Petke rewarded for Real Salt Lake turnaround with contract extension

Mike Petke, who got the Real Salt Lake to within a point of making the MLS playoffs after it opened without a win in its first five games under Jeff Cassar, was rewarded with a long-term contract extension by RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen.



"Loyalty is huge for me," Petke said. "I am ecstatic about Mr. 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 -- Mr. Hansen, [general manager] Craig Waibel, myself, the players … the whole organization. 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."

Second-half turnaround. Petke, who began the 2017 season as the Real Monarchs head coach, led RSL to a 13-12-4. It finished with a run of 8-3-4 and 25 points over the last 15 games, beginning with a 6-2 win on July 4 on the road against the LA Galaxy.

2017 MLS (final 15 games):
PTS TEAM (W-L-T)
31 Toronto FC (9-2-4)
29 Seattle (8-2-5)
29 Columbus (8-2-5)
26 Real Salt Lake (8-3-4)

Youth movement. RSL flourished as it continued on its youth movement, featuring Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta, Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo from the 2017 U.S. U-20 World Cup team and first-year imports Albert Rusnak and Jefferson Savarino, who both had strong seasons. In addition, Joao Plata was called up by Ecuador for the first time since 2014.

Petke had been out of MLS after losing his job to Jesse Marsch in January 2015.

RSL general manager Craig Waibel: "We put a lot of stock in player development and Mike has been tremendous in that regard this season. 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."

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