Call it "The Incident. " After Sounders FC's disappointing 3-1 loss Saturday to New England, much of the postgame talk centered around a...
Call it “The Incident.”
After Sounders FC’s disappointing 3-1 loss Saturday to New England, much of the postgame talk centered around a second-half scuffle between Seattle defender Patrick Ianni and Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph.
Protecting a 1-0 lead, Ianni appeared to step on the foot of Joseph during a dead ball in the 62nd minute. Joseph then retaliated by striking the Sounder in the face. Moments later both were on the ground in pain as protesting teammates gathered around referee Silviu Petrescu.
Coach Sigi Schmid said the melee might have been the turning point in the match as the host Revolution subsequently scored three goals to clinch the win.
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“I think they were a sleeping dog and when the incident occurred … it energized them, it motivated them, put them back into the game mentally,” Schmid said.
Ianni said the fray was one of many he’s had with Joseph. He alleges the New England star hit him moments earlier with a closed fist.
In a June 5 game at Qwest Field, the 6-foot-3 Grenadian caught Ianni with a blow to the face that required stitches.
As such, Schmid and Ianni were baffled by Joseph escaping punishment for the blow Saturday. Petrescu didn’t issue any cards and Major League Soccer hasn’t announced any disciplinary moves.
Ianni admitted he did “touch” Joseph’s foot in the buildup to the altercation but it didn’t deserve a violent response or the ensuing rolling on the ground in pain.
“I’ve seen the video and seen his reaction,” Ianni said. “I was definitely surprised to see that he had acted like … he stepped on a land mine.”
Upon his own going down, Ianni said: “Obviously I was hit hard. At that part, when I saw the referee was not going to do anything about it, I was more or less shocked. My reaction wasn’t necessarily to the blow itself, but to my shock.”
Schmid said the team has submitted footage from KONG’s television broadcast to the league for inspection since the New England broadcast didn’t capture the melee clearly.
“They can draw their own conclusions,” Schmid said.
Wanting the incident to be over might be the only thing all parties can agree on.
Two go down
Two Sounders suffered concerning injuries in training Tuesday at Qwest on what Schmid called a “sticky” turf. Defender James Riley, who leads the team with 1,968 minutes and is second with four assists, had to be helped to the locker room with an ankle injury. Rookie midfielder Mike Seamon sustained a knee injury. Prognoses will likely be known Wednesday.
• Midfielder Sanna Nyassi wasn’t at training Tuesday after serving with the Gambian national team in a 3-1 win Saturday against Namibia in an African Cup of Nations qualifier. Some reports said Nyassi scored in the game, but it was his twin brother, Sainey, of the New England Revolution that recorded a goal.
• Kickoff for the U.S. Open Cup final against Columbus on Oct. 5 has been pushed up an hour to 7 p.m. from 8 p.m.