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Petke: “I can’t protect people anymore” after 6-2 loss

After yet another awful loss, Mike Petke’s done protecting his players.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas
Mike Petke: “You’re gonna have to find your own ride home.”
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

We have a break now. I made it very clear to the guys; go enjoy yourself, you need a break. I advised them to workout during their break because when they get back, and we have the Under-20 and injured boys back, they are going to be fighting like dogs for positions because it's not good enough. It's not good enough individually, collectively, from key players in key positions, not talking about everybody on the field, but I'm at a point now where I can't protect people anymore.

That’s huge. “Not talking about everybody on the field.” Man alive, that’s good to hear. It’s clear he’s had it up to here with certain players, and I’m ready for him to stop protecting players, too.

Of course, this gives us a lot of room to speculate about who he’s talking about, so that will be fun.

I've never been through something like this. It's blowing my mind, but perhaps this is the right time for a break. When we get back, it's going to be fun to watch them fight like dogs to get on that field. If I was a player, I wouldn't be at the beach. I wouldn't be wherever perhaps some of them are going to go. I would be in the gym. I would be on the soccer field. I would be going to see a sports psychiatrist. That's exactly what I would do. I would come back raring to go because I'm appalled at certain things.

Hmm. He wouldn’t be at the beach... I wonder who’s been hitting the beach during their time off, hmm?

We talked about this after the Houston game. I was a little bit gentler, but I'm just appalled by certain things that we talk about clear as day and then togo out there and not put one of them in play... That tells me one of two things: either they're not listening or they're not good enough. Some of them, but either way it's the same end result, 11 goals in two games. I've never been a part of something like this.”

I really appreciate where he’s gone with this. I’m inclined to think it’s a case of not listening, given the only rostered players we haven’t seen have success on this team in some way or another are rookies, who get somewhat of an out.

“Either they’re not listening, or they’re not good enough.”

That’s going to resonate.

I’m sure fatigue has a little to do with it, but not nearly the majority of it, to be honest with you. I have to take the gloves off now. A lot of it has to do with players not accepting their responsibilities. For some reason there is not enough of that.

Call me crazy, but I don’t think he’s necessarily talking about defenders here. Our defense was bad, but it really doesn’t feel like not accepting responsibilities — just performing them extremely poorly. But what about the midfield? Are they pulling their weight? Why are we so easy to play through? What about the forwards? Why was Yura Movsisyan yanked at half-time? Why did we see four attacking players rarely dropping into defensive positions?

Here’s hoping we find out soon what exactly Petke’s talking about.