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July 17, 2014
Petke expects Barklage will be up to play against his ex-teammates

Brandon Barklage will have an opportunity to show his former team what it is missing on the backline.
Brandon Barklage will have an opportunity to show his former team what it is missing on the backline.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Kristian R. Dyer Contributing Editor

HANOVER, N.J. – Beware, Mike Petke, that revenge might be coming. Something that the Red Bulls skipper knows all too well, having three times scored against his old MetroStars team during what was a storied career in Major League Soccer.

In 2000 as a standout central defender and fan favorite for the MetroStars, Petke infamously revealed a “Revenge is Coming” t-shirt following an injury to teammate and goalkeeper Mike Ammann, a message that received a fine from the league office. But Petke isn't worried about that type of revenge this weekend against San Jose; what he is aware of is how a player going up against his former team can raise his level in an effort to prove a point.

And that could certainly describe Brandon Barklage this weekend, who was released from New York following the 2013 season after two solid years with the Red Bulls as their first-choice right back.

“Maybe a little extra motivation. We left on good terms with Brandon,” Petke told Thursday. “You always want to come back and show that the other team made a mistake. A little extra motivation.”

In 12 appearances and 10 starts this year, Barklage has been solid for the Earthquakes, even as he was whistled last week for a handball in the penalty area in a 2-1 home loss to D.C. United. He is also no stranger to playing well against a former team and making them pay, something Red Bulls fans will remember.

Rewind if you will to June 24, 2012 when Barklage scored twice against D.C. United, the team that had released him that previous off-season. It was his first game against his old team and both goals – the first a flying right-footed side-foot volley and the second a one-time volley off a deflected free kick – were of the spectacular variety. Each celebration seemed to be painted with a bit of animosity towards the team that had released him just months prior.

Petke remembered twice scoring against his old MetroStars team after he was traded to United and then again once when he was with the Colorado Rapids. It's a special moment for a player to go up against a team that released or traded him and serves as extra motivation as if to prove a point.

He doesn't recall his celebrations after those goals or what the build-up that week was like for him. He doesn't deny any emotions though.

“There was never any ill will,” Petke said. “But you're going to get up, it's a special game.”
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