6
Sep

34 seconds! Goalkeeper receives fastest red card in MLS history

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Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco was “rapidly” sent off after just 34 seconds into Friday’s 6-0 loss to the LA Galaxy for deliberately tripping up Alan Gordon on the very first chance of the match:

Maybe he just wanted to beat the traffic?

Nasco, a former police officer who made his MLS debut just six days earlier at the age of 30, is now the not-so-proud owner of the record for fastest red card in league history.

The previous record was set by New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Johnson, who received his marching orders in the second minute against Sporting KC in 2009.

Image provided by Getty

2
Dec

Standard Liege player sent off for donkey kick to the face

During Standard Liege’s 5-0 win over Lierse in the Belgian Pro League, French midfielder William Vainqueur was shown a late red card for accidentally donkey-kicking an opponent in the face.

After making an incredible mess of trapping the ball (first kicking it back into his own face), Vainqueur swung around one of his legs desperately looking to get a touch. Instead, he found his defender’s jaw.

Maybe Vainquer has been watching too many Zlatan highlights, or maybe he just got a really, really bad Charley horse at that very moment. Either way, maybe karate is more his thing.

26
Oct

Burnley mascot gets sent off for trolling referee’s assistant

Championship side Burnley FC made headlines on Saturday by claiming the league lead with a 2-0 win against Queens Park Rangers, but perhaps the bigger story from that match was a bizarre red card shown to Burnley’s mascot.

That’s right, “Bertie the Bee” was thrown from the game in the first half after handing a linesman a pair of over-sized glasses after a dodge decision. Sadly, referee Simon Hooper didn’t find the humor in it.

Police actually escorted Bertie Bee off the field and later, a picture emerged of the criminal locked up in a cell. This might be the greatest picture ever taken:

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Mind you, this is the same mascot who once bravely tackled a streaker during a match against Preston years ago:

24
Aug

Hoffenheim’s Salihovic converts PK, promptly gets sent off for slapping opponent

Hoffenheim’s wild affair against SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday produced a total of six goals as well as not one, not two, but three red cards.

The most bizarre sending off was undoubtedly drawn by Hoffenheim’s Sejad Salihovic. After converting a penalty kick in only the 9th minute, Salihovic and teammates celebrated right at the Freiburg goal, drawing the ire of SC goalkeeper Oliver Baumann and captain Julian Schuster. Salihovic then incredulously decided to slap Schuster in the face, for which the referee instantly went to his back pocket.

Hmm. Score a PK and get sent off right away, with barely ten minutes played. Interesting strategy, Cotton.

Here is the slap again in slow motion, because everything is better in slow motion:

Salihovic’s brain fart set the tone for a wild Saturday in the German league. A total of seven players were sent off in six matches, with Schalke’s match vs Hannover also supplying three red cards. Looks like a bunch of people woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

24
Jul

Klinsmann sent off against Honduras, could miss Gold Cup final

By Leander Schaerlaeckens

ARLINGTON, Texas – USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann could miss Sunday’s Gold Cup final after being dismissed for complaining and slamming down the ball after a series of non-calls in the United States’ 3-1 semifinal win against Honduras.

Since there is no such thing as a red card for managers, only straight ejections, suspensions are not automatic and a disciplinary committee will take referee Walter Quesada’s match report into consideration and deliver a verdict within 24 to 48 hours, according to a CONCACAF spokesman.

In the 87th minute of the match, with the score at 3-1 in the USA’s favor, DaMarcus Beasley looked to have been fouled after losing control of the ball, which went out of play for a Honduras throw-in. An enraged Klinsmann had a few choice words for the referee, gesticulating and possibly swearing in multiple languages until the official sent him out of his coach’s box.

“It was just a reaction out of frustration because fouls had added up throughout the last half an hour, one really, really bad right before our third goal,” Klinsmann explained following the game. “And then came this foul on [DaMarcus] Beas[ley] with two guys going into him from behind and I just kind of overboiled it.”

Klinsmann chuckled at that point, having long since returned to his invariably laid back demeanor. Then he turned apologetic. “Obviously you shouldn’t then throw the ball down on the ground,” he said. “I apologize for that reaction. It was not meant against the referee, against nobody. It was just frustration because you fear the health of the player in that moment.”

“He sticks up for us players, so I don’t have any complaints about that,” said Beasley, the captain.

Yet for the coach’s contrition, his fate is at the mercy of other men. “That would not be good for us,” star forward Landon Donovan said of a possible suspension. “We’re very hopeful that that’s not the case. You never want to see a player or a coach suspended for a final so hopefully whoever reviews that takes that into consideration. Sometimes that happens in the game and we’ve all made those sorts of decisions at times so hopefully it doesn’t affect us.”

“It’s going to be a loss if he’s not with us on the sideline,” Beasley said. “But at the same time, he’ll be with us in spirit if he’s not there. I’m sure he’ll be cheering us on wherever he’s sitting.”

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27
Jun

Player drags ‘injured’ opponent off field, gets sent off immediately

After all of the time that has been wasted due to players milking injuries that may or may not be real, one player decided to take matters into his own hands.

In the 89th minute of a Chinese Super League match between Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua, Yatai was clinging to a 1-0 lead. After light contact, Yatai’s Matt McKay made it appear that he had suffered a rather serious injury.

In an effort to speed up the process, Shenhua’s Wang Shouting decided to physically drag his opponent off of the field. Both the opposition and the referee were not amused: Shouting was shown a red card and was sent off from the match.

After losing both Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, falling into a financial crisis, and being charged with a six-point deduction for their part in a match-fixing scandal, Shanghai Shenhua may have hit a new low.

11
Jun

Mascherano gets red card for kicking medic, offers apology


Javier “hot head” Mascherano is at it again. The Argentine midfielder found a pretty creative way to get sent off in their World Cup Qualifying match against Ecuador.

After going down with an injury, Mascherano was being stretchered off the field by a cart. But the midfielder wouldn’t let that stop him from causing a scene.

As the cart is driving off the pitch, Mascherano is splashed with water and it seemed to infuriate him. So, his next move was to give the medic driving him a kick in the back — logical.

This is certainly one of the most creative red cards in recent memory. After the match, the Barcelona midfielder apologized for kicking the driver of the stretcher buggy and offered this explanation for his actions:

“I feel ashamed. I don’t like to generate controversy. And I am big enough to admit my mistakes. This embarrasses me. Saddens me.”

Mascherano added: “The stretcher buggy was going too fast and I was about to fall. I warned him (the driver) and he ignored me, but what I did was not justified.”

Thanks for keeping us entertained, Javier. Watch Mascherano’s post-match interview in Spanish below:

7
Jun

Mario Balotelli gets sent off, takes out frustration on innocent wall

Why always him? In Italy’s World Cup Qualifier against Czech Republic, Balotelli pulled a total Balotelli.

Within a span of about four minutes, the 22-year-old was shown back to back yellow cards for senseless fouls, earning himself a send off. On the way off the pitch he decided to drop some punches and kicks into a tunnel wall to, you know, show everyone who’s boss.

Thankfully Italy was able to hang on a man down, securing a 0-0 draw and maintaining their position atop their World Cup Qualifying group.

31
May

1 game: 11 yellow Cards, 6 red Cards and an arm bite

This was one of those matches you had to see to believe.

Petrolul and Gaz Metan faced off in a Romanian Liga 1 battle on Wednesday night with things heating up rather quickly. While it was a chippy and scrappy game throughout, the action crescendoed right around the 63-minute mark.

After just a shred of contact, a Gaz Metan player hit the ground with an apparent injury, which did not sit well with Petrolul. One of the Petrolul players repeatedly pulled on the arm and leg of the fallen Gaz Metan player to bring him back to life, creating a ruckus that resulted in six red cards and 11 yellow cards.

The star of this fight has to be Petrolul keeper Mircea Bornescu. After charging up the field to defend his teammate and restrain the Gaz Metan player who sparked the melee, Bornescu decided to take a bite out of his opponent’s shoulder, which got him punched in the face before he was shown a straight red card.

After the dust settled, a nine-man Petrolul side scored a late equalizer (thanks to 15 minutes of injury time) to earn a 1-1 draw vs. seven-man Gaz Metan.

Seems Romania is having all the fun these days.

12
May

Mark van Bommel fittingly sent off in last game of career

Never has there been a more appropriate finish to a career than Mark van Bommel’s.

The Dutchman’s 20-year professional career came to a close after his PSV side fell to FC Twente 3-1. The tough midfielder, known for his strong tackles, received a red card in the 71st minute after a vicious challenge on Duasn Tadic’s ankle. It’s hard to imagine van Bommel’s exit from the game any other way — well, other than with a win.

We’re thankful this tackling machine left us with such an emphatic exclamation mark on a fantastic career.