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Mike Petke comes 'home'
by Ridge Mahoney, January 22nd, 2009 7AM



The name of the team, the coach, and most of the players have changed, but the next stage of Mike Petke's career is taking him back to New York.

Claimed by the Red Bulls from Colorado on waivers in late November, Petke has signed a new contract. He has played 272 regular-season games during an 11-year career with New York, D.C. United and Colorado, scoring 13 goals and registering four assists.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. MLS changed its waiver rules last year to permit teams claiming players to negotiate a player's salary up or down, rather than adhere to the terms in force when he was waived.

Petke's base salary was $133,000 last season and with New York on the hook for a combined $300,000 for the guaranteed salaries of Juan Pietravallo and Jorge Rojas, it probably can't afford to pay him that much outright, though there is some allocation money available. Petke, 32, has signed a three-year contract.

He entered the pro ranks out of Southern Connecticut State as the eighth overall pick of the 1998 College Draft and played 134 games for the MetroStars, where he was a fan favorite, before being traded to D.C. United in December, 2003. In three seasons with D.C. he played 48 games.

United traded him to Colorado in May, 2005, six months after it had won MLS Cup, and he scored three goals in 80 games for the Rapids prior to being waived. A foot injury last season limited him to 11 games and 831 minutes, during which he scored a pair of goals, including one in a wild 5-4 game against the Red Bulls.

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio is revamping his back line in the wake of Jeff Parke being claimed by Seattle in the expansion draft, and Mexican defender Diego Jimenez returning to UAG following completion of his loan deal.

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