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Friday kickaround

*My front-page feature on the ageless Jaime Moreno: "An alien came and took over my body."

*From the Twitter account of new Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll: "At my first sounders game... This place is rocking! 37,000 fans going wild in the rain! Up 2-0 at the half!"

*I realize all of Seattle was giddy about the Sounders opening the season and their subsequent 2-0 victory over Philadelphia, but apparently no one was more excited than the Associated Press, which described Fredy Montero's goal as a "diving header that'll be tough for anyone to top all season." Seriously? Opportunistic goal, but I think it's fair to say that there will be a higher-quality strike not only this season, but within 48 hours. (Watch the match highlights here.)

*Union Coach Peter Nowak, who got into a tiff or two (or four) in his days as United's coach, had this to say about Seattle after the match:

"We got to see all this flopping and diving and when you see the stats we have six cards, that is too much. There is guys rolling around on the pitch like they got shot. I think we need to recognize there are guys doing this stuff and trying to take advantage of the referee decisions. I expect someone like Freddie Ljungberg, who has scored so many goals and played hundreds of games with the national team and won so many trophies, would be more honest than he is. He is complaining and whining about missing a goal and trying to push the referee for a yellow card, [it] is not up to his standards. When you play the game, you not only try to win, but try to be honest with your effort."

Much more on the continuation of this thread, but first, read about, and watch highlights from, Boca Juniors' 2-0 victory over River Plate:

*Defender Wade Barrett, waived by Houston this week, has retired and joined the Dynamo coaching staff.

*For the first time, a player from India is coming to MLS.

*Americans abroad:
F Eddie Johnson 6 minutes in Aris' 1-1 Greek Cup tie at Kavala
F Freddy Adu didn't play for Aris, which advanced to finals

By Steve Goff  |  March 26, 2010; 8:59 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Argentina , D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Weekend TV listings
Next: Countdown to D.C. United opener

Comments

Does the Philly Union budget office have a line item for Novak's fines? If not, someone needs to get on that...

I do have to admit that Ljundberg looks to be a world-class whiner.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 26, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Love. Nowak.

Posted by: JkR- | March 26, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Embellishment is not, technically, the same as a dive. When a player, say, cleats the back of another players calf instead of going for the ball, there's going to be a call. There were some ludicrous fouls by impatient Philly which were pretty unprofessional, as they didn't even take a card for the team.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 26, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

why would Nowak be fined? he's saying the truth. Seattle flopped their way through last season so it's not a surprise they are picking up where they left off. Montero's a great player but he dives almost as much as Carlos Ruiz.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 26, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: addick | March 26, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Props to Nowak for having the GUTS to say what I was thinking last night. If he's married, I hope that his wife doesn't get too angry with him about the fine.

Montero is Ruiz reincarnated, only younger and better looking.

Maybe there is a rule that we are unaware of that states if you wear Sounders emerald and blue (or whatever that shade is), and your name is some variation of "Frederick" that you have to be a whiner and/or a "diver"/"overembellisher"


Having said that...

Philly's looked like it was almost too amped up for last night's game. Understandable since it was their franchise inaugural match. They didn't manage that energy very well.

Of course, the red card changed the match. When the ref has already warned players then you have to keep that in mind before you go in for a challenge or have physical contact with another player.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 26, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Same old, same old. Jaime will "anchor" DCU's offense again.

Posted by: Jphubba | March 26, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

1) Too bad Pete Carroll (and everyone else) had to see such a sloppy game. Unrelenting drizzle, plastic turf, young expansion team as opponent... not a recipe for a beautiful display of the beautiful game.

2) Nowak's comments were probably as much a public relations maneuver as anything else. It's not that Ljungberg and Montero were egregiously "floppy," by soccer standards, but Nowak knows darn well that it would be a likely talking point among the hard-nosed Philly sports viewers tuning in for the Union's debut.

So he was making a preemptive move of sorts -- trying to convey the idea of "Don't worry, soccer isn't really like that, we hate that kind of wussy behavior too."

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I've never heard of a fine for criticizing a player (though it is unorthodox to call one out by name).

That said, Nowak is laying it on a bit thick. The fact is, two other Union players could easily have been tossed, and I wouldn't be surprised if the league sits A Moreno for a game for his attempt at emergency calf surgery.

Thought Jacobson held his own, which was good to see, and that Philly has some nice players generally. And as expected, Seattle looked quite good.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 26, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"He is complaining and whining about missing a goal and trying to push the referee for a yellow card, [it] is not up to his standards."
*****

I'm confused. I thought this was the same Freddie Ljungberg who played for Arsenal. Odd to have two players with the same unusual name.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | March 26, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else catch Montero winking to his team mate once the card was pulled on Califf?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Seattle supporters have a new banner.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

In defense of the AP, the degree of difficulty on Montero's goal was pretty high. A diving header from an acute angle on a well-struck, skipping ball.... that's not easy to get all those things to line up. However, goal of the year? Not so much.

Posted by: Kenobi | March 26, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm sorry, but this is freaking pathetic:

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Seattle probably did embellish, but I'm with Demon on this one -- Philly was playing wildly. More like wrestling or American football than soccer. Two stiff knee shots to the backs of Sounder players deserved cards. Myrie's flying takedown of Nakuani would have been a good open-field tackle by a Philadelphia Eagle cornerback, not a Union fullback. I thought at least 5 of those cards were deserved, and Myrie could have been shown a straight red.

That said, it has gotten old watching Ljunberg complain almost every time he touches the ball that he was fouled -- but, that's separate from the fouls that were called.

So, if Sunil Chettri won't have his visa in time for the game against DC, does Sunil Gulati suit up in his place? Is this the beginning of Soccernomics' prediction that India will someday dominate the sport?

Given Carroll's track record as a pro coach, maybe he should get used to hanging out at Sounders games. In a couple of years, that might be the only kind of football he gets to see at Qwest.

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Not so sure Freddie was "laying it on" Replays show the defender kneed him pretty hard in the lower back and then did the same thing to another guy when he got his second yellow. Guy won't last long if he keeps that up.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | March 26, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

oh oh...indian guy playing for the kc wizards? crap, looks like the wizards are my second fave team all of a sudden. maybe dc united could sign baichung bhutia?

Posted by: birdynumnum | March 26, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Over all well officiated game last night. If Nowak continues to encourage his team to play like that I hope they finish every game with 10 or less players on the field.

Posted by: csd1 | March 26, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

christophermc, I don't get it?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

dad, i think christophermc meant that there is NO MENTIONE of the union game on a philly "local sports" website. i think.

Posted by: birdynumnum | March 26, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

You know birdy, if San Jose signed Vikrash Dorashoo, Michael Chopra, and... ummmm... Jesminder Bhamra, they'd sell out season tickets to the software nerds.

Samosas at the game would be a good thing too.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I agree with many of the previous commenters that Nowak singled out (remember Singled Out?) the wrong player. The foul on Ljunberg on Ljunberg that resulted in a yellow looked like it hurt quite a bit. Whereas, the foul on Montero that resulted in the second yellow was pretty soft and Montero looked like he was practicing his best seal impression.

I also thought the Union's color scheme to be pretty unappealing.

PS: if it's kosher to refer to them as The Union, it makes it easier for people to refer to DCU as the United. Has anyone called out Philly for having such a similar name to DC?

Posted by: diego_r | March 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I thought Piotr was going to say that he was going to send him back to ....THE HOSPITAL! Yeah, Hospital! Yeah, that's the ticket!

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 26, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that's right, birdy: one of the two big dailies in Philly, and nothing about the debut of a team that just invested tens of millions of dollars in the community.

Well, almost nothing. There's a little agate-sized line near the bottom, along with a link to a two-day-old column.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Why would the paper splash a big story about the new team, whose stadium isn't completed yet, having a terrible opening away game. Not to mention, the story is there. You simply need to scroll down the page a bit, and click this:
http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/soccer/20100326_Union_debuts__scoreless_in_Seattle.html

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Why would the paper splash a big story about the new team"

I don't know. Ask the Philadelphia Inquirer, which doesn't seem daunted by your odd criteria: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

(I will say I'm not up to speed on the whole Inquirer/Daily News status these days. I know they've been combined in some form, at least in print.)

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Samosas at the game would be a good thing too.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

(homer simpson face with drool)...mmmmmm....samosas....(/homer simpson face with drool)

Posted by: birdynumnum | March 26, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@birdynumnum -- There's a link on the page to the article. It's just that soccer is buried near the bottom of the page. I think WaPo is the rare exception of a major daily that features the local team in any visible way.

Try doing what I did yesterday, to find local coverage of the LA teams. The LA Times has no link on its sports front page for soccer or either team. The Daily News has a pulldown menu for local teams -- they have the Galaxy listed, but not Chivas -- if you click on it, you get to coverage of both teams. Anyway, I decided to drop Lahoud and Galindo from my fantasy team....

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Happy to kick off the new season at last! Seems like forever...

In fact, it's been so long that I forgot how much I loathe watching Montero flop and whine. I think I'll buy a round for RFK if he's ever booked for diving.

(And if the off-season seemed long, it's nothing compared to how long this season is going to feel for PU. I almost pity them. Almost.)

Posted by: -rke- | March 26, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Seattle paper(s) do a solid job, as does the Columbus Dispatch. The Salt Lake dailies are pretty good to RSL. And NYRB coverage can be decent among certain NY/NJ papers. The Chronicle keeps the Dynamo pretty high-profile as well.

So it's not just WaPo, though obviously Goff is the king of newspaper soccer scribes.

Regardless, the debut of Philly's big-league soccer team -- one that will be drawing hundreds of thousands of patrons this summer to its own new stadium -- is worth more than an agate line on the front of a local paper's sports section.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

i thought the Union's uniforms were going to be ugly, but last night really confirmed it. I realized that they're the same colors as the Washington Wizards when they had the gold/navy uniforms which were pretty universally reviled.

Posted by: joe_hill | March 26, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

No mention of Carey Talley yet? It's like 1998 all over again with Onalfo and him back. I'm waiting for Brian Kamler or Geoff Aunger to be signed for more depth.

Posted by: creel | March 26, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"i thought the Union's uniforms were going to be ugly, but last night really confirmed it."

After watching Phili play maybe they went with that color scheme so that the blood of their opponents would be harder to see on their jerseys.

Posted by: csd1 | March 26, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

FYI..Sunil Chetri is for real. Not sure how things will Proceed in KC though, I just can't seem him getting too much time here in the states. There are a lot of Local Indian players that are really good but the lack of a solid league and infrastructure means players will go to college and look for job overseas. My state in India before I came here was especially good in soccer but players would rather work overseas then continue with football

Posted by: godpere | March 26, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@creel -- there was a whole thread post yesterday on Talley's signing... It's right there on the left of the page, under "recent posts".

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Montero's constant simulation really makes it hard to watch Sounders games. im not bothered so much by the diving (part of the game), its the rolling on the ground that is so annoying. and in the end, it makes him look like hes "crying wolf" when something like the Wicks incident happens. if MLS wants Americans to watch their product, they should put forth an effort to stamp that crap out. Someone mentioned it above, but Philly sports fans wont put up with that garbage.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 26, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Christopher, I hear what you're saying but I'm not losing any sleep over Philly's news sources acting a little unplussed by the team just yet. I alluded to the fact that the team may suffer a bit to start not just because they appear to suck, but because they're stadium ISN'T finished yet and they will play the first couple months of the season mostly on the road. It's not all that complicated to you and I, but to the joe blow Philly sports fan I think it may be a hard sale.

Seattle media is still lacking, and the beginning of last season it took a little while to get the media to catch up to the buzz that was happening on it's own.

Regardless, I'm thankful for what Goff and his minions at the WaPo do for United's fans. The bar is set awfully high here. It'll take some time in Philly, and it won't be pretty, but once that stadium is finished and folks are enjoying sunny summer afternoons on the river the papers will start talking about it.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@godpere -- Well, then...Let's all hope Chettri does well in KC. If he brings a lot of good press for MLS in INdia, that could mean a lot of new fans for the league, plus a new pipeline for talent. No doubt, a lot of players would take it seriously, if they thought it might get them to the USA....

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

LOL at some people defending the sounders diving. No crap the foul that resulted in the red card was a cardable offense, it all of the other diving and complaining that they do that’s annoying.

Not to mention the Union played well and had equal possession if not more possession than the Sounders did until the red card.

Seattle will do well this year cause of there home field advantage. NO not because of there fans, but getting to play on that crap they call a field week in and week out is a definet advantage.

Posted by: francisco_11 | March 26, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Wind, rain and sloppy field conditions. Sounders looked decent, while the Union has a lot of work to do. To complement the sloppy conditions, Harkes and Dellamaera did their usual best in suffocating the game with irrelevant chatter throughout the game. These two should switch to doing MLB and NFL games when plenty of down time is used to chatter away about everything else except the game.

Posted by: juke2 | March 26, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@fischy - Ah, thanks. I was internet-free after leaving work yesterday so Goff's Moreno piece was the first I'd seen of the signing.

Posted by: creel | March 26, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gofferinho! You going down to KC or will you be going to one of the viewing parties around town tomorrow!?!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of which -- the most interesting thing I heard last night -- and I'm not vouching for the accuracy to the claim -- was that there are now more international players from Colombia than any other country in MLS. Certainly, Colombia does look like a good recruiting locale for MLS -- fairly rich pool of talent, but lacking the quality of the professional leagues in Chile, Brazil and Argentina. What it points to, though, is the need to build up MLS' outreach in Mexico. Some day -- it seems to me -- there should be as many Mexican players as all other foreign nationalities combined.

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Montero is just continuing a proud tradition. Blanco and the Italians taught him well. :)

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 26, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Seattle flopped their way through last season so it's not a surprise they are picking up where they left off."

Wah-wah-wah-wah...it's just SAD when people are so jealous of someone else's success that they have to invent lame excuses to try and drag everyone else down to their miserable level. Ho-hum...what's really sad is that soccer is so wildly successful here - while all these supposedly "superior" franchises are skating along the brink of oblivion - that the Sounders draw 37,000+ into an outdoor stadium in the rain at 43 degrees, while all these veteran teams struggle to get 15,000 into the stadium in 72 degrees and sunshine. Face it, kids: Seattle is the best soccer town in the US and flopping is a part of the game that EVERY team uses. Better turn off your computers and invent some other good excuses, m'kay?

Posted by: stevebody | March 26, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"the need to build up MLS' outreach in Mexico"

So that we can have more diving?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

MLS Nationalities 2010:
USA/Canada -- 236
Colombia -- 12
Brazil -- 11
Jamaica -- 10
Argentina -- 8
A bunch of countries -- 5
Mexico -- 4
Chile -- 0

Posted by: mjhoya12 | March 26, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"flopping is a part of the game that EVERY team uses."

Depends on who's teaching the game. There are areas of the world where it is detested and considered unsportsmanlike. The USA is one of those areas. We hate diving and we will always detest players that regularly dive! Get used to it!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 26, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

thanks I-270 and birdy - my lunch choice has been made. 5 orders of samosas to go, please!

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | March 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Seattle has a tendency to dive and embellish, especially Montero."

"OH YEAH WELL WE HAVE MORE FANS THAN ANYONE."

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fine example of what is known in logic as a "non sequitur," from the Latin: "it does not follow." Assertion 1 and assertion 2 have no logical connection to one another. It's a poor way to debate, and I would recommend avoiding it in polite company if you'd like to be taken seriously. If you're just going for simple rhetorical ethos-based points, however - "37K fans like it so it can't be wrong" - it serves nicely.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Diving is a great sport. However, it is meant for the water not the pitch.

Posted by: blackandred777 | March 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

NOWAK IS DEAD SPOT ON.

Lungberg should be made an honorary Mexican.

Also, moments before the Philly center back was sent off for a very very soft 2d yellow, Fearless Freddy made no attempt to play the ball -- didn't even look at it -- and took dead aim at an exposed Califf on the sideline.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 26, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

... an exposed Califf on the sideline.
Posted by: OWNTF
===========

First post on Califf's mohawk.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm sorry, but this is freaking pathetic:

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 26, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The reality is it will be hard for the Union to break media glass ceiling in Philly, at least for a while. Each of the "major" sports franchises has their own distinctive fan base, and the Phillies and Eagles pretty much own the town.

Anyway, the home game vs. United will be a better test of their popularity. Last night's game was on at 9:30, going up against NCAA basketball. The home game will be two days before the Phils open up their season, so they should have a stage to perform on for their city.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | March 26, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Nowak: "I think that if you play the game, you should play it fair and not whine about every foul," said Union manager Peter Nowak, referring to Ljungberg. "He is a world-class player that has played in a bunch of games, he is a high-caliber player, something like that is below his standards, but that's just what I think, that's just Peter Nowak thought . . . if he did that back in England with Arsenal or West Ham, fans would be booing him."

Garber: "Peter Nowak is a very experienced coach who we have a lot of respect for [in this league]," he said. "I think he is going to play a style he thinks works best for his team.

"Certainly everybody will remember the fact that their opening game had a guy that got red-carded, but that's the way Philadelphia has opted to play and that's really something that's up to the coach."

Wow, Don. Pretty even-handed.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 26, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

from goal to be really threatening. I think soccer needs to learn from hockey. Certain fouls may not be worthy of a "game misconduct'", but the offending team ought to be forced to play shorthanded for a certain time, depending on the severity or circumstances of the foul. FIFA was looking at lessening the consequences of fouls in the box -- a PK, plus a red card. Maybe, the answer is that there could be a lesser penalty for some of those fouls and a greater penalty for others, if refs could do something short of the red card game ejection. A 2 minute man advantage seems a bit small for some fouls, especially if the other team loses an injured player for a minute or two. How about 5 minute penalties and ten-minute major penalties?

I think this would cut down on 'professional' fouls, reckless charges and diving. The end result would be a much more attractive game. Still physical, but one which rewards real ball skills instead of unsportsmanlike plays and places less of a premium on acting, I realize it might seem this might make it even more rewarding to dive, if you can force a man-advantage, but what if it makes refs quicker to penalize diving with time in the penalty box?

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else catch Montero winking to his team mate once the card was pulled on Califf?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 9:42 AM

Yes, at which point I flipped the bird at my television.

Posted by: sec133row5 | March 26, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a well reffed game for the most part. On the foul on Lundberg that drew the card, could have gone against the other Philly player involved. But I assume Nowak told them to play that way--Philly was very physical. Lots of off-the-ball pushing and tripping. Lundberg isn't a diver--Montero may be, but the second yellow that got the Philly defender sent off involved a run into Montero from about five yards away, with a raised knee into Montero's back.

Oh, and Harkes has really, really degenerated as a commentator. he now sounds like those retread bozo English players on Sky Sports--"well, that's not a card, I don't think" as a player is chopped down. English league allows much more physical play than others (watch some Spanish, or even Italian matches sometime). But its a lousy standard for good football. Italy is the best for seeing really great operatic simulation, although you can always watch Drogba for Chelsea if you need to see more diving.

Bottom line? Good reffing, maybe needed a little more effort at controlling the match early without cards. But maybe MLS has told the refs to card more aggressively.

Posted by: macheath | March 26, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Big oops. The top part of my post got cut. I hate how that happens so easily with online software.

I was giving I-270 some props for his line about Mexicans and diving.

The preface to my argument, which was lost, was that there's a reason why there's diving in soccer. It's because it's so hard to score in the run of play, and it's so easy to disrupt the few good attacks, with "professional fouls". I was struck by the reaction of the announcers during Olympic hockey, when a Canadian player appeared to go down way too easily with an opponents' stick between his legs. They acted like they'd never seen a dive in hockey before. It happens in soccer because there's too little risk in diving and too little reward in trying to play through.

I'm not 100% sure that my proposal to have timed man-advantages wouldn't make things worse with respect to diving -- but taking away the professional fouls would open up offenses and change the risk/reward equation for trying to play through and score in the run of play.

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Nice feature on Moreno, Steve. He's been a joy to watch, and I'm glad he's back on form. When he's on, United is a better team.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 26, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Is Carey Talley signed?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that there's film of Piotr stomping on Fredy's hand?

(My apologies for stirring the pot)

Posted by: carnack | March 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Then on the eighth day he said thou shall not dive nor flop on thy pitch.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 26, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

fischy - along the same lines of your proposal, I was thinking that penalty kicks are boring, and pose an unfair disadvantage to the keeper. so what if they did something (also similar to hockey) where the attacking player got the ball say 35 yards out, and then had 5 seconds to place a shot on goal? seems like it would be more entertaining, and way better than settling games in a tie.

snark aside, i think anything fifa can do to reduce diving/simulation should be welcomed. though, i think adding complex penalties for different types of fouls would seem to detract from the simplicity of the beautiful game. in the end though, it will always fall on a match official to make the calls.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 26, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the ref sends me off for five minutes without a card. Great, when I come back I can foul someone else without worrying about a red.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I've always thought a disciplinary committee of refs should review tape after the game and provide suspensions for those guilty of diving. It doesn't change the result of the game in question, but it does provide a measure of deterrence to players decisions to dive. Anyone remember Rivaldo pretending to have been hit in the face during WC2002? I thought he should have been thrown out of the tournament, not just for that act, but for laughing after the game about how he conned the ref.

Posted by: troy6 | March 26, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@troy6

+1

Posted by: VTUnited | March 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Good for Nowak. The cards in that game were, for the most part, a joke. Especially the foul that resulted in the Red.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 26, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Dude, you can watch the replay of the game and clearly see Montero winking to someone after asking for the yellow card on Califf. What a pile of crap.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in reading my script for Harold and Kumar go to Great American Ballpark?

Posted by: Phil_McCracken | March 26, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Stahl's second yellow was entirely justified. The 2nd replay proved it: he kicked Montero on Montero's left side, while the ball was on Montero's right. Stahl missed the ball by such a distance that I actually chuckled at him.

What made Stahl's sending off harsh was that his first yellow could just as easily have gone to Myrie, since the two of them essentially went high-low on Montero. Both committed a foul, and Salazar just picked Stahl arbitrarily afterwards.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 26, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I tried to post something earlier, but it failed for some reason. Probably good in that I think I insulted a bunch of people -- including Onalfo, the regulars on this board, and some people's mothers.

Let me just say that I'm glad the fans aren't in control of the game. Like the stupid comments pre-CBA about $`0 million salary caps and complete free agency, this whining and proposing of rule changes based on a perceived "diving" problem is just stupid.

There is nothing wrong with the sport the way it is. It doesn't need fixing from a bunch of Internet soccer nerds -- myself included.

Posted by: scott47a | March 26, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else catch Montero winking to his team mate once the card was pulled on Califf?
Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 9:42 AM

Saw it too. I think thats what Nowak is saying. Its an annoying tread all over the world. The Christiano Ronaldo thing. You're the best player on the field, quit flopping. No one wants to see you fall they want to see what you can do with the ball. Quit trying to whine and cheat and get more, you're all ready the better player, act like it.

By the way, philly was fouling, but not everything was an uber dramatic injury inducing foul.

Appropriately, i have the same comment to the seattle fans. If you're the best franchise, act like it. Quit whining when someone complains about something (like the fact that your team is truthfully flopping). Lose the inferiority complex and act like you've been a fan of a sports team before.

Posted by: Brian76 | March 26, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic. Pure rubbish. Did you even watch the match last night? Sounds like sour grapes from most (not all) on here. Are you seriously still that butt-hurt from the Open Cup loss? Granted it wasn't the prettiest match with the conditions and an expansion team that will struggle to keep pace with KC. But those cards were spot on. If you have to resort to kneeing and (American) football tackles you're gonna get cards. End of story. It's gonna be a LONG year for Philly.

As for Montero, yes he does go down a bit too easy in general. I think it has more to do with him being a bit slight. But not last night. As for his "wink", watched again and didn't see it. But maybe it just might have been because the season was only a minute old and it's already the same old story... If you can't keep up with em then just hack, kick, knee em, and body slam em? Nice tactics.

Posted by: SoundersMob | March 26, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the ref sends me off for five minutes without a card. Great, when I come back I can foul someone else without worrying about a red.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 1:05 PM
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I didn't say the sending off would be without a card. I'm supposing it would be in addition to the yellow. My point being that the caution obviously isn't enough of a deterrent, if professional fouls are so regularly committed. With respect to diving, it's the same -- simulation is supposed to get a yellow card. I'm suggesting that it would be more effectively discouraged if the diver also got sent off for a few minutes. That would make divers think twice.

Posted by: fischy | March 26, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

OK. Maybe it was the split inverted post or maybe I was thinking about samosas, but thanks for the clarification. I think a better measure would be to have the offending player play those five minutes using only one leg. That way, it would be the equivalent of playing a man down and he would look really stupid and be the subject of ridicule.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 26, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, I disagree with your earlier comment that MLS should be going after more Mexican players.

I'm not saying they should be shunned, but overall, players from the Mexican league are pretty well compensated and expensive for MLS teams to sign. And if the players aren't well-known enough the targeted Mexican fanbase might not bother coming out. Cuauhtemoc Blanco has been a good player and helped market the Fire and the league but not many other Mexican players would have that sort of clout.

Colombia, Central America, wherever - as long as the players are good enough to help their team - they should be worthwhile signings.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 26, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

SoundersMob, ESPN360 has a great archive of the "wink". Take a second to remove your Rave tinted shades brother and go watch the first few minutes of the game over. You might just catch it.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

if MLS wants Americans to watch their product, they should put forth an effort to stamp that crap out.

===

Josh Wicks is a step ahead of you.

Posted by: mason08 | March 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

if Boca's first goal was on purpose, that's genius!

Posted by: Pete803 | March 26, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Agree with everyone here, Nowak is telling the truth. Montero and Ljungberg were ridiculous all night. A card in the 7th minute for something nobody saw against the captain? ridiculous. both of flopped around and acted as their backs had been hit when it was clear neither touch had been anywhere near that part of them. disgrace.

Posted by: crocken | March 26, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Talk about hypocrisy! Nowak's post-game whining doesn't win any sympathy from me.

Posted by: Brokenbil | March 26, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan, OK, I just saw it. And seriously? All the fuss over that? It's absurd. Yes it looked like he did "wink". But so what? There is absolutely no context whatsoever. Who or what is he winking at? Union player, Sounders player, ref, coach? Sounds like you are just grasping for something to hate on. And we all know how much you love/hate Seattle...

And thanks but no Rave tinted glasses needed. I call em like I see em without bias. Does Freddie whine a lot? Yup sure does. Does Montero fall down too much/flop? Yup again. Is it annoying? Right. Are they also the two most fouled players in MLS? YUP. Hmmm....

Also, and I'm talking about the whole league here, why does everyone go straight to the "diving"? Even when it's legit that a player gets hammered he's "diving". How about the other side of the coin? There are too many inferior players in this league that have to resort to mugging and hacking to get a stop or when they're straight beat. I'm not talking about hard tackles or even the occasional accidental studs up. Just straight thuggery to cover for shoddy defense. And nobody ever addresses that? You want to see what the best players can do with the ball (Brian76)? Me too! Stop the thuggery and you'll stop most of the real diving. And maybe increase the level of play at the same time.

Posted by: SoundersMob | March 27, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Same old griping from those who used to win trophies, and used to score goals.

Really, shut-out 4-0 by KC? Will love to see what the Revolution do to you.

Posted by: captainwierd | March 28, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

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