Mike Petke is red-carded after the loss to Tigres in the League Cup July 24. (Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
SANDY, Utah – Already in serious trouble with Major League Soccer due to his post-game conduct and offensive comments made after a League Cup match, Mike Petke is now looking for a job.
Real Salt Lake announced Sunday that it had terminated the contract and fired the Bohemia, N.Y. native.
Assistant coach Freddy Juarez was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Petke, a former Red Bulls head coach, was assessed two suspensions for his post-game conduct at Leagues Cup match July 24.
He was banned for three League Cup games and two additional Major League Soccer matches. He also was fined $25,000 for the use of unacceptable and offensive language as well as repeated confrontational misconduct towards match officials
“At Real Salt Lake, we have the privilege to represent our great community and fans here locally and on a national and global basis,” RSL said in a statement. “We hold all of our coaches, players, executives and staff to the highest standards of professionalism. As an organization, it is vital that everyone, particularly our leadership, reflects and embodies our core values and the values of our community, treating all people with respect, civility and professionalism. Moreover, throughout our 15-year history, we have championed diversity, acceptance and inclusion throughout our organization, our stadiums and our community. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously.”
“On Tuesday, July 30, after an investigation and in conjunction with Major League Soccer, the club levied the steepest sanctions ever imposed on an MLS coach when we suspended Mike Petke without pay for two weeks in addition to his three-match suspension in MLS and $25,000 fine. After further deliberations and a series of constructive discussions internally and with various members of our community, we have concluded, pursuant to his employment agreement, to immediately terminate Mike Petke’s employment.”
Petke was ordered to attend anger management, sensitivity and diversity training, MLS said. This is in addition to the training that all MLS clubs attend at the beginning of each season.
He served the first game of his suspension during Real Salt Lake’s match at FC Dallas July 27. The two additional games were served during RLS’s next two matches vs. New York City FC Aug. 3 and at Sporting Kansas City Saturday.