Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Squanderers of sitters, take heart
by Ridge Mahoney, April 26th, 2010 3:07PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  kansas city wizards, mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

Kei Kamara, you are in good company.

His astonishing failure to put a ball over the goal line while sliding across said line in the Wizards-Galaxy game Saturday isn’t atypical at all of how maddening it can be to score goals in a game fraught with incongruities. A dominant team can easily lose if it can’t put the ball in the net, and you’d think any player of pro caliber could get the right body part on a ball to advance it a few feet.

Think again. As the former Belgium national team coach Guy Thys once said, “Soccer is a very cruel game.” He was referring to other aspects of top-level soccer, such as elimination from the World Cup via penalty-kick shootouts, but Kamara’s ineptitude certainly falls into this category. As Kamara slid, he kicked at the ball and missed, and compounded his humiliation by knocking it over the goal line with his arm.

Unlike Diego Maradona’s handball goal in the 1986 World Cup and Thierry Henry’s infamous arm-trap last November in a playoff against Ireland, the officials as well as the crowd and TV audience spotted this transgression: Whistle, no goal, and via YouTube, a fair degree of ignominious embarrassment. But hardly could it be called unprecedented, or even rare.

A few hours earlier, in a game of much greater prestige and presumably, competence, a proven international player fluffed a chance only slightly more challenging. Before he scored one of Chelsea’s goals in a 7-0 thrashing of Stoke City, French winger Florent Malouda stubbed a shot wide while so close to the goal line he could have fallen forward onto it.

Malouda, no joke, missed from a maximum of four feet, while dead-center in front of the goal. And he didn’t whiff on the ball, as so many squanderers of sitters have done in the past. He actually made contact to the square pass and somehow got so little on the “shot," for lack of a better word, that the ball rolled wide of the left post. Any appreciable nudge would have changed the ball’s direction enough to sneak inside the upright, yet still Malouda managed not to do so.

Remember the great Toby Charles call, “It was easier to score than to miss.”? Yea, verily, so it goes.

To review: On a ball rolled – not drilled, not belted, not chipped -- to him from the right wing, while stationed a yard or so from the goal line and equidistant between both posts eight yards apart, he missed the frame entirely. He took it far too casually with Chelsea in the midst of thrashing Stoke; Kamara perhaps got too anxious trying to score what could have been the only goal of a tight game.

Too much pressure, not enough pressure, whatever the circumstance, some truly incredible occurrences have plagued players faced with the simplest of scoring tasks. Many moons ago, a British quasi-pundit named Danny Baker hosted a memorable video entitled “Tears, Kisses and Awful Misses,” and suffice to say, it humbled every pro and exonerated every pub-team denizen to stumble or tumble away a tap-in.

Maybe it’s time for the great video archivistDavid Brett Wasser to compile the best fluffs in the American game. Between MLS and the national teams, there’s plenty of material, as there would be in any other country. If there’s a universality to the game beyond its appeal and spectacle, it’s how many comical, humiliating, and maddening methods there are to muck up scoring a goal.

To put Malouda’s Miss -- not to mention Kamara’s Kalamity -- in perspective, those sensitive, caring folks at the Daily Mail assembled a collection of memorable mangles. They are just a few of nearly countless reminders as to how the game, and the frame, will keep you humble.

What’s the worst miss you've ever seen at the pro/international level? (Your Sunday games and parking-lot kickarounds don’t count.)



1 comment
  1. Brian Herbert
    commented on: April 27, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.
    Just saw one in the Lyon-Bayern game a couple minutes ago. The Lyon forward, with half an open net directly in front of him, missed badly on a volley shot. Could have tied the match before HT, but instead Lyon now needs to outscore Bayern by 3 in the second half, highly unlikely. I hate "easy" chances, perhaps because if you bury it, it was expected, and if you miss, you are scorned!

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Projecting U.S. roster for September qualifiers -- five changes in 23    
Three group matches and three knockout games in the Copa America Centenario affected the status of ...
Soccer America's Copa Centenario Best XI    
They went undefeated except against each other, so it's natural that players from champion Chile and ...
Is Klinsmann worthy of a remarkably long tenure?    
Next month marks the fifth anniversary of Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as USA head coach.
If the song remains the same, how can it be rewritten?    
Thumped by Argentina in a Copa America Centenario semifinal, the U.S. will nonetheless take positives from ...
Stepping on toes? That's not the solution to improving U.S. soccer    
Do you wonder what kind of advice Jurgen Klinsmann was giving his players during their loss ...
USA reaps benefits of South American opposition    
Reaching a Copa America Centenario semifinal against Argentina to be played on Tuesday is being hailed ...
USA has reason to celebrate but suspensions sure take edge off big win    
First, the good news from Thursday night in Seattle. The USA's 2-1 victory over Ecuador, which ...
Centenario group phase serves up plenty of spectacle, drama, and controversy    
When big teams like Brazil and Uruguay fell prone to lapses, other nations took advantage to ...
Guzan seizes chance for No. 1 shirt    
Seven straight games including all three at the Centenario have featured Brad Guzan in goal; he ...
Berliner John Brooks takes charge of USA's defense    
Just three years ago, John Brooks, born and raised in Berlin but the son of a ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives