With the club confirming that Mike Petke will not return to coach the New York Red Bulls next season, there were already heads scratching around the MLS community, but now it gets even weirder.
Empire of Soccer is reporting that Petke will be replaced by former inaugural Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch, who went 12-16-6 in his one year in charge. He has since worked as the head of media operations for the league office.
Marsch, a former MLS midfielder with Chicago, DC, and Chivas, has also formerly worked with the national team setup as an assistant. He has two caps for the USMNT as a player.
[ RELATED: Mike Petke fired as coach of NYRB ]
EOS is also reporting that Petke’s assistant Robin Fraser will depart as well, leaving to join Toronto FC.
“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 Sporting Director Ali Curtis in a statement released by the club confirming his departure. “Mike will always be an important member of the Red Bull family.”
The whirlwind of head-scratching reports will be addressed on a conference call to be held by Curtis at 2PM ET today that will accompany the release of this coming year’s MLS schedule.
Petke led the Red Bulls to the club’s most successful two-year run in history, winning the 2013 Supporter’s Shield and leading them to the Eastern Conference finals this past season while compiling a 30-19-19 record in charge. And while the playoff haul may have fallen short of what management could have hypothetically expected after such a successful two regular seasons, it certainly didn’t seem like grounds for dismissal to many on the outside.