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Mike Petke files lawsuit against RSL, claims breach of contract

Petke claims to be owed nearly $700,000 in unpaid salary.

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

Update: We have received a statement from Real Salt Lake. It is included below.

“Real Salt Lake (“RSL”) is aware of the lawsuit filed by former head coach Mike Petke. As previously reported by RSL, Mr. Petke’s employment was terminated for cause based upon statements and actions that are unbecoming of RSL representatives, especially our head coach. The organization stands firmly behind that difficult decision.”

Former RSL coach Mike Petke has filed a lawsuit against Real Salt Lake in the Third Judicial District Court of Salt Lake County, according to a press release from the firm representing him in the matter.

The case, Mike Petke vs. Utah Soccer, LLC, d/b/a Real Salt Lake, a Utah Limited liability company, alleges that a contract between Petke and the club was breached, and that Petke is owed “nearly $700,000” in salary on his contract.

The suit alleges that an amendment had been agreed upon in Petke’s contract with the organization, which stipulated that “future infractions could result in his dismissal.”

A statement from Petke’s attorney follows:

“The amendment was clear about what club leaders expected of Mike. He was following that amendment to the letter and looking forward to returning to his team when he was blindsided by ownership,” said Mr. Petke’s attorney, Clayton Bailey of Dallas’ Bailey Brauer PLLC. “The decision was announced in a way calculated to damage his reputation, not just as a coach, but also personally. Refusing to pay the remainder of his salary is a move designed to inflict additional, unwarranted economic damage.”

The press release provides a second statement from an attorney:

“What happened here is fairly simple. RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen was recorded contradicting the agreement while speaking to another team’s fans, became embarrassed, and later fired Mike when he had no business doing so,” said Cheyenne, Wyoming, attorney Travis Koch of Overstreet Homar & Kuker.“

We have reached out to Real Salt Lake for a statement. This story will be updated.