Mike Petke's first competitive game as head coach of Real Salt Lake's reserve team, Real Monarchs, went pretty well. The team traveled to Portland Timbers 2 and came away with three points to start its 2017 USL season. James Moberg and Nick Besler scored the first goals for the Monarchs on Petke's watch, and the team bagged a 2-1 win.
Petke's last post-match interview as the head coach of a professional soccer team was after RBNY lost the Eastern Conference playoff final to New England Revolution in 2014. But the man who won the MLS Supporters' Shield in his rookie season as a head coach seems little changed from his time in charge of the New York Red Bulls. At least, his preferred match-day wardrobe is much the same.
Post match presser with the Gaffer. pic.twitter.com/c7pgIrIWWk— Real Monarchs (@RealMonarchs) March 26, 2017
Only difference would appear to be he's called The Gaffer now.
Next up for Petke's Monarchs is an April 1 home opener against Phoenix Rising FC - the current club of former RBNY man Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Wright-Phillips played the full 90 minutes in a match that was at least well attended. Phoenix Rising announced a record-breaking crowd for the first home game of its first season since it re-branded (the team was formerly known as Arizona United).