Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid spent much of his life around Los Angeles, so he knows a thing or two about acting.
However, he seems convinced that no one in Hollywood has much on any soccer player intent on drawing a referee’s whistle.
“In the world of football nowadays, I just think players take a little knock,” Schmid said. “... If the guy rolls over three times, there’s no injury. If he rolls over twice, there might be a little knock. If he rolls over once, he probably has a strain. If he doesn’t move at all, he’s probably really hurt.
“When they roll over, you know they’re not hurt. ... Part of it is gamesmanship, and I’m going to take advantage of anything I can to gain an advantage in the game. But on the same token, from another professional, do you really want to suspend another professional?”
The suspended player in question is Sounders forward Fredy Montero, who picked up a red card in Seattle’s 1-1 draw at Chicago on Saturday while challenging Gonzalo Segares for a ball in the air. Montero had inside position, spread his arms as his neared the top of his jump, and swung his left arm back. Segares went down like Apollo Creed in “Rocky IV.”
Regardless of how real the contact, there’s no debating the result: Montero was sent off, the Sounders played the final 42 minutes of the match shorthanded, and Seattle will play without Montero on Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Galaxy visits Qwest Field.
“Did he get his arm up? Was his elbow near Segares’ head? Yes; there’s no disputing that,” Schmid said. “But did he throw an elbow? I think when you watch it, it becomes pretty obvious that didn’t happen.
“For me the bigger concern right now is, I think sometimes situations occur on the field that players embellish and overdramatize what happens.”
Schmid’s dilemma is that such behavior often is rewarded. And therefore, he is conflicted about telling his own players not to dive or embellish, even though he clearly doesn’t like it.
“I think it’s all over the world,” Schmid said. “You watch soccer anywhere in the world: A guy gets hit in the thigh, and he grabs his knee. A guy gets hit in the ankle, and he grabs his knee. A guy gets hit in the shoulder, and he grabs his face. It’s just wrong.”
Rare and rarer
A couple of statistical rarities combined Saturday to give the Sounders their tying goal: Tyrone Marshall scored his first MLS goal in two years, and that became Seattle’s first goal off a corner kick.
“Sigi wanted us to be more aggressive in the box and see if we could get more goals off of set plays in general,” Marshall said after completing training Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex. “Big Nate (Jaqua) challenged as well, and Jhon (Kennedy Hurtado) and I kind of fell in behind them, and the ball kind of slipped through. It was a reactionary play where I kind of stuck my foot out, and it hit the bottom of my boot, and it went in.”
It was Marshall’s 15th goal in 12 MLS seasons. However, he hadn’t finished since 2007, and it was only his second goal since 2005.
He admits the drought had become a frustration.
“Especially being a bigger defender (6-foot-2), and you’re used to getting up on set plays,” Marshall said. “But when you’re a threat, they tend to put their better players on you.
“We have some good players as well, like Nate Jaqua, Hurtado, Brad Evans, so (other teams) definitely got their hands full. It’s one of those things where they didn’t have the right guy on me this time, and I got free.”
The Sounders reserves beat Seattle University, 4-1, at Starfire on Tuesday. Roger Levesque scored the Sounders’ first and final goals, with the others coming from Jarrod Smith and Kevin Forrest. ... Montero played the final 30 minutes. ... Defender Taylor Graham also played, and it appears the only Sounder unavailable Sunday because of a health issue is midfielder Peter Vagenas (knee). ... Seattle will meet the Colorado Rapids at 7 p.m. May 26 at Starfire Sports Stadium, with the winner advancing to the U.S. Open Cup round of 16.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808