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Petke named Real Monarchs head coach

By Real Monarchs | Press Release

SANDY, Utah — Real Monarchs have named Mike Petke as the USL club’s new head coach, Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel announced today.

Petke served as the New York Red Bulls (MLS) head coach for the 2013/14 seasons, leading the original MLS side 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.

“This move checks all the boxes for me, meets all the criteria I’ve been looking for,” said Petke, who most recently served as the Director of Coaching for the New Jersey State Youth Soccer Association, a post he will resign January 1 in order to commence work in Utah. “In my conversations with Craig Waibel, Jeff Cassar and (RSL Owner) Mr. Dell Loy Hansen, hearing their vision and passion for this entire organization and where it is going, it became clear to me that this is the right fit and the right opportunity. This is a no-brainer.”

Petke, along with Monarchs assistants Mark Briggs and Matt Glaeser – both joining the Monarchs from the USL Wilmington Hammerheads – will work closely with the RSL staff of Cassar, Daryl Shore, Tyrone Marshall and Freddy Juarez, along with Director of Video Analysis Ted Eck and the rest of the technical staff – as the group looks to integrate a consistent system and style of play across all teams, with the primary aim of developing players for the parent club.

“In my mind, my job is first and foremost to get players ready to compete at the first-team level to help out Jeff and Real Salt Lake,” Petke said. “Of course, I’m competitive and want to win a USL championship, but at the end of the day, for me it’s all about feeding the first team.”

Petke, 40, played 196 of his 351 career MLS games with the MetroStars/Red Bulls (also appearing with Colorado Rapids teams that included current RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman and DF Chris Wingert and D.C. United, playing alongside current RSL GK Nick Rimando), after growing up on Long Island. Petke attended St. John’s The Baptist High School in West Islip, New York (also the high school home of longtime RSL defender Wingert) prior to a college career at Southern Connecticut.

Petke replaces Monarchs original boss Freddy Juarez, who was promoted to RSL assistant coach Dec. 6 after guiding the franchise from its inception. Juarez, formerly the director of RSL’s Arizona academy prior to leading the Monarchs to a 17-27-14 mark in 2015/16, cultivated the valuable developmental aspect for the USL side, watching FW Emery Welshman, DF Chris Schuler and FW Ricardo Velazco matriculate to the first team, while also seeing numerous young RSL players hone their skills with USL minutes.

“In compiling a list of potential names for this position, Mike’s was at the top of our list,” said Waibel, noting the Monarchs head coaching position’s unique balance of winning and development. “Mike won a Supporters Shield, he’s managed high-profile players, he enjoyed a great playing career in MLS. There’s virtually nothing he hasn’t seen in the sport in this country, and integrating someone with his experience, intelligence and teaching ability into our organization will pay dividends up and down our pyramid, from the academy teams to the Monarchs to the first team.”

The 2017 Real Monarchs / USL season kicks off in April. Season Tickets for the Real Monarchs third season in 2017 are now on sale; please call 844.Real.Tix for more information. Coming in late Summer, 2017, Real Salt Lake’s regional training center opens in Herriman, Utah, approximately 20 minutes southeast of Rio Tinto Stadium.

The $50 million facility will serve as the daily training home beginning in 2018 for both of the club’s professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club’s U-18, U-16 and future U-14 development academy youth selections. The Herriman facility will provide adjacencies for an on-site charter school opening in Fall, 2018, with STEM disciplines (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) for nearly 300 boys and girls.

In mid-November in North Logan, Utah, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen broke ground on the first of a half-dozen regional training centers across Utah and Arizona to be built in the next 2-3 years. Each $5 million RTC houses a classroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor field, dedicated to fulfilling a curriculum dedicated to the club’s vision and mission for youth soccer training and education, and the continued development of both recreational and competitive pre-Academy (ages 7-12) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.

RSL opens its 13th MLS campaign at home against reigning Eastern Conference Champions Toronto FC at 2:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, March 4. The complete 2017 MLS regular-season schedule, along with the national television schedules for the U.S. and Canada, will be announced in January, prior to the 2017 SuperDraft presented by adidas (Fri., Jan. 13 in Los Angeles).

Season Tickets for Real Salt Lake’s 2017 campaign at Rio Tinto Stadium are now on sale; please visit http://www.RSL.com/tickets/royalty or call 844.Real.Tix for more information. An overwhelming percentage of current Season Ticket Members have renewed prior to the early deadline, with several hundred STMs looking to upgrade locations and add seats for RSL’s 13th year.

On Saturday, March 11, Real Salt Lake – which returns nine of 11 starters (including club icons Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando, as well as leading scorers Yura Movsisyan and Joao Plata) from 2016 and a core of 16 players for Head Coach Jeff Cassar after qualifying for the postseason for the eighth time in nine seasons – travel to Toyota Park in Chicago at 12:00 noon MT, visiting the Fire in that club’s home opener.

The March 4, 2017 date against Toronto will mark the club’s earliest non-CONCACAF Champions League opener in its 13 seasons. All-time, RSL is 5-0-7 in its previous 12 home-opening MLS matches, including a 4-0-4 mark at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, dating back to 2009. Only once before – on March 29, 2008 at Rice-Eccles Stadium – has RSL opened its MLS season with a contest on Utah soil.

RSL boasts an all-time 7-1-0 mark at home against Toronto FC, outscoring the “Reds” 19-8 and amassing seven consecutive victories since losing 1-2 on a late Collin Samuel penalty kick on July 4, 2007, at Rice-Eccles Stadium. In the clubs’ lone 2016 meeting, RSL dropped an 0-1 decision at remodeled BMO Field, as FW Toussaint Ricketts scored his first MLS goal for the 68′ game-winner.

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