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Coach’s Quotes: No positives for Petke in 5-1 loss

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Mike Petke’s just ready to move on. Can you blame him?

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

From his TV appearance immediately post-match:

I apologize to the fans, I apologize to my owner, I apologize to Craig, my GM. What else can you say? I’m embarrassed.

How do I change their mindset after what we just saw out there before a game against FC Dallas, who’s a better team, pray? (We’ll) work hard in the next two days in practice and get ready for the game.

From his post-match press conference:

I could give you cliches, make something really quirky up, innovative ... but I guess we just crumple it up like a piece of paper and look forward to Dallas. That’s all that I can think to do. There’s really not much to take from this game. I’m not talking about everybody on this team. How many shots did we have on goal? Nine shots on goal, something like 13, 15 shots — and lose 5-1. We’ve got to just crumple it like paper and throw it away.

We have four wins — their first four wins for the players since last August. The losses didn’t feel that devastating, because there were good things in those losses — you know, new concepts that we’re trying to get to them, players that perhaps aren’t used to doing certain things. We could take certain things from those losses. Tonight, you can’t really take much.

Strong stuff, and none of it’s particularly surprising. Petke has a good point.

(Plata) been better, he’s got a better mindset, and we knew once he got a goal there would probably be more to come. So tonight was his second goal in two games, and I’m happy for him, but it doesn’t really mean anything when you lose 5-1.

I don’t think there’s a magic potion like that. I think that it’s a situation of guys need to find their groove, and I think Plata somewhat has found his groove. I don’t think tonight he was anything special, but you’re allowed to have an off day. I think guys have to find their own groove; guys have to get out of their own rut. Plata managed to do that.

I’m a little surprised Petke wasn’t a bit more vocal about Plata’s refusing a substitution until after the free kick, but all’s well that ends well (or not too terribly), I guess.

Myself and the guys have some looking in the mirror to do tonight and hold ourselves accountable, for sure.

Good.

Here, he was asked about the defense:

We had a rookie on left back, take nothing away from him. We have two center backs who’ve played a heck of a lot of minutes with no backup. We have a guy on the right in Tony who I thought did well tonight, who came back from an injury.

It’s not that he’s necessarily making excuses, but this does make me think he’s seeing not seeing problems quite so specifically with the four defenders who played.

It’s a mentality. I’m not a psychiatrist. My point is that it’s a mentality, so guys have to figure out a way, guys have to man up. We were looking at Houston’s defense in the scout and saying no disrespect to them, but they’re not great. The one thing they are is men — every one of them. They didn’t give anybody an inch tonight. You don’t have to have great nights of playing when you have men that get into you every step. We didn’t have that.

And that’s the strongest stuff of the night. There’s a lot to unpack here, and the implications are pretty clear-cut.