Fans who consider flopping among the most annoying aspects of soccer have an ally in Sounders veteran Pat Noonan.
He doesn’t like it any more than you do.
Noonan was involved in the key play of Seattle’s 2-1 Major League Soccer win at Kansas City on Saturday, when he was knocked down on a studs-up challenge by Omar Bravo. The tackle drew a red card from referee Jair Marrufo.
Afterward, Sporting coach Peter Vermes and some of his players disputed that decision. And even Sounders coach Sigi Schmid conceded the call could have gone either way.
But it wasn’t the tackle that bothered Noonan.
“He went into a tough challenge,” Noonan said Monday as the Sounders returned to training at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. “I just tried to jump out of it. It happened.
“But afterwards, when he comes over to put his finger in my face, then I’ll have something to say. You can go into a tackle like that, but don’t tell me to get up.”
When Noonan did get up, he got into Bravo’s face. Although only words were exchanged, Bravo tumbled to the ground as if he’d been hit.
“He flops trying to draw the red card,” Noonan said. “To me, that’s a joke. … It’s tough to watch. It’s painful. And there’s been plenty of it this year. … Unfortunately that’s part of the game, and hopefully they’ll do what they can to resolve it.”
With a brief pause in CONCACAF Champions League and U.S. Open Cup play, this week seems almost like a break in the Sounders’ schedule. There is a reserve game in Vancouver, B.C., today and then a league game against Chivas USA at home Saturday afternoon. However, Schmid was quick to point out that’s what usually passes for a normal week.
“It’s not a week of rest, it’s a week of work,” he said. “It’s not like we’re going on vacation. It just means we have more of a regular week, so from the starters’ standpoint they were able to (work lightly on Monday) and they’ll be off (today). We’ll work on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in preparation for Saturday’s game.”
That’s when things get busy again with CONCACAF and MLS games on Tuesday and Saturday of the next two weeks, followed by a return to Open Cup the week after that. In all, the Sounders will play six games over an 18-day period starting Saturday.
“We have to enjoy this long week for us because we were playing so many games,” forward Fredy Montero said. “Many more games are coming.”
Reserve keeper Terry Boss (concussion) will not travel to Vancouver, and as of Monday no decisions had been made on the availability of defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (knee) and midfielder Brad Evans (hamstring). However, forward O’Brian White will travel and play. “We’re going to try to get him at least 45 minutes,” Schmid said. … D.C. United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario was voted MLS player of the week after scoring all three of his team’s goals Saturday in a 3-3 draw with Toronto FC, his former team. De Rosario also won the honor the previous week, becoming the first player to win on back-to-back weeks since Kenny Cooper did so with Dallas in 2008.