Sandy • Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke strode into his postgame news conference fuming.
He sat down, laid two stacks of papers on the table in front of him, and told the reporters in the room to turn their recording devices on.
He waited until he was sure everyone had done so.
"This is all I'm going to say about what happened with me tonight," he said. "It's all I'm going to say about what happened yesterday with Kyle [Beckerman]. So no questions about that. It's going to be met with, after this, 'No comment,' OK?"
Petke was ejected from Saturday night's home game against Kansas City in the 72nd minute, the day after the independent panel rejected RSL's appeal to rescind Kyle Beckerman's red card from Wednesday's game in Portland.
"I apologized to my players already," he said, "I apologized to my boss, who's standing back there, Craig [Waibel]. I'm going to apologize to my owner, and I apologize to the fans right now. But I could have released this, I could have went on Twitter, I could have done whatever."
He picked up the first stack of papers and had Trey Fitz-Gerald, Vice President of Broadcast & PR, hand them out. It was a color printout of a blown-up still frame of Kansas City midfielder Ilie Sanchez grabbing Oguchi Onyewu's neck in the 66th minute of Sporting KC's last match against the Philadelphia Union.
Sanchez was fined, but not suspended.
"The whatever committee it is that could review this, sees this, nothing has happened." Petke said. "Kyle Beckerman is suspended for extending his arm while the player is coming away from our goal and Kyle is running towards our goal. No goal scoring threat. That's one."
He turned to the second stack of papers and passed out a picture from Saturday's match where Joao Plata is running after the ball, but has a Kansas City player's arm wrapped around his neck.
"Why I got ejected tonight, this is the play right here," he said. "… We have a player put through on a breakaway — could have been a breakaway — you see the still frame right here of him in headlock. In a freaking headlock. Nothing is called."
Petke's impassioned postgame comments came on the heels of a demoralized reaction from the club as a whole to the independent panel's decision to uphold Beckerman's red card.
Even before the results of the review were released, Petke was upfront about his views on what he saw as favoritism in MLS.
"I feel that we've been unjustly targeted a lot this year, specifically Kyle," Petke said Friday morning at training, before he learned the panel's decision. "I think there's a hell of a lot more things that go on in this league, by perhaps big-name clubs, that go unpunished. So long story short, I am counting on them to do the right thing."