SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke was suspended by Major League Soccer pending an investigation into his postgame rant against referee John Pitti following Wednesday’s Leagues Cup Tournament loss to Tigres UANL, 1-0.
Petke will miss tonight’s MLS game at FC Dallas.
Following the loss to Tigres, Petke was issued a red card by Pitti. Petke was upset that extra time was not added to stoppage time after a cat ran onto the field, and a Tigres player was allowed to take a shot, which went out of bounds. But instead of rewarding the ball to RSL, the referee gave the ball back to Tigres at the spot at which the cat entered the field, which prompted at least a one minute argument by the players. Petke felt that time should have been added on to stoppage time.
After the game, Petke explained the situation from his perspective.
“Go back and look at the videotape,” Petke said after the game. “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. Afterwards, it was just extra. I was telling him what I felt. The red card though, I was honestly just pulling them away, telling them to get back into the locker room. Perhaps he was still thinking about the four minutes they put up, the cat running onto the field, allowing them to take a shot on goal over ten seconds later and then giving them the ball back. Then, for an additional reason after arguing with our players which took an additional minute, ending the game at exactly four minutes. All I was doing was grabbing my players. What I said afterwards would have gotten me a red card, but I said that after the red card.”
Real Salt Lake will not provide further comment until a review of the incident is complete.