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Mike Petke, RSL settle lawsuit out of court

Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke looks on against the Colorado Rapids in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Commerce City, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke looks on against the Colorado Rapids in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Commerce City, Colo. A lawsuit filed by Petke against the club is no longer a matter for the courts.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit filed by former Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke against the club is no longer a matter for the courts.

According to court documents, Petke’s suit filed last fall, in which he sought nearly $700,000 after he was fired last summer, has been dismissed without prejudice, meaning the case can’t be revisited.

Major League Soccer wasn’t originally a party in the case, but it became one when Judge Patrick Corum ruled last winter that the case should go to arbitration, with MLS commissioner Don Garber acting arbiter. Petke, RSL and MLS jointly agreed to have the suit dismissed.

Court documents do not indicate the terms of a settlement.

On July 24, 2019, Petke allegedly shouted a homophobic slur in Spanish at a Panamanian official at the end of RSL’s 1-0 Leagues Cup loss to Mexican side Tigres UANL at Rio Tinto Stadium. He was initially suspended for two weeks but was fired the day before the suspension was to be lifted.

Petke’s lawsuit caused a major shakeup in the organization. Craig Waibel, RSL’s former general manager, was cited in the suit as being unhappy with owner Dell Loy Hansen, and he left the club a short time later. During the offseason, RSL announced that interim head coach Freddy Juarez and interim general manager Eliot Fall would be given those jobs permanently after RSL finished third in MLS’s Western Conference 2019.

MLS is currently suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, with Hansen and RSL facing public scrutiny after the organization announced on April 7 that it was reducing its workforce until games resume.