Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke slams referees, VAR in postgame rant
Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke criticized the officiating, including the use of the video assistant referee (VAR), after the 3-2 loss to Minnesota United on Saturday, then threatened MLS to fine him for his comments at the conclusion of a two-minute outburst.
Petke was ejected by referee Alan Kelly in the 53rd minute for arguing what he believed was a foul by United striker Darwin Quintero on Real's Justen Glad. Quintero gained possession of a free kick inside the area and then fed Ibson a simple cross that led to a goal and a 1-0 lead for United.
The incident was not referred to the VAR for a review despite Petke's pleas, and after a lengthy argument with Kelly on the field, the coach kicked over a chair in the dugout before retreating down the tunnel.
"Why did I get kicked out tonight?" Petke said in a postgame interview with KMYU-TV. "You look at the 20th minute, which I checked at halftime -- [Rasmus] Schuller goes in on Danny Acosta, who's in behind the midfield line, studs up, a foot off the ground, studs showing into his leg. If he is a foot to the left of Danny, face on, he breaks his leg. There's none of this crap that the referees do to the VAR -- no looking at VAR or nothing. It's a yellow card.
"Marcelo [Silva] gets a yellow card what, 12 minutes later for toe-poking the ball during a set piece 15 yards away? I mean, what are we doing here? [Then] Quintero in the goal doesn't look at Justen -- I mean, doesn't look at the ball. Plays, literally, not the ball, runs in, extends his arm, looks at the last second and they score, and it's this [VAR] crap again."
Petke said the infractions interrupted what he thought was otherwise a positive start for Real Salt Lake, which conceded two more times in the next 15 minutes before Joao Plata scored twice.
And Petke said he weighed discussing the matter at all after the game before ultimately deciding to raise the point, hoping it would provide greater transparency with officiating in the league.
"The only thing I get from MLS is, 'Stop criticizing the referees,'" Petke said. "I want to know where the referees are right now. Why can't we ask the referee a question? Why can't we do that? Why can't we ask, 'Why didn't you go to VAR? Why didn't you call that? Why, when the studs are coming up, did you just give a yellow card?' That would make them more human.
"To MLS, it would be better for this league -- for the fans, for the owners, for the coaches, for the players -- to hear from them and hear their side of the story. Perhaps then we say, 'OK, I see it.' Maybe it happened a little fast. Maybe the guy in the booth, wherever the hell he is, watching this -- you know, maybe he was watching 'The Simpsons' at the same time. I don't know. I have no idea, but it's not good enough to me."
Petke gave a similarly impassioned critique of the refereeing following a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City last season and was later fined $3,000 for the outburst.
He expected another fine on Saturday, challenging Jeff Agoos, the league's vice president of competition, to sanction him for his comments.
"And I'll take the fine. Jeff Agoos, fine me. Fine me. I don't care anymore. You know, no other coach in this league steps up a little more than they should. I'm going to. Drain my bank account. I don't give a s--- anymore."