MLS drains Mike Petke’s account $10K for rant, suspends him two games; league also fines RSL $10K for promoting Petke’s comments

He will miss games against Colorado and San Jose while serving two-game ban

(Photo courtesy Robert Hitz/Real Salt Lake: RSL coach Mike Petke argues with referee Alan Kelly in the 3-2 loss at Minnesota United on Saturday, June 14. Petke was ejected in the 52nd minute of the match.

Major League Soccer has obliged Mike Petke and drained his bank account a bit.

During an interview on ESPN 700 Wednesday morning, Real Salt Lake’s flagship radio station, RSL’s head coach revealed that MLS levied a two-game suspension and a $10,000 fine in the wake of his epic postgame rant following RSL’s 3-2 loss at Minnesota United on Saturday evening.

“It was a bit more than I expected,” Petke said. “I got a two-game suspension and a $10,000 fine. But it is what it is. I accept that. I look back on it and it wasn’t a situation that I’m saying, ‘Oh, I don’t want to say certain things because I might get fined.’ It’s not how I work.”

Petke said he had healthy conversation with Todd Durbin, the league’s executive vice president of competition and player relations.

“A good conversation,” Petke said, “and now we move on.”

According to the league announcement Wednesday afternoon, MLS Commissioner Don Garber fined Petke for “the use of abusive and profane language directed at officials and uncontrollable behavior when he was ejected from the game and for public criticism of officials during a post-game press conference.”

The 42-year-old said he will not appeal the punishment from MLS, and won’t return to the sidelines until August 4. RSL assistant coach Freddy Juarez will serve as acting coach this weekend when RSL hosts Colorado on Saturday night. RSL is on the road next weekend at the San Jose Earthquakes.

“I’m not going to hide behind anything and say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to pay the consequence,’” Petke added. “There is consequence from the league and I will accept those [consequences] and like I said, I move on now.”

In the two-and-a-half-minute postgame rant Saturday, Petke targeted his ire at the lack of transparency from MLS officials and specifically the video assistant referee (VAR) system that he believes has been anything but consistent since being implemented into league play in 2017.

“I’m going to continue to push for these things: Transparency, accountability, consistency,” said Petke. “I’m going to do it and attempt to do it the best way I can do it.”

RSL’s coach said he hopes to continue to have further conversations with higher-ups at MLS regarding the issues regarding the officiating that bubbled over in Minneapolis over the weekend.

“They know where to reach me at,” Petke said.They have my number, my mailing address, they know which team I coach for. I’ll be part of any panel, any discussion, whether it be public or private to fix things.

“Listen, I go into the office almost every Tuesday with my owner and my general manager in a room and we discuss the state of the team, how to improve it, where things might’ve gone wrong the weekend before. I welcome those conversations. I’m held accountable, which I look to be.”

In addition to Petke’s fine and suspension, MLS also issued a $10,000 fine to RSL for social media posts from the club’s official Twitter handle that “endorsed and amplified Petke’s comments.”