New York Red Bulls part ways with head coach Mike Petke

Mike Petke

The changes continue at the New York Red Bulls.

On Wednesday, the Red Bulls announced they have parted ways with head coach Mike Petke, the only manager ever to lead them to a major, league-wide trophy.

"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," Sporting Director Ali Curtis said in a statement released by the club. "Mike will always be an important member of the Red Bull family."

This is the latest move in a major reshaping for the Red Bulls this offseason. Longtime star Thierry Henry retired at the end of the season, and 2014 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips was signed to a new DP contract. Last week, the club hired former MLS player and league executive Curtis as sporting director, replacing Andy Roxburgh. 

But the removal of Petke comes as more of a shock than all the others.

Petke was a club legend as a player, appearing 169 time for New York before retiring in 2010 as one of the most beloved players in club history. After two years as an assistant coach to Hans Backe in 2011 and 2012, he was hired as full-time head coach in January 2013 after a short stint as interim coach.

Over the next two seasons, Petke guided the Red Bulls through one of their most successful and celebrated eras ever. In 2013, thanks in large part to the efforts of marquee players Henry and Tim Cahill, New York won MLS Supporters' Shield, their first major, league-wide trophy in club history. In 2014, despite finishing fourth in the regular season and failing to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League, they reached the Eastern Conference Championship for only the third time before falling to the New England Revolution, 4-3 on aggregate.

Petke departs having posted a record of 30-19-19 in league play, 2-3-2 in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Assistant coach Robin Fraser is also apparently on the way out after two seasons with the club. Although there's been no confirmation, Fraser is expected to join the staff at Toronto FC.

“Robin Fraser called me a few nights ago to tell me he would be taking a new opportunity with a new club,” Curtis said. “I will let Robin and his new club announce that on their own.”