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 17, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT
Brest and FC Lorient will be the opposition for retiring midfielder’s final two pro matches:
May 17, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 5:10 PM EDT
David Beckham has an option to purchase an MLS expansion franchise, and that has zero to do with Chivas USA:
May 17, 2013, 4:52 PM EDT
We know that Major League Soccer’s All-Star match is headed to Sporting Park in Kansas City this year – but we remain in the dark about the opposition:
May 17, 2013, 4:20 PM EDT
The second game is under appeal.
May 17, 2013, 4:02 PM EDT
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Portland Thorns host the suddenly dangerous Washington Spirit.
May 17, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Can San Jose bounce back against a solid Colorado outfit?
May 17, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
On the issue of lineup revealing and the timing thereof, they share a similar thought:
May 17, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT
Both teams putting their unbeaten streaks on the line, goals galore in Seattle?
May 17, 2013, 1:23 PM EDT
Could USMNT winger Brek Shea be in trouble after he was part of a prank that went horribly wrong?
May 17, 2013, 12:59 PM EDT
Arch rivals Real and Atletico square off for silverware in the Spanish capital…which way will it go?
May 17, 2013, 11:17 AM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 10:52 AM EDT
Wigan’s manager has a tough decision to make, would moving away would be the correct one?
May 17, 2013, 9:23 AM EDT
Will Beckham now join PSG in an ambassadorial role? The race is on for Becks’ signature…post-soccer
May 17, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT
The Uruguayan striker speaks about his ambitions to play in MLS and his love for the USA.
May 17, 2013, 7:31 AM EDT
Worlds richest man looks set to buy ailing MLS franchise, is this the end for Chivas USA?
May 16, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT
This is where the big upsets can happen, and who doesn’t love a big upset potential?
May 16, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT
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