Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another New NPSL Club, USA U-20s Out of World Cup, and Dumb Send-offs

Hollywood United Defects to NPSL from PDL

Hollywood United, the celebrity filled LA based club has moved from the USL's PDL to the NPSL for the 2011 season.  The club often fields celebrities for charity matches like actors Anthony LaPaglia, Dermot Mulroney and Donal Louge (who stars in one of my favorite movies, The Tao of Steve); musicians Ziggy Marley and Steve Jones (Sex Pistols); and ex-soccer stars Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Vinnie Jones, and Frank LeBoeuf.  However, the club's Hitmen team is a serious contender in the NPSL's West Region

US U-20s Crash Out of World Cup Qualifying

The USA's rising stars were brought back down to earth by losing 2:1 to Guatemala in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying tournament.  The loss eliminates the Young Yanks, but sent Guatemala to its first World Cup appearance of any age group.  To be fair to the heavily favored US team, injuries and the prospect of playing the home team in front of a hostile 30,000 fans, tilted the match against them, but the USA's missed early chances came back to haunt them.

Vancouver's Hassli Tossed for Removing Shirt!?

The Whitecaps forward Eric Hassli was tossed from Wednesday night's game after celebrating his PK goal by taking off his jersey to reveal a short sleeved version of the same jersey.   It was Hassli's second caution of the match, and he was shown a red card.   Idiot!  But should he been thrown out from the match?

The FIFA Laws of the Game state a decision from the IAFB:
Players must not reveal undergarments showing slogans or advertising. The basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.  A player removing his jersey or shirt to reveal slogans or advertising will be sanctioned by
the competition organiser. The team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment has political, religious or personal slogans or statements will be sanctioned by the competition organiser or by FIFA.
But Hassli "undergarment" was exactly the same as his outer garment!  Does that count?

Fortunately, FIFA released a position paper to further elaborate :
A player who removes his jersey to celebrate a goal must be cautioned for unsporting behavior...  It doesn't matter if the player has anything on underneath nor does it matter exactly what the player may have on underneath (including an exact replicate of the removed jersey).  Bolding added for emphasis.
So, let this be a lesson to any players out there.  Don't take off your shirt!  BTW, if Grant Wahl had been elected FIFA President, these types of cautions would be eliminated. 

UPDATE:  You think that send-off was dumb, check this one out from Santos' Neymar.

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