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Petke admits poor judgment, says he, RSL agreed he would continue coaching before firing

The former RSL coach claims he and the club had signed an agreement.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

In a statement posted on Twitter today, RSL coach Mike Petke spoke publicly for the first time about his firing, saying he “lost (his) temper and showed poor judgment” — but also claimed that he had entered an agreement with Real Salt Lake to continue coaching the team.

A full transcript of his statement follows.

While I may no longer be the head coach, I continue to believe in the players at Real Salt Lake and wish them and Coach Juarez the very best in their pursuit of a place in the post season. This is a tremendous group of athletes and it has been my honor and privilege to work with them. Knowing them as I do, I expect nothing but the best.

On the matter involving the Panamanian official in the game against Tigres, while I’ll never stop bringing passion and all my heart to what I do, it is true that I lost my temper and showed poor judgment. That’s why, before my termination, I willingly served the suspension imposed on me by both the league and the team and have already apologized to that official and the league.

Much has already been said about the Spanish word I used and the different interpretations of it. Regardless of how my actions have been misinterpreted or twisted, I have always respected the rights of all individuals and always will.

I hope to continue coaching RSL and, in fact, just after this incident had signed an agreement with the team to do just that. It saddens me that while I held up my end of the bargain, including not speaking about this matter publicly until now, the team has chosen to go the route of terminating my contract. Team ownership and I will have the chance to discuss the club’s decision in a forum in the future.

To the fans of RSL and the people of Salt Lake, thank you so much for all you have done for me, for my family and for the team. Your support and your energy make possible all the good we have accomplished. And for that, I will always be grateful.