It wasn’t the prettiest of matches — fouls, floppi- I mean “gamesmanship” (from both sides), a deflected goal and an arguably soft penalty call. But Seattle Sounders managed to keep the previously undefeated Houston Dynamo scoreless while scoring 2 goals partway through the first half. The 2-0 win gives the Sounders a 2-0-0 record on the season.
In the post-game press coverage, it became apparent that it was an even uglier game than I had first thought. There was a rather inexcusable incident that occurred during the 7th minute of play. And I was, unknowingly, standing just a few feet away.
Houston’s Colin Clark apparently did not like the way the ball boy gave him the ball prior to a throw in. And in return shouted a gay slur directed at the boy. He happened to do this right where there was a field microphone so it was picked up on NBC Sports Network’s national broadcast. Here is a Seattle Times article with more details about it.
You can also read more on gay4soccer.com, including a YouTube video of the incident. Shortly after the match Clark apologized on Twitter. Many wonder, though, if any apology would have occurred if it hadn’t been caught on national TV. The league is looking into the incident to determine any disciplinary actions.
I watched the replay on my DVR, and I am a little surprised that I didn’t hear it. It’s not in the YouTube clip, but I am about 10 feet away with my camera, standing right behind the assistant referee. The crowd noise was elevated at that moment since they disagreed with the referee’s decision to give the ball to Houston. But there is little doubt that the boy Clark directed the slur to heard it quite clearly.
Update 3/28/12: MLS has suspended Colin Clark for 3 matches and fined him an undisclosed amount. Glad they are taking it seriously.
But on to the less ugly aspects of the match, and my photos from it.