Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Two new stars reverse fortunes in second week
by Ridge Mahoney, March 28th, 2011 1:47AM

TAGS:  kansas city wizards, mls, vancouver whitecaps


[MLS RED CARDS] They were two-goal heroes in the first week of play and sent off in the second, so in Week 3 Vancouver and Sporting Kansas City, respectively, will have to make do without Designated Players Eric Hassli and Omar Bravo when they meet Saturday at Empire Field.

Seldom have two DPs debuted so dramatically in quite different ways in their first two league appearances. Hassli took a second caution for a late and needless midfield lunge at defender Carlos Valdes, and Bravo was sent off with a straight red for a push into the back of Gustavo Puerari as he prepared to put away a long, breakaway pass from Marco Pappa.

Both teams that went down to 10 men lost, but not much else about the incidents were similar. Vancouver fell, 1-0, to Philadelphia on a Carlos Ruiz goal, and the penalty kick awarded for Bravo’s alleged foul triggered a three-goal outburst that carried Chicago past SKC, 3-2.

Though Hassli reacted incredulously when the red card came out, he really didn’t have a case; his late tackle badly missed the ball and caught Valdes high on the leg.

On the other hand, Bravo sprinted to chase down Puerari and got close enough to put in a challenge, but as he attempted a tackle he jarred Puerari with his arm as the Fire attacker wound up to shoot. As Puerari stumbled he missed the ball, which Bravo kicked out for a corner.

Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen held his head in disbelief and SKC manager Peter Vermes protested vehemently. After the match Vermes said to, “It’s not a red card, it is not even a penalty. Omar goes in, and at the same time he’s giving the guy a little shoulder and he kicks the ball out-of-bounds himself. The guy didn’t even take a shot.”

The merits of the two dismissals aside, both were intriguing examples of DPs who were signed to score goals doing much more. In his first game, Hassli worked all over the attacking half of the field while scoring the first and fourth goals of a 4-2 win. Bravo’s guile and energy, plus two goals, enabled SKC to win the first of 10 straight home games, 3-2, over Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.

Hassli arrived shortly before the start of the season, Kansas City announced Bravo’s signing last year, months before tacking “Sporting” in front of its name. After getting off to great starts, they hit bottom, and now have to sit out a game while their teams make do without them.

Their coaches can’t fault them for effort. They may ask for a bit more discretion in defensive duties, and there’s no telling how that commitment will hold up over the long haul, yet at least two of this year’s new crop of Designated Players seem willing to be team players as well.

No comments yet.

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"To get a point in a game like this under these conditions, with a big crowd ...
Concacaf Olympic Qualifying: Day 4    
Mexico and Honduras clinched berths in the semifinals of the Concacaf Olympic men's qualifying tournament with ...
What They're Saying: George Tarantini (as told by Sigi Schmid)    
"I know you and Bruce, you are very competitive. And I know every time Bruce's team ...
MLS Weekend: Race for Supporters' Shield wide open    
As MLS breaks -- 15 of 20 teams are off -- for the October international window, ...
Klinsmann: 'This is about belief'    
Jurgen Klinsmann was not shy in explaining what he was looking for in his team that ...
U.S. Abroad: Williams scores after 15 seconds, Yedlin starts    
Danny Williams, who was called into the U.S. squad for the Concacaf Cup, needed only 15 ...
What They're Saying: Peter Vermes    
"I mean this with all due respect -- he picked those guys apart." -- Sporting KC ...
TV Report: All MLS playoff games will air nationally    
All MLS playoff matches will air on national television for the first time. The expanded playoffs ...
Video Pick: A big blunder by keeper Bernd Leno     
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno made the most embarrassing blunder of the weekend in a 1-1 ...
U.S. Abroad: Danny Williams scores after 11 seconds    
Danny Williams, who was called into the U.S. squad for the Concacaf Cup, needed only 11 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives