Sources: Petke came close to Armada head coaching job

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

The Jacksonville Armada are set to introduce Tony Meola as their newest head coach this Tuesday afternoon. However, he wasn’t always the front runner for the position.

According to several sources familiar with the negotiations, former New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke was a strong contender for the job as well

While EoS regarded Petke as an outlier in the team’s search for a head coach in our initial report last week, new information reveals that the former Metrostars defender came a lot closer to taking the job than previously imagined.

Petke is coming off of two successful seasons at the helm of the New York Red Bulls where he led his club to a Supporters’ Shield victory and nearly took his side to MLS Cup. Like Meola, Petke sought an arrangement that would both feature support from the front office while offering a level of autonomy in player movement. Jacksonville were open to the possibility of that when speaking to both candidates.

As sources tell EoS, however, the sticking point from Petke’s camp was salary. Petke’s asking price was said to be “only a few thousand dollars” from what the Armada offered Meola, keeping him in the conversation for the job. However, Meola’s presentation, pitch and price tag were enough to dissuade team owner Mark Frisch from all other options. In fact, the team was originally poised to make their coaching announcement next week to offer more time to the candidates to make their pitch. However, with Meola’s addition, Jacksonville decided to unveil their new boss Tuesday afternoon.

As for Petke, he continues to look for the right club to join ahead of next season. Some reports had him linked to the Chicago Fire as early as last month, but that is just one of several teams he has spoken to in either MLS, NASL or USL. In fact, one source reveals that Arizona United SC of the USL spoke to Petke’s agent in recent weeks. The extent of said conversations on their vacant coaching position, however, is unknown.

 

  • Cosmo

    I’m surprised petke didn’t get hire with Chicago or something.
    If I was Petke, Kreis, Donovan, I would go for LA2, Miami and wait for sigi to get fired.
    LA2 will need a coach with MLS experience, Seattle definitely need a new coach, and I can zidane or Donovan coaching Miami.
    Atlanta is coming 2017, Minnesota 2017. Petke to Atlanta,
    LA2 is coming 2018, Miami 2018. Donovan to LA2, and zidane to Miami.

    • HydraHamster

      MLS have it’s weak point when it come to coaching. When you are coaching a team with the rules and guidelines (player drafting) MLS have, you have less freedom to grow a team the way you want compared to the rest of the leagues around the world. There’s even a limit that hurts the best teams in MLS from succeeding outside of the league to gain global success.

      If I was a beginner coach, MLS would be the last “league” I would coach for mainly because I can not grow properly and be taken seriously as a coach when Major Letdown Soccer are holding my hands.

      • slowleftarm

        the league is one big fraud along with their fans

  • Cosmo

    And bob Bradley to Seattle once he gets tired of France and Seattle fire sigi