Real Salt Lake wasted little time in hiring a new manager to replace Jeff Cassar, introducing Mike Petke as his successor on Wednesday.
Petke, who coached the New York Red Bulls to the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2013, had initially joined the RSL organization as manager of the USL Real Monarchs, but with Cassar shown the door after an 0-2-1 start, the opportunity presented itself for Petke to rejoin the MLS coaching ranks. He will retain all of RSL's assistants, including interim head coach Darryl Shore, Tyrone Marshall and Fredy Juarez. Shore will coach the club at Minnesota United this weekend before Petke takes the reins.
"Mike won a Supporters Shield, he’s managed high-profile players, he enjoyed a great playing career,” RSL general manager Craig Waibel said in a club statement. “There’s almost 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.”
Petke becomes the fourth manager in club history, following John Ellinger, Jason Kreis and Cassar. He was a standout defender as a player and was a teammate of a few Real Salt Lake playersNick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Chris Wingertin D.C. and Colorado.
According to ESPN's Taylor Twellman, Columbus Crew SC assistant Josh Wolff and New York Cosmos manager Giovanni Savarese were also interviewed for the job.
“Mike’s leadership capabilities, his track record, work ethic and fiery personality are anticipated to confidently lead Real Salt Lake into a new era,” RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen said. “Mike quickly integrated himself into our club, and has embraced both the pressure of our short-term expectations and all the tenets and principles guiding our long-term intentions.”