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The Mad Bulgarian and the AU Kid

Stoitchkov, MLS, DCU and AEG are being sued by a former AU player, who, as some of you may recall, had his leg broken in a nasty incident during a scrimmage almost four years ago. (I, and many others who witnessed it, will never forget the sound of Stoitchkov's foot smashing into the kid's leg.)

What do you think? Is the lawsuit justified? Does it have a chance of succeeding? Or will this quietly go away with a settlement? Are there similarities to the Brian Kamler lawsuit several years ago? It's an interesting case...

By the way, pay no attention to the $5 million demand (actually 10 million, if you include punitive). If it ever reaches a jury and a favorable decision for the plaintiff, it is highly unlikely he would collect that much. Also keep in mind that the lawsuit was quietly filed last February, within the statute of limitations. Neither side wanted any publicity. I stumbled upon it the last few days.

Here's Stoitchkov's comments today, according to Bulgaria's Focus News: "I'll leave that to my lawyers but as far as I know this case is closed. I don't care what the press say. I am concentrating on my work in Bulgaria and the national football team."


By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2007; 9:49 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

He should go back to hospital.

Posted by: Goose | February 26, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

You have to have nothing but sympathy for the AU kid, and God knows everyone wishes Hristo had "dialed it back" for a friendly scrimmage, but this is the game. If Stoitchkov had hauled off and decked the kid with a punch that would be different, but horrific injuries can happen even during absolutely normal play where no foul is committed.

Posted by: Rich Horton | February 26, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

So if MLS et al don't settle, they're faced with the prospect of trying to convince a jury what a great idea it is for college-level players to line up against the likes of Stoitchkov and Kovalenko . . . the plaintiffs' attorneys could try to stack the jury with soccer moms and then run some choice video of Stoitchkov, like the time when Convey had to come over to drag him away from an opponent who was already on the ground . . . I think I just got this kid another $10,000 right there.

Posted by: gringo | February 26, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there some amount of assumed risk when playing a contact sport, akin to the assumed risk of getting hit with a flying object as a spectator, or getting ear damage at a hard rock show?

I was an AU student at the time that this happened, and I remember the picture being painted as Stoichkov being extremely apologetic and saddened by the event.

Posted by: Logan Circle | February 26, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This lawsuit is just an attempt to extort some money from AEG. While I definitely feel sorry for the kid, there really aren't any legal grounds for suing. The AU player will have to convince a judge and, potentially a jury, that in going out on that field and playing ball, he could not reasonably foresee Stoichkov taking that kind of action-that what Stoitchkov did was so unusual in the context of practice that it's not the sort of thing that any normal soccer player could expect.

That's a really hard sell if you ask me. While I feel sorry for the guy, you ought to be careful and know what you're getting into when you step onto a soccer field, much less with a guy like Hristo Stoichkov, who goes in hard, but in a way that's not competely foreign or unexpected to the basic game of soccer.

Posted by: Robby | February 26, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I posted this on bigsoccer, but for those of you interested, I've copied it here. I echo all of the sentiments above.

For those of you interested in a general statement of the law in this area, here it is. I don't claim to be an expert in tort so this may not apply to this specific case or jurisdiction:

§ 496C. Implied Assumption Of Risk

(1) Except as stated in Subsection (2), a plaintiff who fully understands a risk of harm to himself or his things caused by the defendant's conduct or by the condition of the defendant's land or chattels, and who nevertheless voluntarily chooses to enter or remain, or to permit his things to enter or remain within the area of that risk, under circumstances that manifest his willingness to accept it, is not entitled to recover for harm within that risk.

(2) The rule stated in Subsection (1) does not apply in any situation in which an express agreement to accept the risk would be invalid as contrary to public policy.

Although on the face of it, this could seem to apply to anything (driving a car, for instance) it is generally left to extraordinarily dangerous activities such as skydiving, whitewater rafting, skiing, drag racing, bungee jumping and other sports. In a famous case, Ron Turcotte, the horse jockey who rode Secretariat to victory in the Triple Crown, was paralyzed when he fell off of his race horse at Belmont Park. He sued, but the defendants used implied assumption of risk as a defense and won.

This all assumes that Freddy did not sign an agreement expressly acknowledging the risk. As noted in subsection 2, however, some courts hold these agreements invalid if they are manifestly unfair or vague.

On a totally non-legal note, I feel bad for the kid and understand his frustration. At the same time, he most likely understood the risks of playing soccer, as little appetizing as that acknowledgement may be...

Posted by: Matt | February 26, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

What a society, eh? Why is having one's leg accidentally broken in a game in which one is willingly playing a suable offense? If there were any reason except (legal?) extortion to file this suit, he would've made a public announcement and gotten the press and public involved when he filed. I've never understood the reasoning behind suing for damages years after the incident.

I can't say I am a consistent Hristo supporter, but I think we all know how he plays. If I were playing on the opposing team and I had the ball, I'd certainly have one eye on him if he were nearby. I appreciate most of what he did with United, however. Accidents happen...maybe a little more often around Dema and Hristo, but still...

Posted by: Beaker | February 26, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Is this the story you were hinting at involving MLS and DC United Steve?

Posted by: So | February 26, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Will this bankrupt MLS? seems the $250 Million Beckham figure is making everyone try to get rich off MLS

Posted by: Nooma | February 26, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

From a paper I wrote last semester. I can go into more detail if people request, but here is a start. Did DC United or Stoichy ever offer to pay for the kid's medical bills?

The evolution of civil torts regarding incidents of violence in sports revolves around the standard of care afforded to the defendant by the courts. One of the major factors in assessing the duty is whether the athletic event is professional or amateur. The first recognized civil law suit filed by an athlete against another is Averill v. Lutrell in 1957 . Here, a pitcher hit the plaintiff with a baseball after throwing three inside pitches. The plaintiff retaliated by throwing his bat in the direction of the pitcher's mound, and the defendant catcher punched the plaintiff in the head breaking his jaw and knocking him . A jury awarded $5,000 in damages; however, the court did not discuss the standard of care to be applied .
The first case to discuss the standard of care that one athlete owes another in a professional sports setting was Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals . The trial court ruled in favor of Clark stating that "professional football is a species of warfare and that so much physical force is tolerated and the magnitude of the force exerted is so great that it renders injuries not actionable in court; that even intentional batteries are beyond the scope of the judicial process ." However, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Clark's action was outside the rules and boundaries of professional football which expressly prohibited intentionally violent conduct . The court reasoned that Clark's reckless actions breached the duty of care that was owed to every player on the field even though he may not have intended to cause injury to Hackbart . A key distinction is that the court categorized Clark's conduct as reckless rather than negligent. This prevented Clark from raising the defense that Hackbart assumed the risk of this type of conduct on the playing field when he consented to play football . The 10th circuit holding planted a reckless standard of care to professional sports. This is important because it rejects a strict liability standard in favor of a negligent, albeit reckless, standard of care making it more difficult for a plaintiff to win on a civil claim arising out of an injury while participating in sports. Another critical implication resulting from this decision is that the court rejected an assault and battery claim focusing on the lack of intent to by Clark to injure Hackbart.
The new trend of analyzing civil liability in a professional sports context rests on a case by case basis after determining the concepts of duty, assumption of risk and consent emerged in McKichan v. St. Louis Hockey Club . The defendant held his stick and extended both arms hitting the plaintiff with his body and stick knocking the plaintiff violently into the boards . The plaintiff fell to the ice and was knocked unconscious . This event occurred well after play had been whistled dead . The Missouri Court of Appeals held that determination of duty in the context of professional sports is considered after application of the doctrines of assumption of risk and consent and applying a case by case analysis based on following relevant factors . Here, the court applied the factors presence in the case and held that a "severe body check" is part of professional hockey and is part of the game thus barring a judgment in favor of the plaintiff. Although the McKichan court did not rule against the adoption of the contact sports exception to professional sports, it did add other factors and required a case by case analysis to each suit.
One of the first cases to discuss the standard of care in an amateur setting came out a couple years before the Hackbart ruling in the case of Illinois vs. Nabozny . It is considered to be the first appellate court to address this issue . During an amateur soccer game consisting of high school aged players, a goalie was struck by an opposing player's foot while having possession of the ball with is hands inside the 18-yard box where a goalie is permitted to use his hands . The defendant, Nabozny, struck the left side of the defendant's head causing severe injuries . The Illinois Appellate Court held that "a player is liable for injury in a tort action if his conduct is such that it is either deliberate, willful or with reckless disregard for the safety of the other player so as to cause injury to that player ." The court reasoned that "some restraints of civilization must accompany every athlete onto the playing field" outweighs the balance that "the law should not place unreasonable burdens on the free and vigorous participation in sports by [our] youth ." Furthermore, the court held that there are recognized set of rules that govern sport and athletic competition some of which is designed to protect players from serious injury giving rise for a legal duty by every player to refrain from conduct proscribed by a safety rule . Therefore, the court adopted a "contact sports exception" requiring participants of amateur sports to be liable only when their actions are reckless or intentional and not merely negligent.

Posted by: Stone | February 26, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't this all, to a certain degree, hinge on the term "accidental"? I wasn't there and didn't see it, but my hazy recollection was that at the time there was some speculation that it maybe wasn't that accidental a tackle. I mean, come on, there's a clear difference between two people going hard for a ball and crashing into each other vs. a player with a long history of dirty play going in with a cynically high cleat. That's why he got a red card and a fine at the time! Personally, I think the kid's got plenty of right to sue Stoichkov, but not AEG/MLS/et al. On another note, I'm not sure it showed a whole lot of wisdom to have pros and college kids scrimmaging anyway...

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 26, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I arrived at the AU scrimmage just a few minutes after the incident and Stoitchkov was remorseful and virtually in shock. None of the DC players even wanted to talk about it.

Posted by: Tom C | February 26, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

As much as I feel for the kid, I see either a nuisance settlement being reached, or the case being dismissed on summary judgment by the court. It is close enough to the potential for liability to make it worth filing the case...and since Stoichkov had an employer at the time, and was in the scope of his employment, it makes complete sense to bring in AEG, DCU, and MLS. But I have tried enough of these cases to know that they are tough, and AEG's lawyers are going to get rid of this quietly, or fight it hard.

Posted by: Cooper | February 26, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Shortly after the incident, MLS accidently put video of the incident up on their website. It was grainy and far away, but I don't remember the tackle looking to be that far beyond the bounds of a rough, poor late tackle. It was bad, but it at least didn't look like it went beyond the context of the game.

I wish the laptop I saved it on wasn't on the other side of the country, or else I would put the video up on youtube or something.

Posted by: Pete | February 27, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

just to give some perspective on the magnitude of the event, I can still remember vividly reading about this incident. In particular, I remember reading about how people instantly threw up on the field after seeing this kid's leg get broken. If I can remember reading in this detail - just imagine being there.

I for one am glad that Stoitchkov is long gone. His tenure in DC is a nasty blemish on an exemplary club. I wish all the best for the AU kid.

Posted by: Diego R. | February 27, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I remember reading about the incident as well. Broken bones are not that uncommon in soccer. The ugly elephant in the room, however, is that Stoichkov likely intended his action. It's hard to believe a seasoned vet like him would not intend the consequences of his actions with a horrible tackle on a defenseless leg in a non-threatening part of the field during a pre-season scrimmage with some college boys. I'm sorry, but knowing Hristo, i just don't buy it. Ultimately, what is unfortunate is that the league and United might have to suffer for his incredible stupidity. Hristo should be made to pay, not his disgusted employers...

Posted by: Nick | February 27, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this pararels the Kamler case because he was punched in the face. This happened in the run of play.
I feel bad for the kid, but I believe he knows that it could happen in any sort. Can John Terry sue the player that kicked him in the face? Of course not.
Question for the lawyers: I'm reading about "Implied Assumption of Risk" and I agree that he had to have known that he could be hurt to any degree. Even death is a possibility. But the kid's lawyer claims that they knew Stoichkov was a dirty player. If he knew that Stoitchkov was a dirty player, then wouldn't he have assumed the risk stepping on the field with him. Or does the rule not apply this way? It seems to me that this is a point for the defendents.

Posted by: gomez4prez | February 27, 2007 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Like everyone, I feel bad for Llorena and it certainly must be terrible to not only go through that kind of injury, but then have that cost you the majority of your college career.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that this case has virtually no chance of going against DC, MLS, and AEG, and only slightly more of a chance of going against Stoitchkov. Intent in this situation is impossible to prove, because the only person who actually knows for sure whether it was intentional is Stoitchkov. Without intent, there's really nothing to go on here. People do break their legs from time to time in soccer.

Within MLS, I can think of three cases in which a player's leg was broken by another player's tackle:

- Brandon Pollard
- Ronnie O'Brien
- Domenic Mediate

Pollard's case is the most interesting here, because he never played again. I never saw the tackle from Dema Kovalenko that caused it, but I have been told it was not clearly intentional, but was almost certainly reckless.Pollard was a decent player and Kovalenko's tackle was his last moment of playing at that level. He had to find a new career in a different field, not to mention the physical and mental damage. Reckless tackling, however, is definitely an assumed risk of playing soccer. It's something I encountered in my (admittedly terrible) indoor league just tonight, and were I a professional, I would find it there too. It's terrible that Pollard was hurt so badly, but I'm guessing he consulted lawyers who told him his case would be dismissed quickly and without any reward.

O'Brien missed a year but came back and has continued to have a successful career. He has been on multiple All-Star teams and is widely regarded as one of MLS's best players. In this case, he could point to Kovalenko's previous history and reputation, but it still wouldn't get anywhere.

Mediate has taken part in DC's preseason and, from what I can tell, is still playing at or near the same level he was playing at before Ugo Ihemelu butchered him from behind (was he even suspended for that, beyond the red card?). There's no lawsuit there, because Ihemelu was probably just being reckless, and because Mediate recovered to previous levels of ability.

While it appears that Stoitchkov is the only party that could possibly be found responsible in court (and even that's a long shot), I see this being settled out of court. All four defendants won't want this to become an issue, because it's a black eye for them (deserved or not). I also see Stoitchkov agreeing to something out of court.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | February 27, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Steve, If it goes to trial, might you be asked to testify as a witness?

Posted by: aaron | February 27, 2007 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Chest Rockwell: your comments about Mediate's status aren't correct. He is not playing "at or near the same level he was playing at" before the injury. In fact, last night, at the Barra meeting with Tom Soehn, the Coach made the statement that it's not yet clear whether Mediate will be able to return to playing.

Posted by: Chris Metzler | February 27, 2007 8:07 AM | Report abuse

HS should have been arrested and done time for this. Hopefully this kid will win and max out on $ from all parties. This makes MLS and DCU look very bad, they both admitted wrong doing at the time so it look good for the AU kid.

Posted by: hank | February 27, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I agree with previous comments that the outcome of this litigation should hinge on Stoichkov's intent. Otherwise, why wouldn't tens of thousands of kids (and adults too for that matter) who are hurt during sporting events be able to sue their opponents? If this is determined to be intentional, I don't understand why AEG or MLS should be held accountable for an individual player's action, but that our crazy US legal system.

Posted by: Touchliner | February 27, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I saw that tackle. Stoichkov is an ass and should have gone to jail. Too bad MLS got pulled in, but that's life. I hope he gets everything he's seeking and that Stoichkov goes bankrupt.

Posted by: Dave | February 27, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Nice quote from Stoich. What a nice guy he is, makes you all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

And Steven, congrats on starting the world's first soccer-law blog. Not laws of the game, but how laws affect the game.

Interesting to try and draw a parallel to the Kamler Incident. But there's a difference in hauling off and punching a guy in the face, and an out of (mental) control tackle. Tackling is part of the game, where punching a face isn't.

Posted by: Kim | February 27, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to change the subject but...
Robbie Rogers is free from Heerenveen March 1st
I believe the Crew are ahead of us in the allocation list, but Toronto and KC have used theirs since the last list came out. Correct?
As a former UMd standout is DC interested?

Posted by: jgildea8 | February 27, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The red card verdict by the ref indicates excessive force was used. One question for the court will be whether the court can step in to continue punishment for an infraction recognized by the referee. I would argue that the court can and will, based on what I have just read, plus what I read about the incident when it occurred. So the question then is whether, to put it in blunter terms, a thug can hide behind the laws of the game to avoid being sued for playing in a fashion that is clearly not tolerated those laws. To win the case, plaintiff's attorneys merely need to demonstrate that Stoichkov deliberately used excessive force that was beyond expectation for that level of play. Given the reports from eyewitnesses who were sickened by what they saw, I would not think a verdict in plaintiff's favor would be surprising. As the above-mentioned Illinois judge wrote, "Some restraints of civilization must accompany every athlete onto the playing field."

Posted by: Larry | February 27, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Just a few points about this, none of which constitute legal advice...

First, before the case even goes to trial both sides have to weigh the costs of the trial itself (not just the defendants' costs for possibly losing), so settlement is always on the table if there's even a slight chance that the plaintiff might win in court.

Second, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is responsible for the actions of their employee performed within the scope of employment. In this case, it doesn't seem like the plaintiff would have a hard time proving that this covers Stoich and AEG, MLS & DCU.

Finally, as noted before, it's likely that (depending on the laws of the jurisdiction) for Stoich, AEG, MLS & DCU to be held liable for damages, Stoich likely would have to be found to be either intentionally, knowingly or, even possibly, recklessly trying to harm the player with his tackle.

It is likely that all the plaintiff would need to prove that the tackle was a reckless action was that Stoich was aware of the potentially harmful consequences of his actions, but went ahead anyway and put another person at risk, without actually desiring the person to be harmed.

Again, all these points are legal generalities and the possible outcomes of the case depend on the laws of the jurisdiction and the facts of the case.

Posted by: dcindc | February 27, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

dcindc -- I'm not sure I agree with your second statement that "under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is responsible for the actions of their employee performed within the scope of employment. In this case, it doesn't seem like the plaintiff would have a hard time proving that this covers Stoich and AEG, MLS & DCU."

If Llerena had been injured during the normal run of play, such as when there's a collision while two players are trying to head the ball, I would think that there's no question that there wouldn't be liability.

If Stoich deliberately went out of his way to harm Llerena, then it would seem that his actions weren't "performed within the scope of employment," any more than if he had reached into his back pocket, pulled out a knife, and stabbed him. I guess I don't see how the fact that Stoichkov was "on the job" at the time of the incident demonstrates that his actions were "performed within the scope of employment."

Posted by: aaron | February 27, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: pat | February 27, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Will there be an ongoing series of "Steven Goff's Mystery of the Week" posts?

Posted by: Kim | February 27, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see "Respondeat Superior" on a Screaming Eagles banner.

Posted by: Arrrlington | February 27, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Isn't there some precedent from pro hockey for this kind of thing? I seem to remember something vaguely familiar from a few years ago...

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 27, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If I were to sue everytime I got hurt during a game because of someone else's tackle, shove, elbow, etc, I'd be a rich man.

Then again, maybe I should sue Fairfax County because the crap field conditions caused me to tear an ACL . . . hmmm

Counsel?

This lawsuit is bogus, brought on for vengeance and money hungry lawyers.

Posted by: delantero | February 27, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Pat:

"Zzzzzzzz"???

Yeah, a 10-million dollar lawsuit involving one of the greatest players of the last 20 years, a major sports and entertainment company, an entire league and a local team, that's boring.

Man, some of y'all are tough to please...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I know Brandon Pollard personally, and I think the tackle did more to Brandon's mental outlook on the game than anything pshyically.

After the tackle he told me that it made him realize that he wanted to change the way he played the game, from phsyical to more finesse, and I think he realized he was too far into his career to make that change. He tried that following year to play, but just didn't have, it seemed, the heart to continue. There were other interests that took precedence for him.

BP is a hippy in every sense of the word. He left soccer to work in a bakery and make organic breads.

Dema was a complete turd about the incident and BP, who is the most forgiving and kind guy you'll ever meet, even expressed some bitterment about Dema's reaction.

Posted by: LoneStar | February 27, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

There have been a two recent hockey incidents which resulted in legal action

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_McSorley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Bertuzzi#The_.22Steve_Moore_incident.22

so it's not beyond the realm of plausibility that legal/civil action could be taken and upheld for HS' actions. I'm not a lawyer, but in my mind, what the plaintif would need to prove to make his case stick would be that HS' actions were so far beyond a normal or even expellable run of play infraction that they deserve punishment beyond the MLS'/FIFA's jurisdiction.

Adam

Posted by: EaglesFan | February 27, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

There have been a two recent hockey incidents which resulted in legal action

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_McSorley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Bertuzzi#The_.22Steve_Moore_incident.22

so it's not beyond the realm of plausibility that legal/civil action could be taken and upheld for HS' actions. I'm not a lawyer, but in my mind, what the plaintif would need to prove to make his case stick would be that HS' actions were so far beyond a normal or even expellable run of play infraction that they deserve punishment beyond the MLS'/FIFA's jurisdiction.

Adam

Posted by: EaglesFan | February 27, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Im a money hungry lawyer... and I've been involved in a few questionable tackles myself in the famous WISL league. But this was not a tackle as much as it was an assault because Stochkov was pissed that AU was taking the game to DC. [And, He's hardly one of the greatest players in the last 20 years. Maybe one the biggest self-important pricks to play the game in the last 20 years would be more accurate.] Anyway, hopefully this kid will get a big settlement and everyone will finally see Stoichkov for the idiot that he is.

Posted by: Dave | February 27, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

wow. what a ridiculous extortion job. I do feel bad that the kid doesn't feel like his leg is up to pre-break levels (more a problem with his physical therapist in all likelihood) but it's sports. I don't care if Hristo was "mad" when he made the tackle or not. Athletes get upset during play and may begin acting more recklessly. That's sports. Get into golf or something if you don't want to risk bone breakage.

If he wins, wait for the NFL and the rest of the sports leagues to fold in short order.

Posted by: papa bear | February 27, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

My big question is why wait so long to file the lawsuit? Almost 4 years?!?! Is Stocihkov still in the country? He's the coach of the Bulgarian team does he even have to respond if he has no real intention of returning to the country?

Posted by: owendylan | February 27, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The lawsuit was filed last February, less than three years since the incident.

Stoitchkov will appear for his deposition in Washington in the near future.

Posted by: Goff | February 27, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I knew freddy somewhat personally at AU, and I can tell you the kid is not the type to try and grub money. in a sport where -- in the states, at least -- a lot of the athletes are yuppy, spoiled suburbanites, freddy didn't fit that mold at all.

That said, I was at that game, just 20 yards from the foul at the scorer's tent ... on the opposite side from where steve goff was. i remember my first reaction was that the red card was a little harsh, but i saw stoitchkov storming off the field in disgust before i saw freddy's leg dangling in the air. and i didn't really pay attention to the "snap" i heard because i assumed it was the sound of a snapping shin guard or something.

i don't know that freddy has a legal grounds for this or not. but i will say that, from what i've heard personally from him in the months and years following the incident, stoitchkov was not nearly as apologetic as he was publicly on that day.

i also saw how freddy tried to restart his career, never coming close to regaining the mobility he had before the injury. and im reasonably certain that he did not even have a scholarship his senior year, in which he stayed at au to finish school but dropped off the soccer team out of frustration after preseason and a game or two. i'm not sure if he had a full-ride before or not, tho it's doubtful since au, like all d-1 soccer programs, only has 9.9 full rides.

anyway, i hope he gets a settlement out of it, because at least it would garner some sort of monitary help from stoitchkov that he did not offer in any way, shape or form after the incident.

Posted by: CSKA Delmarva | February 28, 2007 1:57 AM | Report abuse

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