MLS suspends RSL coach Mike Petke for conduct toward referees

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune). Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke walks the sidelines during MLS soccer action between Real Salt Lake and Atlanta United at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Friday, May 24, 2019.

Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke has been suspended by Major League Soccer pending an investigation into his conduct toward officials after the Leagues Cup against Tigres UANL on Wednesday.

The club, in a news release, stated it “will not provide further comment until a review of the incident is complete.” Petke will miss Saturday’s road game against FC Dallas.

After the final whistle in RSL’s 1-0 loss to Tigres, Petke went over to one of the referees and began shouting in his face. The referee issued a red card. Assistant coaches Freddy Juarez and Tyrone Marshall, as well as goalkeeper Nick Rimando, all came over to pry Petke away from the situation.

After the game, Petke was asked what he thought prompted his receipt of the red card.

“Go back and look at the video tape,” Petke said. “I’m pulling five of my players away. I’m talking to my players and he gives me a red card. He must have thought I was talking to him — I don’t know. And then afterwards was just extra. Told him what I felt. … All I was doing was grabbing my players. What I said afterwards would have gotten me a red card. But I said it after I got the red card.”