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Real Salt Lake has tapped former New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke to head the team's minor league affiliate, the Real Monarchs.
Petke led the Red Bulls to a Supporters' Shield and an Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014, before his surprise firing and had been out of professional coaching since.
"The last two years, I've done a lot of thinking and had a couple of opportunities that just never seemed right," the 40-year-old Petke said Thursday. "This checked my boxes. Everything just clicked and it fell into place."
Petke, who played with Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar on youth national teams, will now team up with Cassar and the other coaches in the RSL system at the club's new facility in Herriman.
"When we were putting together names, Mike's name was at the top of our list," Cassar said. "He's somebody who has got a lot of experience in the MLS. He had a great playing career, had success with the Red Bulls. Adding him to our organization is just a fanstic thing for the players and for everyone."
Petke, along with the other coaches in the RSL organization, will aim to play a style in line with the first team system, in hopes of developing players for the parent club.
"In my mind, my job is first and foremost to get players up to the first team to help out Jeff and Real Salt Lake," Petke said. "… Of course I'm competitive and want to win a USL championship, but at the end of the day, to me it's all about feeding the first team."
Ready to roll
Center back Aaron Maund says his fractured toe has healed completely and will be ready for the start of training camp.
"The foot's great," Maund, who this week finalized a deal to return to RSL next season, said Thursday during a telephone interview while on break in London. "It's been coming along. At first it wasn't so strong, and I was a little bit nervous. Now I'm 100 percent ready. I'm not restricted in any way."
Maund started 20 games for RSL last season before fracturing a toe during an early August practice.
"I don't feel any lingering issues," he said. "There are no problems after a hard workout. I'm really happy with where I am. Now it's just about focusing on next year and showing up right for preseason. It's been too long."
Taking a pass
Real Salt Lake did not select anyone in Thursday's MLS re-entry draft.
Former RSL striker Olmes Garcia, who scored 11 goals and tallied six assists during his four-year stay in Salt Lake, was picked up by the San Jose Earthquakes.