[MLS SPOTLIGHT]It isn't common for MLS teams to face each other in back-to-back games, but in a fluke in the MLS schedule, the San Jose Earthquakes will host the Portland Timbers Sunday night, a week after their contentious match at Jeld-Wen Field won by the Timbers, 1-0. The main protagonist of the Jeld-Wen Field tussle, Alan Gordon, will be serving his one-game suspension after an an elbow to Mikael Silvestre got him tossed. But it was his mouth that should earn him a longer suspension ...
NBC Sports Network cameras caught Gordon barking a gay slur at Timbers captain Will Johnson. If you couldn't lip-read what Gordon said, you got a hint from Johnson, who pointed three fingers at Gordon -- as in the three-game suspensions MLS has handed out after similar incidents.
Johnson should know. Seattle Sounders defender Marc Burch was suspended for three games -- forcing him out of the 2012 Western Conference final -- after calling Johnson, then with Real Salt Lake, the same name last year.
(The other player suspended three games was then-Houston midfielder Colin Clark, who directed the same gay slur toward a ball boy in May 2012.)
The incident with Johnson -- who later scored the winning goal with a spectacular free kick -- came minutes before Gordon received his second yellow card of the game for his elbow that bloodied Silvestre.
Gordon left the stadium before speaking to the media but issued a statement through the Quakes:
“I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who watched tonight’s match on NBC Sports Network. The language I used came during a heated moment and does not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian community. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions."
The Earthquakes were upset that a second yellow card was not issued to Gordon until after a replay was shown on the Portland stadium's video scoreboard.
“You should let the officials call the game,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop said.
The Timbers won their second game in a row at home with "Porterball," the style of play under new coach Caleb Porter that emphasizes a high-paced possession game and that has gotten under the skin of their opponents.
A week earlier, Portland beat Houston, 2-0, in a match that resulted in two Timbers being injured.
Defender David Horst is out for six months after suffering a fractured right tibia, while Designated Player Diego Valerimissed the San Jose game after being elbowed in the face by Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor.