-mid” bargains. With no really strong D-mid, with an Angel on the front-line (who is going to be marked heavily but can turn a half-chance into a spike to the heart), this team needs to spend the second DP not on going after Del Pierro or Henry but on a quality A-mid. A guy to build the midfield around. A guy who can make expansion bait like Brian Carroll look like an all-star (that’s what a Schelotto can do). A guy who will play 26-30 games, show up for all of them, not be a head case (ala Guevara), who can create his own chances and make chances for others with his service. A player like that creates possession, puts the opposing team back on their heels, takes pressure of the defense (so your GK faces fewer shots from further out). Then again, it doesn’t fit with JCO’s preferred MO of defend and counter. But that’s my advice on Marinelli, the second DP slot and the A-mid role.

  5. Ives do you know if the red bulls are interested in marinelli right now, he is an absolute monster when healthy and just what this team needs. And under a good coach he can be even better we should definetly make a move for him.

  6. Ives, what’s the story now with Jose Angulo? The Revs waived him and no one even took a nibble, including hometown NY and it’s Colombian coach.

    Can Angulo really be this bad?

  7. Petke is a phenomenal.. Always liked him and he’s iconic in his own way..Parke was one of by favorites for NYRB too..

    nut the way this stupid franchise handled Cichero was really not smart.

    he’s a great defender too!!! At the same level as Petke and Parke.

    he was given very few chances to recover from that game with Colorado… The man came in at a terrible time for the club ironically the worst team ever for that franchise .. Yeah they got to the final twilight zone stuff…. But the truth is Cichero was not given enough chances to prove himself how good he is, its not fair that he is judged for one or two bad games. It was bad timing etc etc he should at least been kept for part of 2009 to prove himself preseason training etc. Remember how all NYRB fans/posters were salivating when cichero was about to be signed? Morons???!!

    That’s just goes to show why I stopped following this club a long time ago for this.. For the name change, the front office, player choices,the way they handled Parke etc

    I want another NY team in MLS please! One that respects traditions.. And its players

  8. So the Parke gamble definitely backfired. We get an older player who’s not as good who makes about the same money Parke will demand. Woohoo. I hope he goes to Europe but it will have to be to some crap league over there. That’s the only way the “gamble” will have paid off.

    I hope Petke apologizes for the naughty things he said to us, and the less than civil gestures he made late this season at Giants Stadium. 🙁

  9. When does the expansion draft take effect because Nate Jaqua is still playing for the Dynamo? Does he have to officially sign a contract or sumthing??

    It seems pretty odd, Im guessing this is his last game.

  10. You know what ATW, you’re right. I guess I just got into that mode of wanting to defend my scoops since there is some misinformation out there. I’ve stayed away from that sort of stuff and left it to others and I think I’ll stick with that.

  11. ATW, speak for yourself. Ives, keep that up there because we all know there are suspect websites out there that try to claim stuff first and if anything this site does it way less than some other prominent sites. I can think of one that never misses a chance to pat itself on the back.

  12. Ives-

    The “First on SBI” caption above the post title is lame, pure and simple. Stick to the great inside scoops and analysis without trying to aggrandize the site or yourself.

  13. whoa easy there BROOKLYNFINEST!

    Let’s not get started on complains about NY not having a good team; we’ve had enough for the past 13 years ok? Seattle, you haven’t played ONE game yet and you think you’re better than the rest…?? Try packin’ 5k people in a 80k stadium in the middle of nowhere far from everywhere with a team on a 13-year failure streak and then we can talk.

  14. Waived players list while waiting for MLS to announce it.


    M Alvaro Pires

    M Joey Franchino

    M Jeremy Barlow

    Chivas USA

    D Alex Zotinca

    Kansas City

    M Carlos Marinelli

    F Ryan Pore

    F Ivan Trujillo


    George Josten

    Ricardo Pierre-Louis

    Ryan Junge

  15. Brooklynfinest-

    Certain people argue that making it to the MLS final makes you a pretty good team.

    Also, many people have argued a case for van den Berg being due some respect.

    Can’t disagree about the attendence figures, but I expect a packed house for RBA.


  16. IT’S SAD TO SEE A GREAT CITY LIKE NY doesn’t have a great soccer team. the majroity of players ARE PURELY GARBAGE. Angel is the only one i respect. i wish NY had the same owner and staffs like Seattle. Seattle offer you nuthin but the best.A city like NY can’t average 20 thousand. it’s a city that full with immigrant and immigrant descendants. i hope they use that DP slot smartl so they could attrack more people

  17. Jason,

    What part of “The New York Red Bulls made Petke the only player taken in Wednesday’s MLS waiver draft following today’s MLS Expansion Draft” don’t you understand?

  18. i agreew with Jason, i would like to see a complete list of players waived.

    I know the galaxy waived Joe Franchino, Alvaro Pires and Jeremy Bartlow


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