Vuvuzela ban? In soccer? Say it ain’t so!


This is all so ironic, Alanis Morrisette really should be singing about it.

Seems that vuvuzelas may soon be banned from the very place that made these seemingly benign plastic pieces so famous – or infamous, depending on how you look at the controversial noise makers.

But that’s not really the ironic part. Not the most delicious slice of irony pie, at least.

The vuvuzelas have long been part of the sport – just not globally renowned. Even here in little ol’ U.S.A., the joyful tooted on vuvuzelas in and around the 1994 World Cup. And the goofy, highly distinct sound echoed around the grounds in MLS early years – before a bunch of killjoys had them banned in most places. You know, back in the days when “family friendly” was de rigueur in MLS marketing circles.

(This was always the subject of major tension between myself and soccer-loving pals. I always said they added to atmosphere around MLS grounds back in those infant years, or what I like to call “The Carlos Valderrama days.”  My friends always countered: “That’s because you’re in the press box, Davis, not out here with some kid blowing that thing in your ear!” They probably had a point.)

At any rate, the “vuvuzela” became a bigger player in the game’s global lexicon in 2010, when they became so much of the story of World Cup 2010.

Now, turns out that South Africa’s league may ban vuvuzelas,  but not for their ornery ability cause a ruckus. Rather, they may get the red card due to potential use as weapons! How about that for a zig when you expected a zag!

While officials in that country’s Premier Soccer League have not banned the, uh, humming instruments of potential death, it is among a list of items being considered for addition to the banned list.

What PSL general manager Derek Blanckensee had to say about it, from the Reuters story linked above: “Our rules ban all dangerous weapons from matches. If the vuvuzela is to become a dangerous weapon then we will look into this.”

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)