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Petke praises Plata’s turnaround, RSL’s listening

RSL coach Mike Petke has lots of reasons to be happy right now.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

On Plata

Where he’s come from in the first two weeks I was here and the issues he and I had, to now where he is completely on board. He’s doing everything we’re asking. That’s one of the beauties of coaching. To see that, to have that relationship with a player, to be a part of bringing him to a place where he’s firing on all cylinders, it’s great.

I love this more than I really know how to say. On one hand, it’s amazing to be able to hear this sort of transparency from Mike Petke, to know that there was a problem, and we weren’t imagining it. On the other hand, to know that things have really turned around with the player despite some really tense times, that’s amazing, too.

On Beckerman

Actually, I was yelling at him the other day because I want him sitting in front of the defense and all he does after practice is shoot. I said, ‘how am I supposed to get you to stay if you keep going up and shooting.’ But hey, he had a fantastic goal today and hopefully his red card… they do the right thing and it gets rescinded and he’ll be available again Saturday.

No man can control the tornado that is Kyle Beckerman. If he scores one more goal this season, he’ll level his two best-ever seasons in goal production at Real Salt Lake. He’s still some ways off his best-ever goalscoring season, though — he scored 7 in 2006 at Colorado Rapids.

On goalscoring exploits

I like more of the stuff I see, even in scoring four goals tonight, six goals against LA, it’s not really about the goals to me. It’s about how we created those goals. It was the other opportunities we had, the other shots that we created and our balance throughout. That’s what we’ve been preaching the last month and to see them applying that on the field, it’s great for a coach to see that.

I dunno, I really like the goals, too. (Good stuff.)

On the turnaround

They’re high-quality players to begin with. Every coach needs good players. There’s no secret to it. In professional sports, if you don’t have good players, doesn’t matter how good a coach you are. It’s very rare that you’re going to succeed. My hat’s off to them for their talent.

As far as listening, that’s the second part of it. For 10 days now, well for four months, but the last 10 days, to go through things specifically and stop and put them in the right positions and explain to them and have them apart of the process as far as me not just dictating, but collaborating with them almost. Having them buy in and then to see it on the field. Three of those goals, besides the penalty kick were plays that we worked on over the last ten days. The runs, the off-ball movement. It’s fantastic.

Let’s just bask in this.