Real Salt Lake announced on Wednesday that Mike Petke will take over as head coach following last week’s dismissal of Jeff Cassar. Petke coached the New York Red Bulls through the 2013 and 2014 seasons, leading the club to back-to-back Eastern Conference final appearances and clinching the Supporter’s Shield in 2013. Despite his success and having a record of 30-19-19 with NYRB, Petke was fired by the club in January 2015, a move that caused a lot of backlash from fans. In December 2016, Mike Petke was hired as the Real Monarchs head coach, replacing Freddy Juarez. He will be just the 4th head coach in RSL’s history.
After Petke was brought into the organization, there was speculation that he would be Jeff Cassar’s replacement if the opportunity arose. But when Cassar’s contract was extended, the speculation dissipated. However, after starting the season 0-1-2 with just 1 goal in 3 games, Cassar was fired and the search began. Last week in an interview with ESPN700’s OC & Hackett, RSL GM Craig Waibel said of the search: “There is a sense of urgency in replacing him…the most important thing is that we find the right person that fits our needs right now and fits where we see ourselves as a club and what we feel we need to coach this roster and help us progress a little bit farther. And that is definitely something we’re focused on taking care of in the shortest amount of time possible but being as thorough as we need to be.”
Now, just 9 days later, Mike Petke has been given the job.
Real Salt Lake’s first game under Petke is this Saturday, April 1, at Minnesota United at 6PM MST.