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Mike Petke Takes NJ Youth Director of Coaching ODP job

Petke returns to the game to assist Youth Soccer in the state of NJ

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We all love a legend of a club who goes out there and tries to give it his all as a player and that once time he gave it a go as a the head coach of the same club that drafted him, played him, scored some good goals as well as defending his rear end off.

When Mike Petke's short two year tender as head coach of the New York Red Bulls came to an end, no one knew what his future would be in the coaching ranks in the professional game, or maybe working with kids locally in his hometown on Long Island or currently living with his family in Middletown, New Jersey.

This time he is taking a big step within the youth soccer community and it's a special thing to see it happen. From Soccer Wire we have learned that Mike has taken the job as the Director of NJ's Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) He will be taking over for Rick Meana who is moving to the Director of Coaching Education department.

"I am extremely excited to join the NJ Youth Soccer family and contribute to the future development of players in our state." said Petke, "As a father of two young soccer players, I understand the importance of growth, on and off the field and am looking forward to working with the great staff at NJ Youth Soccer to build upon that strong foundation."

We can't forget those two fantastic seasons that Petke had under his belt running the Red Bulls after the club didn't re-sign Hans Backe after the 2012 season and Mike who took over in an interim basis was handed the reigns in 2013 leading to the first silverware in club history with the Supporters Shield and winning it at Red Bull Arena.

The late season push to make the playoffs in 2014 and a magical run from the one and done wild card game against Sporting Kansas City, the Aggregate win against DC United for the very first playoff series victory, to falling short by a goal on aggregate against the New England Revolution.

Petke will definitely have a big task at hand and as we all know he is going to take this job seriously.