Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
All Mike Petke did in his first year as a head coach in Major League Soccer was lead the New York Red Bulls to a Supporters’ Shield, the first silverware in franchise history.
On Wednesday, the Metrostars/Red Bulls legend was rewarded for the 2013 season’s success with a new contract to remain head coach. Per team regulations, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I am pleased to reach a new deal with my hometown club,” Petke said in a statement. “We have enjoyed success during my short time as head coach and all of the credit goes to our players, staff and most importantly, our supporters. While winning the Supporters’ Shield was a major achievement for our club last year, my overall goal of building a team with a long-term identity that our fans can be proud of remains unchanged. I look forward to continuing this mission in the 2014 season and beyond.”
Petke officially became Red Bulls head coach on January 24, 2013, after two years working as an assistant. Last season, the 38-year-old former MLS Cup winner led the Red Bulls to a record of 17-9-8 to win the Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield.
Here’s some more news from around MLS:
HEDGES SIGNS “MULTIYEAR” EXTENSION WITH FC DALLAS
FC Dallas have locked up one of the top young defenders in MLS.
The club announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed 23-year-old defender Matt Hedges to a “multiyear” contract extension. Hedges has been with FC Dallas since being drafted with the 11th overall pick of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
“There has been an ongoing negotiation to extend our agreement with Matt Hedges since the end of the 2013 season,” FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo said in a statement. “Matt has been better than anyone could have expected when we drafted him and his quality has really shown. We felt it was in the best interest of the club to extend his contract, and we were able to come to an agreement last week.”
During his time with FC Dallas, Hedges has scored six goals in 62 games played, with 56 starts.
REPORT: MLS AND REFEREES RETURN TO NEGOTIATIONS WITH MEDIATOR
As the lockout of league referees continued into its sixth day, the two sides returned to the negotiating table with some outside help.
A report from ESPN states that MLS and the referees union, the Professional Soccer Referees Association, returned to negotiations along with a federal mediator. The report states that Scot L. Beckenbaugh, the acting director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, is taking part in the collective bargaining.
The Professional Referees Organization, the organization that assigns and trains referees in MLS, and the PSRA have filed grievances against each other with the National Labor Relations Board. The latest grievance, filed by PRO, alleges that a member of PSRA threatened the replacement refs that they would never work for PRO when the lockout ends.
SOUNDERS ADD WASHINGTON NATIVE WEAVER
The Seattle Sounders have added some more forward depth for the 2014 MLS season.
The club announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed former Houston Dynamo forward Cam Weaver. The 30-year-old forward spent the preseason with the club and played with the team at the Carolina Challenge Cup last month.
“We are happy to bring Cam back home and love what he brings us in terms of experience and success in MLS,” sporting director Chris Henderson said in a statement. “He is dangerous in front of goal and competes for every ball. His character fits very well in our group.”
In his five years in MLS, the 6-foot 4-inch tall Weaver has 13 goals in 90 league appearances.
What do you think of this news? Glad to see Petke remain Red Bulls head coach? Think he can repeat last season’s results? What do you think of Hedges’ extension? Do you see the MLS referees returning soon?
Share your thoughts below.