Web Exclusive: Mike Petke on Utah's passion for soccer

Web Exclusive: Mike Petke on Utah's passion for soccer (Photo provided by RSL)

(KUTV) Utah is quickly becoming known for its "overwhelming passion" for soccer, which RSL head coach Mike Petke attributes to Dell Loy Hansen, the team's owner.

In his nearly 20 years in professional soccer, Petke says he had never met a team owner until Hansen came along. In the four or five months he has been in Utah, he has met and socialized with Hansen several times.

"To me that's important," said Petke. "I want an owner that's invested. I want an owner that's going to hold me accountable, that is tangible--there in front of me."

Hansen, and those with RSL, are passionate about teaching and mentoring young talent through soccer academies and through the Real Monarchs, a United Soccer League team.

"We're bringing up players from our academy, and they're playing in the same style that we are," said Petke. "They are learning the same morals and values, in the same culture that we want the whole organization to be a part of and that is invaluable."

RSL's academy will soon open in Herriman, and it will be a world-class facility.

"One of the best facilities I've ever seen," said Petke.

Right now, the academy is located in Arizona. But RSL is excited to bring it closer to home.

"It's going to be a dream come true with the academy, the USL team, and the first team under the same roof," said Petke.

Person 2 Person interview

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