Mike Petke is officially out as New York Red Bulls head coach, in news that is rather shocking to the general MLS public. Petke had just finished his second season as coach of the team, and helped deliver the club's first-ever major silverware in history, the 2013 Supporters' Shield.
Interestingly, another man who previously seemed to have been fired prematurely as head coach of an MLS team, former Chivas USA player Jesse Marsch, has been reported to be the next man in charge of the Red Bulls, as they appear to embark on life after Thierry Henry and with a local rival, New York City FC, officially in the fray as they begin play in 2015.
Marsch, you may recall, coached the MLS expansion Montreal Impact in 2012, keeping them in the playoff hunt for most of the season before they ultimately did not qualify. The following offseason, he was surprisingly fired, with many thinking he didn't get an entirely fair shake (though Montreal did qualify for the playoffs in their second season. They have, however, had three head coaches in three seasons to date).
I mean, it's a cruel world, and Marsch seemed pretty eager to get back into the fray, but it's kind of ironic that it's unfolded this way. But he'll get another chance to run an MLS club, and clearly has considerable motivation.
In other reports, along with Petke's confirmed departure, it would appear that Red Bulls assistant coach Robin Fraser is out of a job. But not so fast...reports yesterday had it that he was moving up to Toronto FC to be an assistant coach to Greg Vanney.
Yeah, you read that right: the guy who used to coach Chivas USA may be hired to serve as an assistant to his former assistant. Something like this may have happened before in the annals of time, but it seems unusual.
And wouldn't it be just so Chivas if Vanney turned out to be the best head coach among the pair, with Fraser proving to be a better assistant than top man? Of course, Vanney is coaching TFC, so he's got a lot of work to do with a traditionally dysfunctional organization, so we'll see how it goes in his first full season in charge.
Neither the Marsch story or Fraser story is confirmed as I publish this, but both look pretty likely to happen. Best of luck to the both of them in their new locales.
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