Red Bull New York announced today that standout defender Mike Petke will retire after the 2010 MLS season. Petke, a 13-year veteran and a fan favorite who played for New York for seven seasons over two stints, is the club’s all-time leader in games started and games and minutes played and was part of the team’s All-Time Best XI that was unveiled earlier this year.
“After many months of contemplation, I know that this is the best choice for me and my family,” Petke said. “When I first started playing in MLS, I could have not imagined the type of career I was so fortunate to experience over these past 13 years. I am indebted to my family, current and former teammates and coaches and the fans for their support and encouragement. I am at peace with my decision and blessed that I am able to end my career in a place where I truly call home.”
WATCH: Mike Petke discusses his decision: Part One
“Mike is a consummate professional and has represented our club with heart and dignity. It is evident during my short time here why he is one of the team’s most popular players all-time,” said Red Bull New York Sporting Director and General Manager Erik Soler. “His ability, work ethic and leadership will be sorely missed, but we want to wish him the best of luck in this exciting new chapter of his life.”
WATCH: Mike Petke Best XI video
Petke, a three-time MLS All-Star, has featured in 167 regular season games for New York, starting in 158 of them and logging a total of 14,006 minutes. The Bohemia, NY native started his career with New York in 1998, being drafted in the first round (eighth overall) in the 1998 MLS College Draft. Petke played five seasons for New York and helped the club to its first-ever Eastern Conference championship game and division title in 2000.
The 34-year-old re-joined New York from the Colorado Rapids on Nov. 26, 2008 and played in 19 games in 2009. This season, Petke made 14 appearances, starting in 11, and he became only the 12th player in MLS history to appear in 300 regular season matches, reaching the mark with his start on May 20 against the Columbus Crew. In the Grand Opening of the club’s brand-new stadium, Red Bull Arena, on March 20, Petke tallied the Red Bulls’ second goal of the match off a close range volley en route to a 3-1 win over Santos FC.
Petke played for D.C. United from 2003-05 and he won the MLS Cup for the first time of his career in 2004. In 2005, Petke was traded to the Rapids and made 80 appearances over three-plus years. During his 13-year run, Petke scored 13 goals and four assists in regular season action, logging 25,731 minutes – a mark that is seventh all-time in MLS history.
On the international level, Petke was part of the 2002 U.S. Men’s National Team pool and earned two caps for his country. Petke attended Southern Connecticut State University, where he won a number of accolades including twice being named on the All-New England Collegiate Conference First Team and the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.