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Petke: 'I can't get over the fact that we're 5-1'

Posted on 02 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Mike Petke has been through a lot in 13 years in Major League Soccer. He has tasted success, though mainly for teams other than the New York/New Jersey MLS franchise. Perhaps key among these was the 2004 MLS Cup he won with DC United, the very team the Red Bulls defeated at RFK Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Mike Petke ©Scott Marsh/ASN

But now Petke is riding high with his hometown club, which is off to its best start in franchise history and finds itself atop the Eastern Conference standings seven points clear of second-placed Columbus. “To be honest with you I just can’t get over the fact that we’re five and one,” he said after the team’s win over DC. “Maybe if I sit down tonight over a beer or tomorrow and think about that it will give me more satisfaction, but to be five-and-one in our first six games, to really put ourselves in a good situation after the first quarter of the season is–unbelievable.”

Asked how he felt about the team’s first victory at RFK since 2005, Petke said “it feels awesome.” The Babylon, N.Y. native was not with the team when it last won in the nation’s capital, though he did score a goal in its April 22, 2000 win at RFK, a 3-2 decision. The then-MetroStars also won in the District of Columbia on Aug. 15, 2001 and on a certain individual’s 30th birthday, July 5, 2003 (preceding information courtesy of

Petke admitted the sun and the heat (temperatures were above 90 degrees at game time) played a big role for both teams, particularly in the first half. But this was a game New York knew it should win. “They’re a team that has their backs against the wall,” Petke said of DC. “We knew it coming in; they were going to be aggressive and try to get that win. We weathered the storm a bit, had our opportunities as well. In the second half we came out and smelled the blood in the water and just went after it. They pushed more guys forward at the end and we dealt with it.

This is a game that to be quite honest with you we should have won. Going into it we knew that and we got it done–unlike a couple of weeks ago against Chivas, same type of game we should have won. We knew it going in and we didn’t get it done.”

More coverage of the match:

More coverage of the match:

Initial report and reaction
Hans Backe’s postgame press conference

Player ratings
Photo gallery

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