Real Salt Lake signs Petke to extension

Jeff Swinger
The coach has inked a deal through 2020 after taking over from Jeff Cassar early in the 2017 campaign

Real Salt Lake has signed coach Mike Petke to an extension through 2020, the MLS side announced Thursday.

The 41-year-old took over following the firing of Jeff Cassar early in the 2017 campaign, compiling a 13-12-4 record. RSL went 8-3-4 after July 4 — the fourth best record in MLS during that stretch — to come within one point of qualifying for the postseason.

"Loyalty is huge for me. I am ecstatic about [owner Dell Loy] Hansen coming to me and offering me this contract," Petke said in a news release. "I'm ecstatic at the prospect of being here at least three more years. And I'm excited and ecstatic about what I think we can accomplish together — Mr. Hansen, [general manager] Craig Waibel, myself, the players … the whole organization. I'm on cloud nine because I have an owner who values me, likes what I'm doing and wants to reward me for that."

An MLS veteran who played for New York, D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids from 1998 to 2010, Petke coached the Red Bulls in 2013 and 2014 — winning the Supporters' Shield during his first season — before being unexpectedly fired in January 2015.

RSL initially hired Petke last winter to coach Real Monarchs, the club's affiliate in the second-tier USL, before promoting him to the first-team post after Cassar's 0-3-2 start to 2017.

"We put a lot of stock in player development and Mike has been tremendous in that regard this season," Waibel said. "His success on the field and great leadership in integrating young players does a lot to confirm the confidence we had in him when we first hired him with the Monarchs and when we promoted him earlier this year."

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