SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Mike Petke has just begun with Real Salt Lake.
Petke agreed to a mult-year deal with RSL Thursday, after leading the team to an 8-3-4 finish down the stretch, just missing the MLS playoffs.
Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed.
“Loyalty is huge for me,” Petke said. “I am ecstatic about Mr. [Dell Loy] Hansen coming to me and offering me this contract. I’m ecstatic at the prospect of being here at least three more years. And I’m excited and ecstatic about what I think we can accomplish together. I’m on cloud nine because I have an owner who values me, likes what I’m doing and wants to reward me for that.”
In his first season at the helm, Petke led RSL to a 13-12-4 record, narrowly missing on a playoff berth after an 0-3-2 start before he took the helm after Jeff Cassar was fired. That record included a run of 8-3-4 and 25 points to close out the season. RSL’s record in the final four months of the 2017 MLS season represented the fourth-best mark in the league spanning the final 15 matches, behind only Toronto FC (9-2-4), Seattle Sounders FC (8-2-5) and Columbus Crew SC (8-2-5).
“The arrival of Mike Petke into our organization over the last 10 months, first as head coach of the Monarchs and then in his seven months with RSL, has re-energized not only the fan base and the locker room, but myself and every single person involved,” said Hansen. “I hope our fans share in this excitement and optimism for 2018 and beyond.”
Petke – who joined the Utah club back on December 23, 2016, as head coach of the USL’s Real Monarchs – previously served as the New York Red Bulls Head Coach for two seasons in 2013-14. He led the Red Bulls to a franchise-best two-year run in club history, amassing a 30-19-19 mark while giving the club its first-ever trophy, the 2013 MLS Supporters Shield. In 2014, the Red Bulls finished one goal shy of MLS Cup, dropping its Eastern Conference Finals series.
“We put a lot of stock in player development and Mike has been tremendous in that regard this season,” said RSL general manager Craig Waibel. “His success on the field and great leadership in integrating young players does a lot to confirm the confidence we had in him when we first hired him with the Monarchs and when we promoted him earlier this year.”
Petke will retain each of his 2017 assistant coaches Freddy Juarez, Tyrone Marshall and Todd Hofford.