The 2019 season has not started well for the New York Red Bulls and Paraguayan national team midfielder Kaku, and it got worse on Sunday.
Minutes away from getting out of Kansas
City's Children's Mercy Park with a win over Sporting KC, the Red Bulls had conceded a tying goal to 16-year-old Gianluca Busio, his third straight game with a goal.
Kaku was red carded after a ball was deflected out of bounds on the sideline and he slammed it into the stands, hitting a Sporting KC fan in the face. Players from both teams came over and a scuffle
ensued. The game ended in a 2-2 tie, giving the 2018 MLS Supporters' Shield winners just five points in six games.
Afterwards, Sean Davis and Tim Parker and other Red Bulls players came over to check on the condition of the fan. Sporting KC's
Andreu Fontas also went over and gave the fan his game jersey.
"I was so close when I saw the ball," he said. "It was a very, very, very hard ball that he gets in his face. I felt
very bad for him because he was here to enjoy and to see a good show, a good match and he doesn't deserve this. I went to give him my jersey because I felt very bad for him and [wanted to make him]
feel a little bit better. I said, 'I hope you're okay. Thank you for the support.' It's bad luck and for sure, the other player of the other team didn't want to hit him in his face, but it was one of
the hardest things I've seen in a stadium. Hopefully, he's okay and he can come back next game to support us."
Following the Red Bulls coach Chris Armas and winger Daniel
Royer said Kaku didn't intent to hit the fan.
"Listen, I think we've got to make good decisions," said Armas. "I think Kaku was hoping for a different pass. He's apologized to the
team and to the fan, as well. I think he's just frustrated and trying to smash it into the signage. You've got to be careful. We hope that the gentleman is okay. We apologize. We're sorry that
Royer also said Kaku was trying to hit the sign board along the sidelines.
"It's very unfortunate," he said. "We're very sorry for what happened. I think he
definitely didn't mean to hit a person. He definitely meant to hit the board and it shouldn't have happened. He's sorry and we're sorry and he definitely didn't mean to do that."
in his second season with the Red Bulls after signing from Huracan in his native Argentina as a Young Designated Player. He finished with six goals and 14 assists but cooled off late in the 2018
Still, Kaku attracted interest in the offseason from Mexico's Club America and was upset when the deal did not go through, saying the Red Bulls' asking price was "not
reasonable." Armas said Kaku was getting along with his Red Bulls teammates but the playmaker then missed the Red Bulls' second game of the season, a 4-1 win over San Jose that is their only MLS win
to date in six games. Armas termed the absence due to a "minor internal issue."
"Kaku is an emotional guy," said Red Bulls captain Luis Robles. "He plays with a lot of passion and
frustration got the better of him. I don't think he was in any way trying to be violent toward the other team or their fans. It's just emotion is a big part of this. He has to find a way to control it
and to temper it because he was amazing in the second half."
Kaku's assist on sub Brian White's goal that put the Red Bulls ahead 2-1 in the 75th minute was his first assist in 18
MLS regular-season games dating back to last season.
After the game, he issued two tweets to apologize for what happened though he likely faces an extended suspension.
I want to take the time and apologize for my actions during tonight’s match. As a competitor, I was frustrated with myself and took out my frustrations in a way that is not acceptable.
I love this game and would never want to disrespect it. pic.twitter.com/0f1ufcXyJ4