The opening statement of our campaign.
The story of New York’s original MLS club is one that is filled with turmoil, heartache, and incompetence. Ours is a club that won no major domestic trophies for 17 years, a club that struggled to gain success on the field and was grossly mismanaged off of it. You’d be hard-pressed to find a fan base that has seen more bizarre twists and turns over the years, oftentimes leading to the same frustrating end. Through the turmoil the fans stayed loyal.
There is very little glory in following our club. There’s also a deep distrust between management and fan. We've seen our MetroStars bought and re-branded into an advertisement for an energy drink. We’ve seen the energy drink fire coaches, overhaul rosters on a yearly basis, and - to be fair - build a beautiful stadium to watch the chaos in. We've been told one thing (a new trialist) and seen another (Sebastien Vettel kicking a ball about the park in a publicity stunt). Despite all the years of frustration the fans stayed loyal.
If there is one man who epitomizes the pride the locals still feel for their club (despite its warts), it’s Mike Petke. Mike’s a Long Island boy who had a mean streak in his game and passion for the local team in his heart. He suited up for the club when we were known as the MetroStars and came back to retire as a Red Bull. More than a player, Mike is a man who the supporters relate to. Mike can always be counted on to do what is needed for the betterment of the club.
In 2013, Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh announced that Mike Petke would be the 14th manager of our soccer club. One of our own would be leading the team on the field and the fans couldn't be prouder. In the two years after his hire Mike led the club to its most meaningful accomplishments to date. Almost unbelievably Mike led our club to a Supporters Shield in his first year on the job. It was the first major domestic trophy the club ever won (under any moniker) and is our only trophy to date. Mike, fittingly, was the manager we needed to make it happen. For the first time in our history we had something to show for our years of support.
While 2014 will be remembered as a bit of a down year after the elation of 2013, Mike was still able to lead our club to victory over the hated DC United in a playoff series. No other manager of this club was able to give our fans the joy of knocking off DC. Then again, no other manager understood the rivalry quite like Mike did. It was another proud moment for the club. While we fell short of our MLS Cup goal, the fans of this club were confident in Mike leading the way and proud to have him as our manager. We were promised patience and continuity by Red Bull when Mike was hired, a welcome change from the constant turmoil of the past. We should have known better. With Red Bull as your owner, nothing is quite like it seems.