The soccer news starts with Real Salt Lake firing head coach mike Petke and naming assistant Freddy Juarez as the interim. Petke was currently serving a two-week suspension from the club announced on July 30 following a three-game suspension by MLS for comments directed at a match official during a Leagues Cup game. Reports had Petke using a Spanish homophobic slur. Petke was suspended from three Leagues Cup games, three MLS games, and fined $25k. Real Salt Lake suspended him for two weeks without pay and required him to take anger management classes.
On Thursday, SB Nation’s Matt Montgomery reported that Real Salt Lake investor/operator Dell Loy Hansen was considering firing Petke after a video of his comments surfaced. Real Salt Lake announced the move on Sunday night.
“After further deliberations and a series of constructive discussions internally and with various members of our community, we have concluded, pursuant to his employment agreement, to immediately terminate Mike Petke’s employment,” the club said in a press statement.
Real Salt Lake is in 6th-place in the Western Conference with 37 points from 24 games. They beat Sporting KC 2-1 on the road in week 23, going undefeated during the three games when Petke was suspended. RSL plays Seattle at home on Wednesday.
Moving to the Premier League, Chelsea’s 4-0 loss at Manchester United is one of the bigger stories coming out of the opening round of games. United has a long list of their own issues, but a lopsided win over a likely top-six team is enough to put those aside until their next game.
“We’d have taken 1-0 as you want results [in the] first game,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. “You want the momentum to grow because you don’t really think about the performance if you get a win, but, then again, the second-half gives us so much confidence in the way we performed. We needed halftime to settle down because the first-half was frantic, it was nervy and we gave so many sloppy balls away. We tried to flick the ball and the fancy stuff but then we grew into the game and, second-half, I thought we were excellent on and off the ball.”
For Chelsea, this is a tough result in the first game under new manager Frank Lampard. It wasn’t that Chelsea was short of ideas or outplayed over long stretches. United had the lead from the 18th minute courtesy of a Marcus Rashford penalty. It wasn’t until goals in the 65th from Anthony Martial and Rashford scoring again in the 67th that the game turned away from Chelsea. United scored with four of their five shots on target. Chelsea had seven on goal, the advantage on possession, total passes, and passing accuracy. 4-0 flatters United, but it also means trouble for Chelsea.
We were clearly the better team for 45, maybe 60 minutes,” Lampard said. “But what was evident was we made individual errors that led to four goals out of their five shots. There’s the harsh reality for us. If we go in halftime 2-1 or 3-1 up, as we probably should have done, if we were more clinical ourselves and had maybe a stroke of luck here and there, the game would be completely different. What I felt on the pitch and in the dressing room afterwards, and although the players are obviously disappointed, there were lots and lots of elements of the game I liked. There were four or five elements I really didn’t like and they proved fatal for us.”
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney on how Chelsea comes back from a disappointing start to the season. The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg explains Manchester City’s ability to play rough in their opener against West Ham. ESPN’s Nick Miller’s look at the opening week of the Premier League.
Bundesliga Fanatic’s Mathew Burt previews Weston McKennie’s Schalke 04. The Athletic’s Michael Cox explains the importance of Arjen Robben who changed the game in the modern era. The NY Times’ Rory Smith on the retro fashion trend currently hitting soccer.
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