Top Stories

Red Bulls confirm Petke departure; Marsch next in line for job


Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports


The Mike Petke era is over at Red Bull Arena and the Jesse Marsch era is reportedly on the verge of beginning.

The New York Red Bulls confirmed Petke’s departure with a statement Wednesday, as the head coach leaves the club after two years in charge.

“On behalf of the New York Red Bulls, I want to thank Mike for his service to the club these past two seasons as head coach,” said sporting director Ali Curtis, who joined the club Dec. 23. “Mike will always be an important member of the Red Bull family.”

Petke, who led the club to the 2013 Supporters’ Shield, will be replaced by Jesse Marsch, sources have told SBI. Marsch, whose deal was first reported by Empire of Soccer, previously managed the Montreal Impact in 2012 and most recently joined Curtis as a member of the MLS league office.

What do you think of the potential hire? How will the Red Bulls fare with Marsch in 2015?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think Marsch will actually be a good coach, but it pains me just to say that because Petke got done dirty, there’s no question about it. Look at his last tweet – saying he’ll see us at the Arena because he’ll always support this team. Loyalty even after being Ned Stark’d. This a very difficult reality to deal with as a Metro fan, even one who has to admit that Marsch is a bit ahead of Petke tactically. Organizations that don’t reward loyalty (not to mention results!) are primed to fail.

    • How is Marsch even ahead of Petke tactically? Petke did some wonderful things with his lineup that were not really obvious decisions, and he won as a result, by the end of 2014 playing some really entertaining soccer. His formation became, over time and commitment by his players, very difficult to defend. He put Dax and Alexander together in midfield, two disciplined dm’s with real attacking craft, leaving a legend on the bench in the process. And, no doubt with Henry’s help (which Marsch won’t have), he isolated BWP by dropping Henry and Luyindula into difficult to defend pockets. Once that happened Phillips had room to run and knew how to make the right runs, which is enough to score a lot of goals in MLS (see Lassiter).

      Marsch talks of a modern approach, but I saw Petke’s as such, without all the rhetoric.

  2. TO MIKE PETKE Thank you MIKE

    I am sure I speak for thousands of old Metro Stars fans and then Red Bull Fans

    Mike you gave us HEART. You were never afraid of anyone or anything. You left everything out on the field as a player as as a coach .You stood up for the Red Bulls,

    You were always HONEST and Straight forward with us. We learned very quickly how to respect you, We believe in you, and you embraced the fans even making tough decisions when needed such as benching the great Henry when it needed to be done. You earned our respect and now this is a sad day for all RB fans. I sincerely hope Mike you find a new home quickly and prove to those idiots like Ali what a real man you are! Thank You Mike you have our respect forever!

    To those IDIOTS like Ali

    Boy in less than 60 days you single handedly ruined what could have been a great organization

    You have 0 experience, 0 heart, and 0 credibility, but I get it you took a huge pay cut to sneak into this job as nobody else wanted you.

    To the COSMOS

    Hey Saverese you were an ex Metro Star, one of the greatest I might add, You always came on as a super sub to save the day. Maybe you can repeat that feat now..? Maybe you feel our pain and can rescue us with a buy in. After all we have one of the best stadiums in the land and oh yeah it is gonna be very very empty with Ali and his half baked ideologies, and the likes of Marsh in charge.

    TO NYFC alt ho I hate everything about you as an ex RB fan ( now) I must congratulate you for your victory as you watch in glee as the Red Bulls shoot themselves in the foot and self destruct,before your season even starts.. and you thought you were in a Lampard mess? Ha I think we out did you there!

    I fully expect the few good players from RB like Robles, BWP, Dax and Sam to jump ship along with Henry and Cahill

    To our fans

    Sad day indeed as Red Bulls out did themselves and are now more of a mess than even the NY KNICKS?

  3. I always hate it when a team fires a successful coach. It shows the managements lack of respect for good work. Saying Petke was hard done by RB is understatement.

    That said, I think Marsch has the smarts to direct a team successfully and I expect him to do well.

    Of course, without Henri the RB will not be the same team they were last year and no coach will change that.

  4. Wow replacing a MLS frat brother with another MLS frat Brother. Both have no business coaching a pro team at this point in their careers. Get a real coach in there.

  5. I was a season ticket holder in Year 1 and a fan ever since. I put up with all the ups and downs. And now, after the Supporter’s Shield (which we all know is the real measure of the true MLS champion) and two fine seasons, they fire the best coach the team has ever had? I’m done. NYRB are a joke. I’m looking for a new team to support. Tell me who your team is and why I should be your fan…go!

  6. Bad decision! The NY Red Bulls needed a bit of continuity given that Gerrard signed with the Galaxy and Henry left NY Red Bulls. Mike Petke is the only coach to bring some silverware to NY Red Bulls.

    • i compare jesse marsch to eric wynalda. wynalda coached atlanta silverbacks in nasl (and had success). my opinion is that marsch could also be a good nasl coach. red bulls? i look at houston bringing in owen coyle from epl’s burnley, bolton and wigan. i think hiring marsch doesn’t compare. it looks like a big mistake to me.

      by the way, the above comments are fascinating! 2 part deal, sell the stadium and sell the franchise? cosmos as a possible buyer? scarf exchange program lol. really interesting stuff!

  7. RBNY fans needs to get used to the face of Jesse Marsch in that photo up there! It says it all.

    RB fckucked up NEVER SHOULD HAVE FIRED PETKE big mistake
    I’m actually kind of pissed off about this.

  8. WTF! What an un-inspired hire!!! Keep your eyes out for Paul Gardner’s reaction,….he is going to sh!t all over this,…will be a fun read.

  9. I’m almost ready to ask NYC FC if they’ll do a Jersey Exchange Program. I’ll give them my NY RB jersey and scarfs in exchange for my loyalty to the new NYC FC (and a jersey and scarf).

    • Lol too funny! But I do wonder how many fans will jump ship to NYCFC. I am on the fringe. I am waiting to see where they finally decide on a stadium. From parts of NY to get out to Red Bull Arena is a bit of a pain.

  10. I’m a season ticket holder and this is not looking good. Jesse Marsch was horrible at Montreal, and HE’S the savior after Petke? RB Corporate is really clueless. What would possess them to get rid of the only coach to bring them silverware and have the history with the club to be considered legitimate? Then to do this when your new competition comes to town. To expect the fans to just take every hit and keep coming back endlessly is poor vision.

  11. Think about it…perfect conspiracy theory; Savarese just re-upped with the Cosmos while saying “no” to Houston (MLS). Perhaps the Cosmos told Savarese that the club is in negotiations with RBNY to buy the team. He re-signs a multi-year deal and Cosmos have a leadership team in place for an easy transition to Jersey.

    The RBNY roster is taking a hit because if Cosmos do buy RBNY then they will look at merging rosters…those surplus to requirements will be let go…Cosmos keep 6-8 players on their current roster (Raul, Senna, Szetela…) and the rest are RBNY players.

    Makes perfect sense…

    • The problem here is that the Cosmos actually believe what they’re saying.

      They really don’t want to be part of the single entity. I thought it was a negotiating ploy, but they appear to be true believers

    • Yeah, Cosmos to MLS is not happening until the current owners sell. Too many differences in the way they think a league should be run.

    • While I don’t quite buy it, I do love a good conspiracy theory, and this definitely qualifies. I applaud your work, Rob, and encourage you to continue.

      And if it somehow turns out you are right, it will be some serious WWE sh*t. I will be expecting John Cena to sign as a DP, only to rip off his shirt and reveal he is actually part of a faction of NYCFC, better known as NYCFCnWo, who have been shadow-managed by Don Garber and his secret half-brother Jurgen Klinsmann all along. Clint Dempsey will then show up wearing the Supporters Shield around his neck on a chain and start rapping for some reason, until being clocked over the head with the US Open Cup by crooked guest referee Landon Donovan and his manager, Jonathan Klinsmann, All the while a brooding, black-clad Freddy Adu watches quietly from rafters.

      Or maybe something similar, if not quite like that. The important thing is that MLS is following up its most entertaining-ever season with it’s most entertaining-ever off-season. And I think it’s awesome.

  12. This is making quite a bit of backroom sense…one year K with the probable promise from MLS to Curtis and Marsch that they could both return to their positions within the League offices, as the ownership looks to sell…and they could be selling to a another club that already has a coach and front office in place…

    …this could be the Cosmos buying RBNY…

  13. So I now genuinely feel sorry for RBNY fans. Firing an inexpensive and not-all-that-bad Mike Petke, and hiring an even more inexpensive and utterly unaccomplished individual like Jesse “I once got in a kinda fight with David Beckham” Marsch is cost-cutting personified. Looks like they have decided to “take the season off” while they see how things play out with NYCFC, and drum up interest in a buyer. Truly terrible.

    • I actually don’t think this saved money since Petke had a contract for next season which presumably RBNY must still pay. Plus, I don’t think he was making a fortune.

      • Yikes… was not aware Petke still had more guaranteed money coming. Is there any other way to read this besides, “Let’s can the passionate guy and get somebody who will sit down and shut up while we waste this season shopping a contract-free club?”

        If there is a good side, I guess this means RB really may be preparing to sell.

  14. My two cents is that while Petke was a fine coach and probably ideal for the club, Marsch really wasn’t at all bad in Montreal.. if I remember right they were competitive throughout his one year there. This good be a good hire given what NYRB is left to work with.

  15. Wow! The latest from Red Bulls and NYCFC have led the Knicks to a new marketing campaign – “See, we’re NOT the worst organization in New York”.

  16. I am looking forward to the back story. It is ironic, because I felt Montreal was unfair with Marsh, and on its face getting rid of Petke is a weird way to repay two good seasons. Would have liked Robin Fraser to have been considered after he was also not given much of a chance at Chivas (RIP). Looking forward to Ives commentary on this issue, given that he is a Red Bull guy.

  17. I’ve been a supporter since day one and seen a lot of Metrostars /Red Bulls screw ups, but this has all the earmarks of the biggest disaster of them all. While good points have been made above about the management and coaching staff being on the same page, Mike Petke not only brought us our first silverware, but his history with the club and place amongst the fans cannot be overlooked.

    • I have been a Metrostars fan since the beginning as well. Tab Ramos was always my favorite American player and I remember when this club was formed while I was in grade school.

      But this organization makes it so hard to continue supporting it. Petke had faults as a coach, but I love the guy as a player and a coach. He brought heart and pride. He got things moving in the right direction for a change and the first thing new management does is jettison him for an inferior coach.

      This is shameful. It might be time to find a new club to support.

  18. New GM brings in his buddy. Buddy has inferior track record to incumbent. Got it. Makes sense.

    This franchise finally had things going the right way and they barf all over themselves.

    Way to go

      • Actually just received a call last week from my new season ticket liaison or whatever his title was. Maybe I should call him back and let him know how I feel about this move.

      • I keep getting calls from a Minnesota number about tix. I think it’s a call center for MLS as a whole instead of just RBNY. Which seems to indicate that RBNY got rid of a lot of their sales staff.

      • How sad. Somehow, I really hope that NY Cosmos find some financial backers in the next couple months and make these Red Bull failures an offer they can’t refuse… at least they could contend for the NYC market with NYCFC… this whole situation is just a shame!

      • This was from a local number but who knows. I would welcome a Cosmos takeover, mostly because it would mean Cosmos fans having to immediately become huge MLS fans.

      • dont have time right now, but all (most?) ticket sales people are trained in a center in Minnesota. There have been some interesting features on it in the past.

      • I would have thought that with all the hubbub with nycfc, that RB would gain a few fans just out of spite. Now, it seems fans from both NY teams are balking at tickets and their club to varying degrees.

        Great job with that all important NY market Mr Garber.

    • I expected them to win the MLS CUP or at least make it to the final the past two years. But still I wouldn’t blame that on Mike Petke because he is the only coach who ever brought legitimate silverware to this organization. You can also see he cared about the fans and the team.

      I like the stadium and the atmosphere. But this organization in terms of winning championships has fallen flat considering that they are in one of the biggest markets. Now NYCFC will debut next year and this organization is in panic mode. I wonder if Henry leaving led to Mike Petke getting fired.

      • Before last season started it seemed to me that the RB made almost no moves to improve their player pool and actually got rid of a couple of good players. I thought that Petke did a very good job under those circumstances. This latest move is indicative to me of an organization that is leading its team downhill.

  19. Red Bulls fired there best ever coach. Who chose to fire him, a 36 year old guy who never had any leadership experience. Great move.

    • In a way, I almost feel happy for Petke. I admit I did not think much of him initially as a coach, but really it was inexperience rather than incompetence that was his problem. He’s definitely learned a lot and has legit head coaching chops.

      Now he will get a chance to move away from this poisoned organization and show what he can do somewhere else… I’ve no doubt he’ll get picked up and it’s hard to imagine a situation that is worse than the one he would’ve endured this year.

      • yep, i see this as a net gain for petke. he proved that he wasn’t incompetent, and it looks like he’s getting out at the right time. always knew he was too good for nyrb.

  20. Let’s call this what it is: Red Bull GmbH has decided to drastically cut the budget to RBNY. They won’t spend money on new players, and are going to try and win with young players and players who haven’t succeeded at other clubs.

    So they got rid of Andy Roxburgh and brought in Ali Curtis, because Curtis was ok with doing it on the cheap. And Petke, who had always banged heads with management about stuff like this, was let go and I’m sure Marsch was brought in because he’s ok with this strategy as well.

  21. two MLS league office guys running the team huh, the two RB guys reigned last year, is this a MLS takeover of operations in disguise? Seems to follow the narrative that RB wants to sell.

  22. You fired a coach who got you a SS and to a conference championship (a goal away from MLS cup), and you hired Jesse Marsch.

    Uuuuhhhhhmmmm… *Crickets*


Leave a Comment