HERRIMAN — Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke recently told ESPN700 Radio he has been issued a $10,000 fine and a two-game suspension from MLS for his behavior during and after RSL's 3-2 loss at Minnesota on Saturday.
The league broke down the fine in two parts: $2,500 for on-field behavior (kicking of the chair in the 51st minute) and $7,500 for public criticism.
Petke insists something has to be done about the way refereeing is conducted in MLS after a controversial no-call against Justen Glad on Saturday. Glad was stiff-armed by Minnesota striker Darwin Quintero, who found Ibson for the team’s first goal.
The call was not reviewed by the video assistant referee and Petke’s protests got him kicked out of the match.
Following the rant, Petke apologized to fans via Twitter for swearing.
During the 2017 season, Petke was fined $3,000 after a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City for a similar outburst. He expected to be fined and possibly suspended after his rant and challenge to Jeff Agoos, senior vice president of MLS.
Petke's solution to avoid such outbreaks? Get referees in front of the media and utilize the VAR.
“I want them to be open to media questions, 100 percent,” Petke said. “And I’m not just saying on the controversial calls. I’m saying there should be a relationship built to the fan base to the coaches to the owners and it should be public because at the end of the day, I might not agree with them, but at least I get credit for standing up in front of the camera and saying, 'This is how I saw it.'”
According to Goal, the on-field decision of a play is correct unless there is video evidence that shows contrary. Not every play can be reviewed, only match-changing decisions like goals, penalties and red cards. The VAR, however, is not always utilized by referees depending on the climate of the game.
"I know every coach and the majority of players feel the same way — I know it. It's the elephant in the room, the pink elephant in the corner, that no one wants to talk about," Petke said of the misuse of the VAR.
During the 2017 season, RSL fell one goal short of the playoffs. According to Petke, “perhaps the one point minimal that we could have gotten in Minnesota is going to be the difference again.”5 comments on this story
Several RSL players were disappointed in the outcome of the match but were glad Petke stood up for the team — even if it meant he would be fined and suspended. Other players want to put the whole experience behind them with the Rocky Mountain Cup on the line Saturday against Colorado.
"Dropping three in Minnesota was definitely disappointing so we need to focus in this week and try to get three points," said Brooks Lennon, who had an assist to Joao Plata against Minnesota.
"I mean obviously it was a game we thought we should have gotten more out of," said RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "We know we get them at home later this season and we'll look at the positive and negatives and focus more on the positives and just move forward."