2013 Desert Diamond Cup
Revolution fall to Seattle in a hail of yellow & red cards
...And a soccer game broke out
That’s the word that soccer fans like to use. Mostly because it seems polite…playful…even pastoral. Better that than admit that the gentlemen players, heck their jerseys have collars even, did something that Emily Post would not approve of.
Seattle Sounders FC beat the New England Revolution 2-0 at Kino Stadium on Wednesday night in a game that was, you see where we are going, chippy.
The first fracas between the teams happened in the 26th minute when Eddie Johnson retaliated after a knock from New England’s first year player José Gonçalves. The referee issued Gonçalves a caution, and the Sounders were awarded a free kick.
The resulting free kick deflected off a New England defender’s hand. Brad Evans stepped up to take the resulting penalty, and easily got it past Revs keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso took down Chris Tierney after the New England mainstay clearly no longer had possession of the ball. This led to another scuffle between New England and Seattle players. The referee ejected no after the confrontation, but Alonso and Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms were subbed out of the match.
The injured Tierney was taken out of the match and later seen with crutches for an ankle injury. The outraged Heaps made his displeasure known to the referee, and was still seething over the injury to Tierney, a key player for the Revs, after the match.
National team star Eddie Johnson scored Seattle’s second late in the half, beating Shuttleworth with a left footed shot.
Seattle switched keepers at the half to the stocky Marcus Hahnemann, an American veteran of the English Premier League. Hahnemann’s skill at breaking up crosses kept the Revs from having many dangerous opportunities.
The game couldn’t end without one more confrontation between the Revs and Sounders, two teams that aren’t usually regarded as mortal foes. The referee didn’t keep the red cards in his pocket for the last scuffle. New England’s Sainey Nyassi and Seattle’s Marc Burch were ejected, leaving both teams short handed for the final twelve minutes.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. Seattle takes on Real Salt Lake at 4 pm and New England faces the New York Red Bulls at 6 pm. Both games are at Kino Stadium.
“It was an unfortunate incident, you hate to see a guy get real hurt,” said New England coach Jay Heaps after the match. “Tierney got injured pretty badly, and I reacted.”
The Tierney’s injury and the confrontations all happened in a match that was essentially a scrimmage: a tune up for the regular season. Did the nature of the match make it harder to be a good training exercise?
“We have to deal with it,” Heaps said. “It’s much better to have a game simulation like this where we have to figure out ways to play when it is physical and when guys are going to be up on you and kick you and knock you to the ground. You have to learn how to play and there’s no better way to do it.”
“There were a lot of bookings and a couple of sendings off that probably could have been avoided,” said New England midfielder Andy Dorman. In all, six yellow cards were issued and 26 fouls were called in addition to the two ejected players. “It’s a competition even though it’s preseason, the rivalry is still there.”
Dorman is returning to the Revolution after a six year absence. Since he left the team in 2007, he has played for both Scottish Premier League team St. Mirren FC and English club Crystal Palace FC. The team he left was one that was a regular contender for MLS Cup, but things are very different now, most notably the absence of the team’s coach during those years, Steve Nicol.
“It’s changed a bit since I was last there. Jay has obviously got different ideas than what Stevie had,” Dorman said. “We’ve got to keep working hard on those on those ideas, and I’m sure we’ll be there when the season starts.”