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Petke ready to welcome NYCFC to MLS with a ‘smashing’

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UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J.- When the announcement of New York City FC as Major League Soccer’s 20th expansion team hit, the official reaction from the New York Red Bulls was a tame one. A non-descript statement with a bland response from the team’s front office gave little evidence of the budding rivalry MLS is hoping will form.

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke’s response to New York’s newest soccer team was far more passionate, and if his reaction to his team’s newest competition is any indication, the RBNY-NYCFC rivalry could be a fiery one.

The New York native didn’t mince words about the arrival of an MLS expansion team in the neighborhood currently occupied by his Red Bulls, and Petke is counting the days until he gets a chance to face them.

“It’s good to have a true derby, a true rivalry,” Petke said. “I think it’s good for the league to grow and all that.

“In the flip-side of that, we have a history here,” Petke added. “They’re the new guys coming in and I’m looking forward to smashing them in 2015 to be honest with you.”

MLS commissioner Don Garber stated once again on Wednesday that he firmly believes NYCFC and the Red Bulls will function as natural rivals, and Petke laid down the gantlet for the new club in the New York area.

“I don’t have any love for (them just) because it’s a new team in the league,” Petke said. “I love this league, and I think expansion is (a good) thing, but now they’ve come in where we are. We’ll welcome them, hopefully, with a smashing the first time we see them.”

Petke couldn’t hide his contempt for the new team, even going as far as saying the fact that the New York Yankees are now part owners of  NYCFC might mean his days as a Yankee fan are over.

“I was (a Yankee fan). All my life,” Petke said. “Now it’s going to be interesting. I don’t know if I can root for them.”

The first Red Bulls-NYCFC derby is still two years away, but it is safe to say you can add Petke to the list of people counting the days until the league’s 20th team arrives and faces the Red Bulls.


  1. Mike Petke is a complete boss. Seeing how several great managers have recently left their top teams, I am not too sure if Petke will remain manager. I am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that he will stay with the Red Bulls. We’re gonna destroy NYCFC without breaking a sweat.

    • Dear Zito , apparently you never been a Metro supporter you might been a fan . If you call yourself a supporter then you wouldn’t say such things . When you become supporter of a team it’s for life , traitors switch sides . I been a Metro/RB supporter in 99 , 09 and even if we will have a decade of terrible season I will be their supporter .

  2. I think the favorable treatment will shift over to NYCFC. That has got to scare pink cows all over. Suddenly big name players that want to retire in NY will be headed to a different club and this energy drink will become decaf. Welcome to the rest of MLS pink cows!

    • Sounds like a DC fan. Guess commenting here makes a change from wondering if his team will win another game this season.

      • Your assumption of me being a supporter of a crap team and not having any reason to feel optimistic for the season is actually quite accurate. However I could easily be describing myself as a Red Bull fan in that statement. I’m actually a Fire fan and we suck so bad we were only able to beat 2 teams this season one was the Columbus Crew, the other was the Red Bulls. So thanks for giving us one of our 2 wins this season. Everything I said about Red Bulls becoming obsolete in 2015 will be true. Garber has shown favoritism to LA and NY and with NYCFC there will be a New York team that plays in New York, isn’t named after an energy drink, has ownership with deep pockets and ties to the best league in the world. My guess is rules wont only be bent but probably changed to keep the new owner happy. They will keep him happy to try and attract more big money owners. NYCFC will be bringing in better players not only because they have more money but will have better scouts and more useful information and connections than any other MLS team. You guys have Henry and Cahill and have had quality proven players yet you have no silverware. You have the best soccer specific stadium in the country and still don’t sell out matches, I was there for the MLS opener of Red Bull Arena and there were plenty of seats available. The highlight of the night was probably the pyro that Fire supporters provided. The current NY team is not living up to the expectations of Garber and its probably why he is so hellbent on a second NY team. When NYCFC arrives I will hate the Red Bulls a little less because they will be an underdog in their city and will be on an even playing field with the rest of us

      • Even if they remain the Red Bulls, a black and red striped third kit would be AMAZING…..Red bull would win over a good portion of NY fans…..just sayin

      • I totally understand why people are turned off by the use of “Red Bulls” as the team nickname but come on, Metrostars was pretty lame too.

      • Personally, I wouldn’t say I am turned off. I just think that every so often it would be nice for Red Bull to acknowledge the history here….albeit a sad..trophy barren..history.

      • agree, they should reconnect in someway to the Metro roots, mybe good for at least a few 1000’s more butts in seats. RB has alienated quite few original Metro fans.

        BTW. big mistake not building in Newark, what would have been next to Prudental Center or both RB & Newark City Hall’s part. #Opportunitymissed

      • Is Red Bull an original name? I guess the idea of naming a team after a beverage brand is something nobody has ever thought of but it’s probably because its an awful idea.

    • Red Bull is a bad name for a soccer club. True. But rebranding won’t happen any time soon. Besides with NY2, many have become even more supportive of NYRB.

      • the best predictor of the future is the past….despite his early “success” you honestly see him lasting more than 3 years given red bull’s revolving door of management since they purchased the team?

      • Yes, think he’s going to be our Pep. Honestly think for the first time ever we have a long term management and coaching setup in place. The comedy is it was unintentional, Petke was the only choice given RB couldn’t get a foreign manager in time despite having months to do so and making Hans a lame duck, during the playoffs no less. So Metro.

      • When I look at him, I see a guy with marginal talent and marginal ability forge a long career as a player based on guts, drive and playing smarts. And that is EXACTLY why I figured he would be a good manager.

        Frankly it is the super talented guys who often make terrible coaches, because they don’t relate to their palers perspective. Klinsmann

  3. I’m a lifelong Yankees fan and RBNY season ticket holder and I can root for both. But I’m also looking forward to beating New York Yankees FC when they start playing.

  4. Mike Petke is a RBNY legend and he loves the organization and the fans. Like the RBNY fans, he correctly sees this expansion as a slap in the face. RBNY FOREVER!

      • Speaking of doubts…

        I doubt RBNY will have a problem selling out matches with one of the best SSS in our country (only #2 behind SKC, in my opinion), one of the most reputable names of our generation playing for their squad and still performing at a high level, while playing for a 1st place club…against the reigning MLS Champions on a Saturday afternoon.


        Let’s hold off on assumptions. The league generated “Super Clasico” and the cringe-worthy images of half-empty stadiums nearly every time I turn on a RBNY match prove support (and rivalries) are organic…not implemented by the league.

      • to be fair those empty seats re sold. RB aught to figure out how to get the butts in those seats or up grade fans in stadium for tv

      • …wait…..

        Redbulls still have higher attendance’s than well over half the league.

      • AND they’re in arguably the biggest market. “Over half the league” is their claim to fame?

        Oh, you’re right.

        They’re above a club that’s playing in a glorified high school stadium (SJ).

        They’re above a club that’s playing on turf in a football stadium with an ownership group that often forgets it has a product (NE).

        They’re above a club that is playing in a stadium older than the coliseum. No, not the one in LA. The ACTUAL coliseum in Rome (DC).

        They’re also above a club like Chivas. Then again, who isn’t?

        etc, etc.

        If you want to call yourself a “big market”. If you want to use that as an excuse to get a second NY club. The benchmark of “outdrawing half the league” is embarrassing when factoring in having one of the best SSS, Henry and an ownership group that has pumped money into the club.

        Stop the excuses. They underachieve and it’s an eyesore to watch on TV.

      • There have been some good LA derby games, the problem is that Chivas has not consistently fielded quality such that you can seriously approach the game as anyone’s for the taking.

        And I did point out the other day that just sitting a second team in a city is not enough, you have to have the players, management, etc. to make it work.

        But not all rivalries are one-sided demonstration of one team’s mismanagement, Houston-Dallas, etc., so as much as NYRB hope to beat up on kid brother, it’ll be up to City whether they handle their affairs in a way that lets it happen. Remember the Fire won the title their first year.

    • As if Petke is going to be the coach by the time NYCFC actually starts playing soccer. I doubt the guy that gets the job after him will even be the coach still by 2015.


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