29 April 2012
Posted in MLS
My full match wrap-up should be available some time this evening, but before I write that, I need to write a short post about the post match fight that took place between the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire on Saturday night. What occurred was a disgrace to the game, and was only one in a series of events that made the match hard to watch. Of course there was bad officiating, bad play, and let's not forget Eddie Johnson's classless swearing at Fire supporters when there were children nearby, but the fight takes the cake.
Johnson will probably not see any punishment for his actions because the audio only file that has been floating around Twitter makes it very difficult to prove it was him, but he knows it was him and he needs to go to sleep at night knowing what a classless act that was.
The fight, however, BETTER be investigated by the league office - and we have the photos to prove what happened. After a challenge by Fire defender, Jalil Anibaba at the end of the match, there was some pushing and shoving and some words were exchanged between Anibaba and the Sounders Gonzalez. In an instant both benches had cleared, and the "beautiful game" was relegated to an NHL style fight. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NHL fight, but it has no place in soccer.
It was very hard to see what was going on inside the scrum from where I was in the pressbox, but luckilly our photographer, Ryan Byrne captured it all on camera. The pictures will be posted at the end of this short post, but first I need to say a few things.
What happened last night was ugly, and has no place in this game. What Jhon Kennedy Hurtado did to Fire midfielder Marco Pappa makes Zidane's World Cup headbutt look like a pat on the rear, and we have the photos to prove it happened.
After the match, everyone we talked to, including head man, Frank Klopas, and Anibaba himself said that emotions were running high after a hard fought match, and Anibaba added that there was nothing malicious taking place in the scrum. Either he was being diplomatic, or he didn't see the choke hold that Hurtado put on Pappa. I wouldn't blame him for not seeing it, there was a lot going on, and I didn't see it myself until we reviewed the photos after the match, but there it is - plain as day.
There have been rumors floating around this evening that a red card was issued to Jalil Anibaba for fighting at the end of the match. We've been unable to get solid information on this as of yet, one box score shows the card, and league sources we've been in touch with were still looking for clarification. Either way, if Anibaba received a red card for his role in this scrum, Hurtado better receive a multiple game suspension. I don't care how high emotions are running, you're a professional and there's no place for this kind of purposeful violence in our sport.
I'm done pontificating for now, so I'll just let you look at the photos and decide for yourself.