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During Petke's transition to head coach, RSL must adapt quickly

Published March 30, 2017 2:03 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • Yura Movsisyan is eager as anyone to get Real Salt Lake (0-2-2) back on track. And the RSL forward hopes the hiring of new head coach Mike Petke can provide the necessary jumpstart.

"Listen, he's been successful as a coach with New York," Movsisyan said Thursday, "so hopefully he can bring change and get us going again."

Petke, who was unveiled as RSL's fourth coach in franchise history Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium, attended his first training session at America First Field Thursday morning in all-black RSL warm-up with his initials stitched onto the chest. The 41-year-old will only serve as "a fly on the wall," as he described during his press conference Wednesday as RSL preps for its first-ever trip to face expansion team Minnesota United Saturday night.

Interim head coach Daryl Shore and the rest of the staff will prep for the match. Petke's first official day is Monday. Shore, who was also a candidate for the head coaching job, said he's glad the coaching staff was retained after former head coach Jeff Cassar was fired on March 20.

"I think it's a decision that Mike made with the management, and I think I said [it] earlier in the weeks that I'll coach this team until they tell me I need to go back to goalkeeper coach, director of goalkeeping or if they tell me I'm out of a job," Shore said. "I support the decisions that they make. I think I might be one of the only people that have confidence in my abilities, however it's not about me again.

"It's about our team, it's about going to Minnesota where we think it's going to be a tough place to play and getting points. We want three points, but we also understand that in MLS, if you go on the road and get one point, you should be satisfied."

Movsisyan said RSL must focus on looming change ahead.

"That's why we're called professionals," he said. "We have to deal with it. We have to adapt and the players that deal with it better and adapt quicker are the players that are going to play. So I think that it's important and part of our job is to be able to learn and adapt quicker."

Midfielder Albert Rusnák was on international duty with Slovakia when general manager Craig Waibel called him to inform him of Cassar's firing. Rusnák said he's spoken to some Real Monarchs players about Petke's influence on the USL team just three months into his tenure as head coach.

"We as a team, as a group, we have to get some new thoughts now before the Minnesota game and for the season ahead of us," Rusnák said.

Injury updates

Shore said bluntly after training: "Some guys are more injured than we thought."

Forward Joao Plata (hip) has trained fully most of the week, but Shore said the Ecuadorian striker isn't back to 100 percent. Fellow wide forward Jordan Allen (quad) has been in and out of training sessions while rehabbing his injury. Shore said Allen is still feeling pain after pushing it.

Right back Tony Beltran (back) is still day-to-day. Beltran trained more Thursday than he had all week. Center back Chris Schuler (hamstring) trained briefly as well. Shore said Schuler could've tweaked his hamstring on one of the long recovery runs the RSL center back was forced to make in last Saturday's 0-0 draw at the New York Red Bulls. Shore said Schuler is also day-to-day.

Defenders Justen Glad (knee) and David Horst (knee) have not trained this week.

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando is also expected to make the trip to Minnesota. The 37-year-old arrived back in Salt Lake City Wednesday evening, Shore said, after spending the previous two weeks with the U.S. men's national team for World Cup qualifiers.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani




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