After eighteen days of speculation Real Salt Lake has announced that Mike Petke’s contract has been terminated. Freddy Juarez, who has coached the team through their last three matches, has been named Interm Head Coach for the remainder of the season.
Petke, who had been suspended by both Major League Soccer and Real Salt Lake for his actions toward Leagues Cup referees on July 24, had been employed by the club since 2017. Petke’s two and a half years with the club were filled with many highs, like 2018’s back-to-back six-goal thrillers against Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy, and many lows, as Petke’s most recent suspension marked his third consecutive July suspension with Real Salt Lake.
Petke was due to report back on Monday ahead of the club’s back-to-back home matches against Western Conference top two teams LAFC and Seattle Sounders.
Real Salt Lake has 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.”