Aug 20, 2012, 6:35 PM EDT
I like San Jose Earthquakes manager Frank Yallop, and I respect the work he’s done at Buck Shaw Stadium this year.
Not only is his club the lead dog in the Supporters Shield race, they play an entertaining style.
But Yallop has this one wrong.
What he said following Saturday’s tussle at Stade Saputo, where striker Steven Lenhart was sent off against Montreal for his role in an early altercation.
I’m not sure why Lenhart was sent off. He seems to be singled out every game we play. It’s starting to get to me now.
“He goes for the ball; he plays hard, which he should do as a center forward that’s brave. It seems like he’s getting cards and red cards that he doesn’t deserve. That changed the game for us.”
Why is he being singled out? Surely, Yallop is playing a little political possum on this one. Because a coach of Yallop’s experience knows exactly why Lenhart (pictured above, on top of the scrap) gets extra attention from the men in the middle, and deservedly so. Heck, even I know that! And Yallop has coached about 300 more MLS games than I have.
Lenhart gets singled out because he deserves singling out. He is the league’s most active agitator. He works in “agitation” the way celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse works in “Bam!”
When Lenhart is around, there’s rarely an on-field coming together that doesn’t include a kick-out, a swinging hand, a clumsy stomp on the foot, a shirt pull and heaven knows what else that might be going on in the human blender of competitive aggression.
He’s a Tasmanian devil, a willing accelerant when every MLS match is a hot-tempered, highly unstable mix of flammables anyway. He’s the guy everyone detests playing against – but that everyone likes to have on his team.
Sequences involving Lenhart are less soccer than MMA. (At the international level, by the way, he’d have a booking within 10 minutes – and the referee would probably have one finger on the red 10 minutes from there.)
But, if Yallop truly seeks greater knowledge here, if he desires enlightenment regarding the American fan psyche on this one, he can just turn to the answer web. Simply Google “Steven Lenhart” and “hate.” I did. First thing I found was this thoughtful look at both sides of the Lenhart beef from No Short Corners.
You can find a lot worse from there, some with very naughty words.
By the way, Lenhart isn’t exactly “singled out” for cards. Not statistically speaking. He is one of 12 MLS players with at least seven cautions.
May 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
With his eye on the imminent vacancy at Real Madrid left by Jose Mourinho’s almost certain departure, Paris Saint-Germain’s mastermind Carlo Ancelotti may now have a large hurdle to get past if he is to land his ideal job in Spain’s capital.
May 19, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT
Fernando Torres broke his Premier League scoring drought by banging home the game-winner to secure Chelsea a third place finish.
May 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Heartbreak in Serie A this year belongs to Fiorentina. Mario Balotelli converted a penalty in the 84th minute to draw level and two minutes later Philippe Mexes slotted home a cross to secure Europe’s top competition for AC Milan.
May 19, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT
Rare as they are, we’ve seen more than our share of “Olimpico” goals in MLS over the last pair of seasons, including one last night:
May 19, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
With Arsenal and Tottenham the only teams battling for any meaningful positioning in the Premier League table, the final day still had implications for many teams in the form of placement prize money.
May 19, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas late.
May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Another game-winning strike from Gareth Bale wasn’t enough to save Tottenham from more Champions League heartache.
May 19, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
New York took all the points from the L.A. Galaxy on Tim Cahill’s late goal. So let’s talk about that goal.
May 19, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
This Landon Donovan debate regarding his place on the national team is not going anywhere. So, did Sunday’s performance move the needle either way?
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
Arsenal secured its 16th consecutive spot on the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
May 19, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
Sensational news for fans around BMO Field:
May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we’re finally here: The final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
May 19, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT
Newcastle have nothing to play for and have been a disaster at home of late, losing their last two matches at St. James’ Park by a combined 9-0.
May 19, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT
The timing on this thing in two words: pretty bad:
May 19, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves on the 20-year-old goal-scoring sensation … :
May 19, 2013, 12:48 AM EDT
The Sounders exploit Dallas’ young back line in a meeting of two Western Conference teams in top form. Final score: 4-2 for the Sounders:
May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT
Juan Agudelo makes his New England debut as Jay Heaps posts one of the best wins of his young coaching career:
May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM EDT
Highlights and context as “Jack Mac” scores his league-leading 8th goal:
May 18, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT
Cascadia Cup matches are always interesting, and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at BC Place was full of talking points:
May 18, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT
it was a big crowd pleaser on two fronts when the Whitecaps’ forward stroked an unstoppable free kick against Portland:
- Where Landon Donovan’s afternoon takes us in the ongoing U.S. national team debate 1
- Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney would be league’s youngest Golden Boot winner 0
- Talking points on Portland’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver 0
- PSG president confirms Saturday was likely David Beckham’s farewell match 3
- As Alex Ferguson says goodbye, Manchester United’s cupboard remains stocked 1
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team
- Play Video: Red Bulls pull off win on the road
- Play Video: Highlights: Montreal extinguish Chicago