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A calmer Mike Petke “not going to back down” from Minnesota rant

Even if his now-famous postgame comments after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota United were a bit heated and one-sided, Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke wants to keep that conversation going.

“I’m only going to keep repeating what I said in a calmer tone,” Petke said Monday. “It’s three keywords: transparency, consistency and accountability. Those three keywords need to be addressed. I’m not going to back down from that.”

Petke’s Week 20 rant was triggered by his ejection from the match in Minnesota after the Loons scored a goal Petke felt should have been disallowed by referee Alan Kelly. That came on the heels of a foul committed by a Minnesota player that Petke felt should have resulted in a straight red card.

The RSL coach, who apologized on Twitter for using an expletive in his postgame rant, indicated he had yet to hear from the league, although he expects to be suspended by the time Saturday rolls around for the Rocky Mountain Cup match at home against Colorado (10 pm ET | TV & streaming info).

And while the GoFundMe campaign by RSL fans and an offer from Ashley Cole on Twitter to pay his fine “are awesome,” Petke hopes the money all goes to charity.

Although Petke framed his comments differently Monday — or, at least, in a calmer fashion — he reiterated his desire to hear directly from referees after matches although a system is currently in place that allows for it.

Referees are available to answer media questions after matches via a pool reporter protocol that has existed for several years. Questions are submitted postgame in writing via a predesignated media member and the referee’s responses to those questions are also shared in writing.

Local club staff at TCF Bank Stadium confirmed that this pool reporter system was not used on Saturday night by the media in attendance.

“[They should be] open to media questions — 100 percent,” Petke said again on Monday in reference to match officials. “There should be a relationship built and it should be public. I would give them credit. Is that going to fix everything? No, but I would love MLS to be groundbreaking. Let’s be on the front foot here.

“We missed the playoffs by one point last year; perhaps the one-point minimum we could have gotten in Minnesota could be the difference again,” Petke said. “I’m held accountable from my owner, my boss, I hold myself accountable and I just want the same thing from a referee when at times they can change the outcome of a game and the course of a game. I would love to hear from the referees.”

Referees are also subject to a thorough assessment process by the Professional Referee Organization that can ultimately impact future match assignments.

MLS veteran Baldomero Toledo is scheduled to officiate RSL’s Week 21 match at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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