Real Salt Lake announced Sunday night that they have terminated the contract of head coach Mike Petke. Assistant coach Freddy Juarez was named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Petke faced multiple sanctions following his actions directed toward the officials after RSL were defeated in Leagues Cup against Tigres UANL. He was suspended for three Leagues Cup matches, a total of three MLS matches and was issued a fine of $25,000. He was set to return from suspension on Monday.
The club issued the following statement:
“At Real Salt Lake, we have the privilege to represent our great community and fans here locally and on a national and global basis. 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 took over as head coach of RSL in 2017 after Jeff Cassar was dismissed just three games into the season. He compiled a total record of 38-34-15 with the club. The longtime MLS veteran had previously coached the New York Red Bulls from 2013-14.
The Real Monarchs first head coach, Juarez joined the Real Salt Lake staff as an assistant coach December 6, 2016. As head coach of the Monarchs, he guided a total of 60 games, narrowly missing the USL playoffs in 2016 all while developing several young RSL players on the competitive USL stage.