The Twitter world got it about right: Two simulations. Two bits of karmic justice.
(Twitter mostly said “dive;” I softened it up a bit.)
Actually, there was a little something in both PK calls Saturday in Dallas, where the home team pulled it out late. Eric Hassli, in the first big contribution for Dallas’ little used DP, assisted on George John’s point blank put-away in FCD’s late 1-0 win over the champs.
But it’s the blown PKs that will be memorable in this one. Or where they PKs? Probably … but the softest of them.
LA Galaxy center back Leonardo did hook Dallas forward Blas Perez in the second half at FC Dallas Stadium.
And Dallas center back John did stick out an unwise leg as Jose Villarreal attempted to scoot by him inside the home team’s 18.
Referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot in both instances. Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini saved Kenny Cooper’s attempt. And even more surprising, Dallas ‘keeper Raul Fernandez turned back Landon Donovan’s spot shot.
Donovan is good at these. In fact, he is now 34 for 37 from the little white spot in Major League Soccer matches, including playoffs. Even post-sabbatical Donovan would be among the best of bets to finish from 12 yards.
Again, it’s not exactly fair to call either forward’s action a dive. Perez, a big strong one, certainly could have fought through Leonardo’s little shoulder tug. On the other hand, the Galaxy center back put himself at big risk by going in aggressively from behind and getting his arm up on Perez’s shoulder.
In his case, it was double jeopardy since he was the last defender. The Galaxy, already weary from playing a mid-week match in Monterrey, had to play almost 30 minutes a man down.
And while John did get a leg out against Villarreal, the young Galaxy striker was looking for contact and could have easily sidestepped the center backs little stab.
(Check back for highlights)