There were no big suspensions from Major League Soccer this week, but after a weekend where we saw a couple of high profile dives, the league’s Disciplinary Committee has taken a chunk out of three paychecks. Montréal defender Hassoun Camara and Vancouver’s Sebastian Fernández receive fines for simulation and embellishment, respectively, while young Sporting Kansas City full back Igor Julião was punished for hands to the face of veteran Davy Arnaud on Saturday.
Camara’s incident came late during Montréal’s Saturday win over New England, with Revolution attacker Teal Bunbury left jaw-slackened after receiving a yellow card for apparently running into the back of the defenders’ legs. “Apparently” may be too generous, however, as replays of the incident failed to show any contact. Carrying the ball toward the center line, Camara went to ground in front of Bunbury while his target was pulling up.
Fernández at least felt something during an incident in Sunday’s Portland-Vancouver game, but exaggerating what little contact there was between himself and Pa Modou Kah, the Uruguayan attacker went to ground as if he’d been struck in the face. Clearly not struck by anything but his own hand, the 24-year-old’s fall near the center line only served to draw the Disciplinary Committee’s attention. Thanks to Fernández’s performance, MLS Works has a little more money in its coffers.
For Julião, the offense comes in another on-field dust-up, this one after Kansas City’s 1-0 loss at RFK Stadium. This one falls under the time-honored tradition of a young player getting caught up in the moment. It’s a regular season game, and Sporting only lost by one, but something happened after the final whistle caused the Brazilian to lose his cool.
Making far less month than this week’s other offenders, this fine will hit Julião the hardest. He’s unlikely to make the same mistakes as he gets more minutes under his belt.
After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.
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If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.
There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.
Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.
MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.
Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.
Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.
The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.
Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.
Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.
Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.
Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.
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The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:
“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.
“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.
“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”
With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.
The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:
Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.
The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.
There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.