Mike Petke is a MetroStars and New York Red Bulls legend. He retired as the twice-named club's all-time appearances leader, and followed that by winning the team's first-ever major trophy - the 2013 Supporters' Shield - in his first-ever season as a head coach.
His long and strong association with RBNY came to an abrupt and somewhat shabby end, but that had its own unexpected benefit: it is the destiny of most coaches - especially Metro-RBNY coaches - to be fired, but it is not always the case that they leave a position with the goodwill and best wishes of fans behind them. Petke will forever be a Metro legend, and the circumstances of his departure from the club strengthened that legend rather than diminished it.
But now RBNY and Mike Petke have moved on from each other. The club is seeking out trophies under new management, and Petke is pursuing the next phase of his coaching career with a new team: Real Salt Lake.
Whether he gets the time to win over fans in Utah the way he did at Giants Stadium and Red Bull Arena remains to be seen. All Petke can do is his best for his new club - and as some MetroStars and RBNY fans might suggest, best Petke is angry Petke.
On July 22, 2017, in the post-match press conference of a draw with Sporting Kansas City that had seen him ejected from the game, Mike Petke showed reporters and fans in Utah a little of what his best looks like.
"I am who I am," he told the gathered cameras and voice recorders.
You certainly are, Mike. And what you are is magnificent.
Never change, Mike Petke. All the best with RSL.