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Petke: USWNT Was Must-See TV For Wrong Reasons

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke was impressed by the play of the United States Women’s National Team when they won their second consecutive and fourth overall Women’s World Cup.

He told Brian Dunseth on the Mike Petke Coaches Show that it wasn’t just a great performance for women’s soccer but just the sport in general.

“It wasn’t (just) enjoyable to watch from a women’s soccer perspective,” Petke said. “But it was unbelievable to watch from a soccer perspective. It was must-watch TV for me just for the soccer.”

Must-Watch TV For Wrong Reasons

The USWNT had a lot of criticism surrounding their club with “over-celebrating” goals, especially when they beat Thailand 13-0 in the first game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The President of the United States has gotten involved, as well, with the protests by captain Megan Rapinoe.

“One of the most enjoyable soccer experiences I have had has been over the last month,” Petke said. “Stressful is not the right term but the subplots around it made it must-watch TV. All of the subplots from the president, to over-celebrating, you almost sit there and have to watch it because if they fail, I want to see what people say. If none of those subplots were there, it was a given. They are the best team that I have seen in years.”

“It wasn’t stressful but it became must-watch TV for something that I thought it shouldn’t have been must-watch TV for,” he added.

Critical Fans

Petke found it ridiculous how much criticism surrounded the team on social media, with several commenters trying to find the negative in things that the United States did at the World Cup, despite being dominant for most of the tournament.

“Not the fear failure but all the subplots around them, because I don’t feel there needed to be any subplots,” Petke said. “They are unbelievable, player-for-player, as a team, coaching, and just watching people on social media just trying to find something to pick at them for you. You know, (Jill) Ellis’ starting lineup, her substitutions and this and that. I mean. sub patterns? Give me a break! I just felt that it became a bit tense.”

In the end, the RSL coach was impressed with how good the team was overall.

“I am not talking about men versus women, I am just talking about soccer,” he stated. “The play on the field speaks for itself. The spacing that they had, off-ball movement, the one-and-two touch and spreading out.”

The Mike Petke Coaches Show airs every week on the KSL TV app and can be found on