There is a fine line between lively fan support and mean-spirited crap that doesn’t belong in a game. I’ll be the first to confess that it’s a moving target.
Like anyone else, I love it when impassioned supporters find their voice, lifting their team and elevating spirits around the ground in an atomic reaction, the primary elements careening in force and playing off one another.
To hear the Sounders fans bouncing back and forth with their “Seattle …. Sounders … Seattle … Sounders … ” bit is the bright stuff that makes our game wonderful. The best MLS fans can identify home grounds by ear, without seeing a single picture. D.C. United, Chicago and Houston are among the places that have their own, distinct primary chant. And they are magnificent.
But why do we sometimes need to go “there?”
This is about Herculez Gomez in Seattle last night. The cries of “Sounders Reject!” isn’t the worst this stuff ever gets. Far from it. And generally speaking, Seattle fans keep it classt.
So, why even go there?
It’s a little worse in my mind because of who Gomez is, a U.S. international, a man so proud to play for his homeland. He’s a guy Jurgen Klinsmann loves having around for the contagious effort poured into every training and match. He’s a guy that I’ve come to respect more and more for his grounded interaction with fans through social media and his wise take on national team matters.
On the one hand, I get it. For 90 minutes he’s the enemy. Again, this one falls into the gray “in between.” Still, it seems mean spirited rather than just “spirited.”
It’s far from the worst we might hear around MLS grounds, but it’s a good place to start a conversation.
By the way, this is the guy Seattle fans mocked last night:
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”
The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.
Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”
But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”
Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”
Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?
The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.
[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]
Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.
In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slate — FOLLOW LIVE
Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)
The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.
American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.
Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.
Wednesday’s EFL Cup schedule — FOLLOW LIVE
Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town
Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.
Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.
Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.
[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]
In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.
No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.