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On the Onstad incident… and that tarp

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Oct. 30, 2009 at 10:49 am with 18 Comments »
November 2, 2009 8:59 am

Note to Sounders management: You might want to rethink that Pat Onstad tarp in the west upper deck.

I know those things are expensive and they normally wouldn’t need to be replaced after a single season. But that is the goalkeeper of a Western Conference rival who was booed every time he touched the ball in what might have been the final home game of 2009. He really shouldn’t be there in 2010.

I say that despite Onstad seeming to be the nicest guy in the world — and a British Columbian at that, eh? — every time I speak to him.

And that was the case again last night in the Dynamo locker room:

On knocking Montero down: I think I was frustrated I didn’t get the call when I though Montero picked me. I just bumped his shoulder. If I had done that to Nate Jaqua he probably just would have (brushed it off. ) But Montero, we know he likes to embellish things and down he went. I deserved the yellow for unnecessary contact, but I didn’t raise my hand to his face or anything like that. I was glad the referee actually looked at it and he felt Montero was trying to embellish it.

Did Montero initiate any contact?: He was just trying to do his job, trying to make it difficult for me to get to the ball. I thought it was a foul, and the referee didn’t. He said ‘Play on.’ I was probably more frustrated with the referee than I was at Montero.

Did you fear a red card?: I didn’t think so. It would have been one of the most ridiculous red cards. We’ve been told if you put you hands to a guy’s face, fair enough. I guess anything could happen. By doing that I put myself at the referee’s mercy. But I think he made the right call.

On the series going to Houston even: I think we came in knowing it’s really about who can take their opportunities. I think we both probably missed a few opportunities tonight to score goals. If someone said you have 90 minutes to take them at home, we’d probably take that, rather than 180. But at the same token, by no means is it over. We’re just halfway through the 180-minute match.

And about that tarp: That’s kind of flattering. I’m going to have to talk to Xbox, see if I can get an Xbox for my family.

See? Nice guy. But I thought he deserved a red.

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. thriceallamerican says:

    Yeah, not sure what was up with Onstad last night. He has a great rep as a quality keeper and stand-up guy, but he went into full pee-are-eye-cee-kay mode last night, first with the hard shove and then faking a blow to the face in the ensuing shuffle. And then he has the audacity to go on about Fredy embellishing things…pot, meet kettle? If I could have booed him louder, I would have. Shoulda been a red. Unfortunately, Pat’s reputation helped him get only a yellow for a flagrant takedown, and Fredy’s reputation as a faker got him a yellow for getting knocked over. Salazar had no control over the game whatsoever.

  2. thriceallamerican says:

    Also, I hope the MLS is reviewing footage on the incident. If they don’t issue a suspension for match 2, Onstad ought to at least get slapped with a hefty fine. But then again, this is Garber and crew we’re talking about, so I wouldn’t count on it….

  3. jimkingjr says:

    Fredy has an undeserved reputation. Moaning over Blanco maybe leaving (he’s good gor the league, but Fredy’s not?)- give him an Oscar on his exit.

    Fredy dives no more than any other forward, and less as the season has progressed and he has learned what is expected in the States. He didn’t lay around and pout (and Freddie didn’t lose his cool)- big improvement as he has grown and adapted.

    Keepers and certain other teams hate Fredy because he scores goals, assists goals, and makes the aging prima donnas of the league look foolish.

    Well, we’ve down D.C. “Ain’t winning no trophies no more, no more” United, and the Houston Dynomutts are next. We are Rave Green, We are the Sounders- WTFAY?

  4. jimkingjr says:

    And the burning of the tarp should be a pre-game festivity just before the conference finals at Qwest- or someone should get up on the third level and draw horns…

  5. elmocatt says:

    Pretty wild and exciting match last night. Though disappointed that we did not score at all. Think we needed at least a one goal lead heading into the rematch, so I am a little nervous heading in to the Nov 8 match.

    The Onstad call by Salazar would have taken a lot of cajones to give the red – knocking him out of the series. While I don’t agree with 2 yellows that were called, I can at least see the perspective it in – trying to get both teams under control without dealing a death blow to one club. Still, if this had not been a playoff match, think we can all agree that the cards would have been different.

    After watching the tv replays, I am more concerned about the non-call on the Houston tackle of Gonzales early on – that was clearly a yellow. Noi excuse for that non-call. As for Nate’s “goal” I had noticed that several players on both teams had stopped, so assumed there had been a whistle (but since I was chanting/yelling at the time, did not hear anything). Watching the replays, can see that Salazar was looking and calling the foul, not looking down field, so cannot really argue with him on any possible advantage call as he was already pulling the trigger on the foul.

    Nice late sub to have Ianni in the line up (since Marshall was a late scratch) – 2 quality powerful headers on frame from him. If only Jaqua had that kind of heading ability. However, Nate did play like a man possessed last night – lots of energy, good positioning, and a very good passing display by him – think Ljungberg’s quality play is starting to rub off on him.

    Finally, glad that John McGrath’s column in today’s paper didn’t revert back to some of his earlier nonsense about disliking ties (and gimics to resolve them) from several months ago. Although, wish we had the lead heading into the 2nd leg of this, as Houston had played quite a few MLS and Concacaf CL matches lately, so they should have been tired and ripe for the picking.

  6. jimkingjr says:

    Remember- last year the Dynamutts drew on the road, lost at home 3 to 0 to the New York Red Bulls- the #8 team (seeded #4 in the West).

  7. derekyoung says:

    I imagine it’s kinda like Riley who seems like a heck of a nice guy off the field but is pretty aggressive on the pitch.

    But it still seemed out of character for a 41 year old vet to lose his marbles like that.

  8. ciscokid says:

    I felt this was a case of Fredy’s reputation working against him. Combined with scratching Onstad for the series and forcing Houston to play with 10 for 75 min, made it understandable to do what the Ref did (although I was not happy about it)

    And Jim, Montero’s horrible acting job around the 71st min of the Dallas game shows Fredy’s got a bit more growing yet to do.

    I was frustrated we didn’t get the goal we needed but I didn’t walk away as angry and frustrated as many others obviously did. First playoff game for a lot of our team, and Houston is the classic age and experience team using every dirty trick to cover their lack of speed and athleticism.

    The MLS is a rough league, the playoffs even rougher. I thought Seattle stood it’s ground well, and I feel we go into Houston with a fair chance to take this series. We may not but we’re certainly not out of it.

    Off Topic: I went to see a great soccer movie Wednesday night called The Damned United, about English futbol in the 70’s and specifically the true story of a coach, Brian Clough who climbed to the top of the premier league and took over a championship Leed’s team and then self-destructed in 6 weeks. You want to talk about rough dirty futbol, some of the scenes are unbelievable. The locker room and boardroom stuff is compelling. Great little movie. Get you in the mood for a rematch.

  9. jimkingjr says:

    Here’s another bit on Onstad- this is the highlights video we’ve all been looking at, for the scuffle at the 2:00 mark of the video.

    But look at 1:35- on the corner kick, where Onstad comes up and just pushes Fredy.

    I really hope the disciplinary committee is looking at this stuff.

    And I’m casting a vote for Keller as the new tarp god, looking down on the pitch at Qwest!

    And Cisco- I guess`my attitude is “tough” if calling the red card that should have been called really hurts the Dynamutts. Don’t do the crime…

    Especially in light of what one sees at 1:35, above. A certain pattern emerges.

  10. ciscokid says:

    “And Cisco- I guess`my attitude is “tough” if calling the red card that should have been called really hurts the Dynamutts. Don’t do the crime…”

    I don’t disagree with you, I just think Montero’s reputation for embellishment allowed Salazar to give Onstad the benefit of the doubt. If he had done it to a Levesque or an Evans it might have gone differently. And that’s the price Fredy (and the team) pays for his actions.

    I like Salazar and I thought he was very conscientious about trying to let the game flow. I do feel like he ultimately valued fouls committed by Houston differently than those by Seattle so while Houston got more fouls called on them, they got lots more warnings whereas Seattle went straight to yellows. That felt unfair to me, and is the one major criticism I have of his work last night.

    Speaking of which, does anyone know what the yellow card accumulation rules are for the playoffs? I can’t seem to find it on the MLS site. I would assume 3 yellows and you miss a game. Is that correct? I can’t imagine it resets after each round.

  11. Don Ruiz says:

    Yep, DY, I’ve thought that myself. Definitely on on-pitch James Riley and an off-pitch James Riley.

  12. jimkingjr says:

    Well, as I’ve said, I believe Montero’s reputation is undeserved. I’ve watched others pull a lot more. I think they are picking on the kid.

  13. WendellGee says:

    Don – You should ask why on Earth Onstad was put on the tarp in the first place. Unfortuantely, I think I know the answer. No one involved in the decision had any idea who he was, and figured “It’s just soccer – it doesn’t matter who is there. Just put some soccer player up there.”

    Anyway, you think even the most soccer ignorant folks in Seattle could think of a certain goalkeeper whose image might have been more appropriate.

  14. WendellGee says:

    And I agree 100 percent with jim about Montero and have though the same thing many times, last weeks antics vs Dallas notwithstanding.

  15. Don Ruiz says:

    WG — I wrote about how Onstad got on that tarp back when he and the Dynamo first came to Qwest back in July. I’ve added a link up top.

  16. jimkingjr says:

    When we were discussing “diving” a while back, Sigi’s attitude toward diving came up- and I cannot believe the coach would put up with having the King of the Divers on his team. It seems it is something that Fredy brought from Colombia, and has for the most part unlearned. It is an excuse by other teams, and if the officials are still bought into that, then there is yet another reason to be unhappy with them.

    I remember the July story on the tarp- and it still has to go…

  17. derekyoung says:

    The irony of the “dive” being that in reality, Montero stood less chance than me remaining upright against Walter Jones, and if you look closely, it was actually Onstad who faked injury after Montero went down holding his eye like Montero had hurt him.

    Fredy’s yellow was his own fault for his past bad acting. Yes he gets fouled a lot, but he sells it worse than a WWE wrestler sometimes.

  18. WendellGee says:

    If they wanted to kepp the image as generic as possible then surely they could have picked someone besides arguably the top goalkeeper in league history.

    I still think there was an underlying attitude of, “No biggie. It’s just soccer. No one knows who these people are.”

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