Sandy • The coach could shout his frustrations and criticism to himself.
As Real Salt Lake played the Columbus Crew to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night, head coach Mike Petke served a one-game suspension alone in a box overlooking the field.
One person Petke walked away pleased with: assistant coach Freddy Juarez, who took over his duties on the sideline.
"Freddy did well," Petke said afterward. "That's why he was the one that was put in charge. He's my right-hand man. He knows the game inside and out. I lean on him heavily for tactics. He gives me perspective on things."
But Petke will be glad to be back on the field when his team takes on the Houston Dynamo next Saturday.
"It's difficult," he said of watching the game away from the action.
Petke's suspension is now over. The coach won't face any additional punishment for his postgame remarks last week about officiating and the league's review committee. The manager was suspended Saturday after being ejected from the previous game — a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City — but Real Salt Lake officials have been informed that there won't be any more games tacked on.
Players certainly missed Petke's voice on the sideline Saturday.
"It's always difficult when you don't have the gaffer on the side," said midfielder Albert Rusnák. "So it was a little strange from that point of view. But it's not an excuse. We talked all week about what he wants us to do on the field."
The players have only themselves to blame then for falling behind early, and later giving up a 2-1 lead to the Crew and leaving two precious points on the table.
Still, Juarez offered to take some of the blame.
The team looked sluggish for much of Saturday night — and Juarez couldn't help but wonder if he should have brought more energy himself.
"Not good," he said when asked to assess his own performance. "We wanted three points. Maybe I could have riled them up a little bit more so they don't come out so lethargic."