Fire up some Coffee
BLANCO REDUX: I want to revisit the Blanco story, especially because Luis Arroyave in the Chicago Tribune has a good write-up on the fracas. Now, while I'm pleased that United is not issuing much in the way of commentary, I am a tad surprised that Chicago has elected to go on record with a defense of Blanco:
According to Fire spokesman Gregg Elkin, Blanco wanted to get the ball back because the Fire was down a goal in overtime and he thought Simms was stalling. He also said Blanco denied poking Simms in the eye.
Blanco and Burch were given red cards in overtime, except Blanco headed toward the bench rather than the locker room, as is required. According to a United spokesman, a United employee asked Blanco to go to the locker room, and Blanco became confrontational and head-butted him in the cheek.
Elkin said the employee had no business walking into the Fire's restricted area.
"[Blanco] stopped by the bench to pick up his gear," said Elkin, who spoke with several people on the Fire bench about the incident. "He wasn't stalling or yelling at the official. The situation was under control, but the D.C. person got in his face and yelled at him to leave the bench.
Now, the defense that Blanco was provoked into a confrontation with a United employee should not be surprising. The fact that the defense was made in this matter is a bit surprising. Let's stipulate that the facts as portrayed by Mr. Elkin are 100% correct. In that case, we see two problems. From the Laws of the Game, Law 12: "A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area."
Well, that means Blanco clearly wasn't where he was supposed to be, and for a player who has been ejected as often as he was I would be surprised if he wasn't aware of the requirements of leaving the field. The other contention is that a United official was in the wrong place. Without knowing the specifics of credentialing into technical areas, this is possibly true. However, even if it is true, then Blanco is still in the wrong because he should never have been allowed near the area to begin with. In fact, his own teammates should have walked him off the field if they had to.
I'm not going to say that United is all pure here. I don't know that, and it is possible Blanco was being provoked. Even if he wasn't, it is still possible that he perceived that he was being provoked. But even granting all of that, he should have been well away.
SOME INTERNET COLUMNISTS... In case you're wondering, the Washington Times on a Tom Soehn piece writes "Many fans and Internet critics pounced on Soehn, who was ripped last year when the club faded in the playoffs after posting the league's best record. One blog asked, 'Should Tom Soehn be feeling the heat?' and a so-called mainstream news outlet went even further."
Which blog are they referring to? Soccer by Ives, in this post here, a blog that due to geography has no need of a pro-DC bias. But look at how that post concludes... "For now, it is Soehn's team and he deserves the chance to right the ship." So, in essence, the answer provided by Ives after an analysis was "No." If anything, the post is a defense of Soehn finishing out the season. Lord knows that I have little reason to defend Ives, but it seems unfair to lump him in with those, like me occasionally, who ripped Soehn.
What's more, given that this was a pretty easy post to find, shouldn't they have attributed Ives quote to him? I'm just saying. Ives, you wanna chime in on this if you drop by?
Anyways, that's a quick post for this morning. Join us a little later in the day when we talk to... an expert.