Red Bulls legend Mike Petke new N.J. Youth Soccer Director of Coaching

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

After two stellar years on the Red Bulls’ touchline and a year away from the game, local folk-hero Mike Petke is assuming a new role.

N.J. Youth Soccer announced a restructuring to its coaching staff on Thursday morning, introducing Petke as their new Director of Coaching for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) and Player Development. He is joined by 18-year veteran of the NJYS organization, Rick Meana, who will continue as Director of Coaching Education with a focus on Recreation and TOPSoccer programs.

“I am extremely excited to join the NJ Youth Soccer family and contribute to the future development of players in our state,” Petke said in a club statement.  “As a father of two young soccer players, I understand the importance of growth, on and off of the field, and am looking forward to working with the great staff at NJ Youth Soccer to build upon that strong foundation.”

Petke, 39, has spent the last year away from the professional game after his unceremonious firing from the Red Bull organization on January of last year. He commanded the Red Bulls through the club’s most successful two year run in history, winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2013 and taking the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014. He also served as an assistant coach under Hans Backe from 2011-2012.

Petke’s name was closely associated to several coaching jobs on the professional level this offseason, but he came closest to a move with the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada towards the end of last year — an opportunity that stalled due to issues over compensation.

Leaving the pro ranks, Petke assumes a daunting challenge as he enters one of the largest developmental organizations in the area, sporting over 150,000 players from the ages of 5 to 19 and a staff of over 40,000 coaches and several move volunteers. The ODP program, which Petke will oversee, represents the top developmental rung of the NJYS.

(H/T Glenn Crooks)

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  • No real coaching pedigree now leading the youth…welcome to American soccer

    • sam

      what does that mean??

  • Arsenal 10023

    Taking the Steve Sampson career path……

  • Redbull Billy

    Criminal how Dedbull treated this guy.
    Great tradition of nothing over there in harrison.
    Fans need to keep staying away from home games. Only way we will get this cheap ownership group out.
    A team tied to energy drink sales leads to good young players being sold to make up for losses in a fizzy sugar drink.

    • MTF

      You make it sound like Miazga was sold against his will. Kid wanted out, sold him for $5 million. Everyone’s happy.

      • Mrs. Garber

        What if the kid got more money to stay and had an ownership group that was hell bent on being the best??

  • Lothar Mathaus

    SELL DEDBULL PLEASE!!!!!!!!
    Outsmarted by LA, outclassed by DC United……20 years and counting.

  • smurf040

    the Redbulls are such a joke!! they try so hard to create “history” with the team. I like Petke, but what has he done to be called a “legend” both as a player or as a coach?? Has he ever won anything???? a Supporter’s shield??? seriously?? and he’s earned the title of legend?? Lol!!!!

    • sam

      Obviously you know nothing about his career and who he is as a person/professional/role model. Think before you speak guy!!!