New York Red Bulls fire head coach Petke

The New York Red Bulls have fired coach Mike Petke, the Major League Soccer said on Wednesday.

Petke, a former Red Bulls player who became coach two years ago, led the New Jersey based club to the playoffs in both his seasons 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 Red Bulls recently appointed Sporting Director Ali Curtis.

“Mike will always be an important member of the Red Bull family,” he added.

The Red Bulls were beaten by the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference final last year, falling one game short of reaching the title-deciding MLS Cup. In his first season in charge the Red Bulls had the best regular season record in the league.

The club has yet to win an MLS title despite enjoying the services of former France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.

Henry left the club and retired in December after four and a half seasons at Red Bull Arena.

The team’s other, highly paid, ‘designated player’ is Australian Tim Cahill whose future has been in doubt since he was left out of the starting line-up by Petke during the playoffs.

The new MLS season, which kicks off in March, will feature a new local rival for the Red Bulls with New York City FC, owned by Manchester City’s City Football Group, joining the league.

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