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Another hectic night of 'Porterball'
by Paul Kennedy, April 16th, 2013 12:04AM
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TAGS:  mls, portland timbers, san jose earthquakes


[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 Valeri missed the San Jose game after being elbowed in the face by Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor.

  1. tom brown
    commented on: April 16, 2013 at 12:38 p.m.
    National NBC fix. From minute one. Referee Hilerio was talking to Jewsbury & any other Timber telling them to remain calm - the fix was in & sure enough when the time was right he delivered what NBC wanted.
  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: April 16, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
    I hate these packaged responses that clubs release to cover for their players. There are not Alan Gordon's words. These are the words of the Quakes PR person who wrote them for him. Your true words are what you really say when stressed & facing adversity, that's your true character coming through, what you really think inside. As ugly as it is, it's what he was raised with, and i'm sure is within many other pro athletes. They just haven't been caught on video yet.

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