Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dive-Gate Continues

The fall out from the Wizards departure from the US Open Cup continues. Today at the Wizards weekly press conference, Coach Onalfo made his feelings about the game and the deciding penalty known. Onalfo pulled no punches in the discussion either calling Seattle striker, Fredy Montero a punk and said "it was devastating to get the penalty call in the 90th minute. It was a blatant dive. For me as a MLS coach, it was the worst I've felt in terms of being cheated of a game."

The quotes have been picked up over in the Northwest and not surprisingly, Sounders fans are taking exception to the comments. The debate picked up with the release yesterday of this photo of the penalty call by Rick Morrison. Thad over at The Back Post gave a good break down of this photo and what it could and couldn't mean in his write up on the game, giving his break down from the perspective of someone who has taken many action photos. I have to agree with his comment that Montero was already on his way down by the time the contact was initiated. In the photo linked above, Montero has already gone airborne to do his swan dive. If he was running his trailing leg would have been moving forward in a running motion.

There's also the question of whether or not Montero would have actually reached the ball anyways before it went out of bounds. Watching the highlights again I don't see how, even at full speed, Montero was going to reach that ball before it went out of bounds.

In the end, the play and Onalfo's comments should serve as bulletin board material for both sides when the two teams meet in Kansas City in October. As Onalfo said, "I was furious after the game and I told the guys to use that energy or anger down the road." This result (along with the first game against Seattle earlier this season) will only add to the competitiveness on the field in October.


GS-1 said...

You haven't addressed why Hartman chose to go after Montero on that play. That choice made up 1/2 of the equation and gave the official a tight decision to make. Hartman stays back, there is no such play. Hartman makes the move...well he must have thought there was danger. If there was danger the opponent might score...

Anonymous said...


Obviously there was danger, Montero had gotten behind the defense. Why would Hartman have sat back on his line and let Montero walk in? Hartman stays back he doesn't get the angle cut down and Montero likely scores an easy goal. That is absolutely idiotic and stupid if you're the keeper. Hartman had to come out and cut the angle down on Montero.

Mike said...

I didn't see a reason to address Hartman coming out cause as the anon poster said, it was the right move to make. Staying back gave Montero the entire goal to shot out, Hartman came out and cut down the angle the way goalkeepers are taught to.

Unknown said...

Maybe you guys would like to check out the VIDEO, and PHOTOGRAPHS of the play. One) Montero was ONSIDES, as the video CLEARLY shows. And two) in a sequence of photos taken less than a second apart, the first shows Montero UPRIGHT, running after the ball (which is about two feet in front of him), and the next, Hartman has his arm wrapped around Montero's ankle.
So, you can tell Curt that I said he needs to STFU, and stop whining like a little beotch. He whined like this, last year, when we beat you guys in the quarters.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was a penalty. That being said I cannot stand listening to Onalfo say that the game plan was well executed.

Really? So 1 shot on goal in 90 minutes was the game plan. Let's play better and produce SOME offense and things like this influence less.

Mike said...

I've watched the video and checked the pictures multiple times thank you very much.

1) I never said a word about Montero being offside. And Onalfo was not referring to that instance he was referring to a previous instance.

2) As for that sequence of photos. They may be taken less than a second apart, but as you can tell by the photos, Montero is already planting on his right foot, in that time he has plenty of time to lean forward and prepare his swan dive (especially at game speed).

As for the second photo, due to the angle of the picture you can't tell how close Hartman's arm is to Montero. Again I'll refer to Thad over at The Back Post about that.

Here again is his quote from his post about the early photo that was released. "I have taken enough photos and looked at enough photos to say that you can not conclude the exact location based on one image. We need more evidence to see if Montero is ankle deep in Kevin's pits or 2 feet away by his hand." Unless there's a picture from a 90 degree angle of that photo, you're not going to be able to tell exactly where his ankle is. It's the tricks of photography (not the photographer I'm not claiming a photoshop or some conspiracy) in regards to depth. According to a conversation I had with Thad today, it can be dependent on the type of lens and settings the photographer is using.

And you can tell Montero to stop trying to be a little Christiano Ronaldo wannabe with his theatrics on the field.

Anonymous said...

new photo:

Anonymous said...

seen it, hasn't changed my opinion, dive.

Anonymous said...

the only be-otch here is the punk diver Freddy Louganis, Can't wait to see him here at CAB, if he gets anywhere close to the Cauldron he better very scared, cause the little girl stalker is gonna meet Mr. Karma!

Anonymous said...

Be scared of the 500 fans in attendance? Please... And that coach of yours is definately a piece of work, even yelling out the security guard. CLASS ACT.

Anonymous said...

Better than having a rapist on your team like Seattle.

Unknown said...

What a joke you supposed Wizard (haha you are called the Wizards) fans are!

SSFC poured it on you guys for 90 and the damn finally broke.

How much soccer do you watch? You tell me a league where one of it's biggest starts doesn't get that call. Wow you guys are a piece of work!

12-6 on shots, let me repeat, 12-6 on shots, even with you "punks" wasting time all game.

But your right, I'm sure Montero is so scared of your 3/4 empty stadium and joke of a supporters section.

Take notes Hogwarts, you are quickly become a second class organization in this league and making excuses for your pathetic coach is only going to get you there faster.

Oh, by the way, we live in America where people are innocent until prove guilty. Montero was proven innocent and you are a real man for calling someone a rapist from your keyboard you little bitch!

Dan said...

At least we're named after humans instead of being named after a group of pigs.

I watch plenty of soccer and I'm sure Mike probably watches more soccer in a week than you do in a month so I'll trust his opinion.

No one has argued about the rest of the game. By all accounts from the reports Seattle dominated the game, good for them. Plenty of teams dominate games and don't get wins.

3/4 empty stadium? You're an idiot, KC has been regularly selling out the stadium and turning people away because there is no more space.

You are showing your ignorance of anything not related to the Sounders, OnGoal is a class organization that has worked wonders turning around this organization after it was left in taters by Hunt Sports Group. Please learn before spouting ignorance, but that's apparently what Sounders fans are good at.

That's funny, you complain about someone calling Montero a racist "from your keyboard" and then you call him a little bitch. So let me just say "you are a real man for calling someone a little bitch from your keyboard you little bitch!"

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:42, they actually have 2 players that have been investigated for sexual crimes. Jaqua's been accused of sexual assault.

Unknown said...

I didn't realize KC's stadium only held 11,000? Wow, you are right, I am totally ignorant.

Oh wait, you guys were last in attendance in 2008 with an average of 10,686.

You were last in 2007 with an average of 11,586.

You were last in 2006 with an average of 11,082.

Need I go on?

HAHAHA nice try though! By the way I put my name on my post and calling someone a bitch because they called someone a rapists is like comparing apple....well the Wizards to the Sounders.

BTW, just because he runs a soccer blog doesn't make him the be all end all for soccer opinion.

I am a paid sports journalist, have been a players and supporter of the game for decades and it was a foul. The only thing that could be argued (by the fans, not a classless coach just name calling) was if he could have gotten to the ball.

But I digress...

I will ask you again to name me a league where one of its biggest stars doesn't get that call?

At the end of the day the call matters very little. The better team that day won and all is well in the sports universe.

What's not ok is your organization allowing your coach to be a loud mouthed bully. If Sigi pulled that shit I would demand he apologize.

Just like my fellow supporters and I have YELLED AND SCREAMED for Montero to stop rolling around on the ground and taking the occasional dive. We don't like it, in fact I hate it.

However, this was a foul, plain and simple. I was there, I saw it first hand and have seen all of the evidence since. I don't even see how your leader on this blog can argue it.

Dan said...

2008 attendance, as you said, 10,686, that's OVER capacity of CAB, you can't do much more than that in a temporary venue when Arrowhead is under construction and that is the largest facility in KC that can be used.

Having talked with Mike, he has been the same as you, a reporter of the game and a player through the college and local amateur leagues around KC. Whether you consider blogs as reporters or not, Mike has done more reporting than all of the rest of the "media" in KC combined. Mike is the best reporter of KC in all of KC. Sure he lets his opinion out, but I appreciate that more than just the fact.

It doesn't make him the be all end all, but I trust his opinion as a former player at a level higher than I could ever play.

The better team did win, I'm not arguing that point, and I don't think Mike is. He's arguing HOW the better team won, on a dive. And honestly Mike brings forth decent evidence to contradict the call by the referee using the photographs and video from the game.

What's not ok about a coach speaking his mind? It's done all over the rest of the world, what's wrong with a coach in the US actually speaking his opinion on a player?

That's bullshit that you'd expect an apology. You'd be proud that your coach stood up for what he believed to be a bad call.

Oh, you were there, you're bias opinion obviously holds water (where's a rolling eyes smiley when I need it?).

Anonymous said...

"I am a paid sports journalist, have been a players and supporter of the game for decades and it was a foul."

So just because you're a paid sports journalist means you know more than people? I call bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Being a professional journalist does not make you better than anyone else. It does not mean you know more about the game than anyone else. Your profession means jack shit as to whether that is a foul our not especially since you are a Sounders fan.

I could care less who won the game as a Fire fan, but the fact that you're flaunting your profession is just plain bull shit.

Unknown said...

My profession means nothing, I agree. I also don't claim to know more then anyone else and apologize if that’s how it seemed. My point is, just because someone runs a blog doesn't mean he has all of the answers!

Was Mike at the game? An honest question.

Were any of you making comments on here at the game? Ok, that was a rhetorical one.

It was a very bad play by a good keeper and a good play by a good striker. IT WAS A FOUL AND NO AMOUNT OF COMPLAINING OR NAME CALLING WILL CHANGE THAT. Not that it matters, but I too am a soccer junky. Just today I watched four games on TV then played in my league game at night. I promise that foul would have been called in any league, every time.

Your coach has since made an ass of himself, acting like it was a blatant dive intended to ruin the sanctity of the sport. He calls one of the best players in our league a punk and now people on here are calling him a rapist. I wonder what Onalfo would say if you asked him ‘have you ever taken a dive.....ever?’ If he’s so outraged by this one simple play, what and the hell kind of names does he throw out when playing the Galaxy or Dynamo?

I don’t know Mike and for all I know he’s the best journalist in the world. I have glanced at his blog and I’m impressed. I also don’t know you guys, but to call that foul a dive and to call a man cleared of ALL wrong doing a rapist, are both irresponsible.

By the way Dan, they have only played one full season at the CAB, they were at Arrowhead before that and fans weren’t coming out in droves. The real question is, will people finally start to show up and support your team when you get a new stadium? The fact is, it’s been all down hill since 2000.

Also, just to let you know Dan, (i say with a whisper) Wizards don’t actually exist. Oh, and the Sounders are named after a body of water, but nice try.

You bet I would demand an apology from Sigi if he pulled this crap. I want the MLS to gain respectability and disparaging its brightest stars as punks and basically calling them cheaters is no way to get there.

This league has problems and it all starts with the men calling the match. Let us for a moment throw truth out the window and say it was in fact a dive. Why isn’t anyone screaming at the ref and calling him a punk?

Anonymous said...

Sounder (n) - A herd of wild boar. I'll be calling you the Seattle pigs from now on, sounds more appropriate.

I doubt Mike was at the game, but I bet you're going to say since you were at the game we should listen to you, a bias Sounders fan. You're not going to change the mind of Wizards fans and Wizards fans aren't going to change your mind.

Since 2000? That's completely false. Wizards attendance was going up (and was respectable for MLS at the time) until Hunt announced he was selling the team, and than it died. OnGoal has spent the time since buying the team trying to recover the team's fan base that was loss when Hunt put the team up for sale.

Montero is not the best player in the league. I'd take Donovan, Angel, or even Blanco before I would taken Montero.

So when coaches in other leagues around the world call out players (as was done time and again in England regarding Ronaldo) isn't gaining that league respectability? I think these comments are actually gaining more respect, it's showing the coaches care and that they're willing to call out a player for what they think is a cheating play.

Anonymous said...

Both sides need to just drop it at this point, neither side is going to change the others mind.

Unknown said...

Call us whatever you like, we love it! The league wide hatred is amazing from where we stand.

As a true blue northwest sports fan, I'm sick and tired of rooting for lovable losers (with the exception of UW). The Sounders are for real, with the best ownership and fan base in the league. The hatred will only inspire us even more!

This is a soccer town first and foremost. In the 70’s, during the NASL days, we averaged over 20,000 a game while winning championships. You may not like us, but you will have to deal with us sitting atop the MLS table from now on!

About being a bias Sounders fan as you say. I can’t argue with you about my love for the team. However, as someone who on occasion covers teams I root for as a journalist, I do have the ability to put my fandom aside. That is why you can find my ramblings on many local soccer blogs, complaining about some of Montero’s antics.

However, as the only one talking on here who actually say the incident, I would say I’m in a unique position to give real insight on the FOUL. I understand you won’t believe me simply because you are Wizard’s fans, but it was a foul. I hate to repeat myself, but it would have been called every time, in every league.

Also I said Montero was ONE of the leagues brightest stars. Yes, the players you mentioned are better, but also much older. Montero has a bright future, especially if the many thugs in this league are not allowed to end his career short.

Pat said...

Ryan, with those highlights online you aren't the only one who saw the incident.

As a neutral (Revolution fan) I've watched the highlights, seen the pictures, read the debate. And honestly, I could have seen the foul called both ways. Mike and Thad make a good argument using the photos and Thad's knowledge of photography to definitely get you to take another look at the photos.

I thought originally that it was a penalty when I first saw the video. But my opinion has changed a bit. It's a call that could have gone either way and has gone either way as well in other games around the world that I've watched. (Sorry Ryan, it wouldn't "have been called every time, in every league.")

Also Ryan, you said the NASL Sounders won titles? I just looked it up on wikipedia and while the Sounders won conference titles, they didn't win any championships aka league titles in the NASL.

Anonymous said...

A new team in a town starved of a decent sports franchise is sure going to draw out numbers for the first couple of years, especially if they're winnin sure. But I'll be impressed if the Seattle Pigs can keep their attendence up, that'll be impressive. Not saying that the Chiefs and Royals are any better than the seattle based teams but you see my point. And at least this mess had made for some good banter.

Anonymous said...

KC fan here: the call was made by a ref on the run... like someone said, could have gone both ways. You see worse flops than this one in many other leagues, so let's not call a guy a criminal for this drop.
So how's this: your team is tied, you need the win at home. You create a play that's so close the ref can call the pk or not, but he does. End result: your team scores on the pk and you get the win. It's as much Hartman's mistake for not getting to the ball (he timed it late) as the ref's for calling a doubtful penalty on the last minute of regulation.
So instead of crying foul play and complaining about other teams/players, should't Onalfo focus on making his team - our team play better for once? I would like Onalfo to talk more about his team's shortcomings (not only "we had our chances, we just couldn't put it in") first and formost instead of excuses, and then I'll support him for complaining about lousy refs. KC fans deserve a better team and a better coach.