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Mike Petke suspended by MLS following post-Tigres tirade

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RSL’s head coach has been suspended pending an investigation into his conduct.

MLS: Leagues Cup-Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

RSL coach Mike Petke has been suspended by Major League Soccer following a what a press release terms as “his conduct directed at the match officials” in the aftermath of Real Salt Lake’s match against Tigres UANL on Wednesday.

The Major League Soccer press release said Petke was suspended pending an investigation into his conduct, and that the league would not provide further comment until a review is complete.

As a result, Petke will be absent for tonight’s match against FC Dallas.

Following the conclusion of the match, Petke engaged in a presumably foul-mouthed tirade directed at the head official in Real Salt Lake’s Leagues Cup debut, drawing attention around the league. He was shown a red card before the worst of it.

In a press conference following the conclusion of the match, Petke said he had been trying to hold his players back before being shown the red card. Whether this matches with the evidence on display above is difficult to say.

“If you go back and look at the videotape, I’m pulling five of my players away, and I’m talking to my players and he gives me a red card,” Petke said in the press conference. “He must have thought I was talking to him. Afterwards was just extra. I told him what I felt. But the red card, I honestly was pulling them away, trying to get them, saying, ‘Get back in the locker room, get back in the locker room.’”

Petke followed his explanation of the red card by explaining the dissent he felt toward the refereeing performance.

While Petke does claim to have been pulling his players away, the “videotape” does show Petke yelling in the referee’s face before being shown the red card, with his assistant coaches acting as somewhat intermediaries. The “extra” he described continued for roughly 20 seconds, at which point he retreats, putting himself between RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando and the crew.