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Houston coach Dominic Kinnear: “The cheaters are being rewarded”

Mar 17, 2013, 4:07 PM EDT

Montreal Impact v Houston Dynamo Getty Images

FRISCO, Texas – Houston Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear has a big problem with something he says is going on in MLS this year – and it came to full boil after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to FC Dallas.

Kinnear is upset about what he calls an epidemic of diving and cheating, and says “the cheaters are being rewarded.”

He was most upset about the foul on Kenny Cooper – Kinnear insists it was a dive – that led to FC Dallas’ first goal Sunday.

“I thought the first few minutes looked really good,” Kinnear said of his team. “And then a big guy out in the field threw himself to the ground and gets a free kick. And they got a goal out of it.

“I’ve watched this league for three weeks now and it saddens me that we have people who have no problem diving, and looking for fouls and then looking to the heavens. It’s a sickening epidemic that’s going on in our league and hopefully it cancels itself out here pretty soon. Because some teams play hard, some guys cheat. Sometimes the cheaters win. When you have guys that don’t even get looked at, don’t get touched, falling on the ground looking for fouls, it makes me want to throw up.

“Hopefully, the players look at themselves and realize that they are cheaters, first, and putting the game into total disrespect. And hopefully that’s something that we, as coaches and players and as a league, can stop. Because it makes me not want to watch the game. And I can understand why people don’t want to watch when [players] do that stuff.”

Kinnear said he was speaking not just about Dallas and Cooper, saying he had watched other examples over the first three rounds of MLS play. And he allowed that his team needed to be better at defending set pieces – which it certainly did.

But he was clearly upset about perceptions of diving Sunday and said he hopes the league’s disciplinary committee more aggressively reviews the issue.

“It makes me sad that American soccer accepts that,” Kinnear said.

(MORE: Does Kinnear have a point with his comments?)

FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman took the high road when informed of Kinnear’s comments. He said he respects Kinnear too much to say something negative and said Kinnear was “a perfect gentleman” after the match.

He said the Texas Derby was an emotional series and he understands that Kinnear was upset about a close loss.

When I asked Hyndman again if he had any comment about an opposition manager accusing his players of diving and cheating, Hyndman kept the course: “I’m not going to drop to that. I’m gonna let that go.”

(MORE: Cooper and John the difference in FCD win)

  1. arjanroghanchi - Mar 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Cooper is a habitual offender. This was the big problem I had with him at RBNY. Go back to the terrible playoff loss against DC and watch the tape of Cooper drawing the foul and red card on Bill Hamid. Cooper has him beaten easily, a tap in goal. But instead he chose to look for contact, throw himself to the ground, and look for the PK. We all know what happened next.

  2. jamezyjamez - Mar 17, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    funniest thing i’ve read in a while, but you know he’s right…look at his trophy case, the cheaters are being rewarded well. rico clark wouldve fouled out of an nba match two times over – not even a yellow. bruin shoving off blatantly while the ball is in the air – no problem. ferreira and other technical players fouled immediately upon receipt of the ball, spread amongst different houston players to avoid cards (that prob wouldnt be given anyway) – this is the way of the houston trophy and the “cheaters winning” that has plaqued mls long before the players who actually, you know, play the sport have been forced to dive to get any semblance of a chance and the fans – the real losers – are forced to watch bumbling big oafs run around and win titles..then get smoked in CONCACAF when the refs start actually calling fouls.

    ok rant over – the truth is somewhere in between, but diving is currently a much smaller problem in MLS than persistent infringement, thuggery and the impact of both on the quality of the product on the field.

    • Tonya - Mar 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Hmm. Yeah. I think both things are problems in MLS (and piss me off to no end)…cheaters and bullies. I’d put Houston in the bullies category, along with the old Kansas City and Colorado. I’d definitely put some other teams in the cheaters category, although I think that’s a more widespread thing. I’d put San Jose Earthquakes in both categories. It sucks and really does make me not want to watch MLS. Referees who make bad calls or none at all, don’t help, either.

      • geojock - Mar 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        What do you mean old KC? Seems like the same KC to mean, although I have not watched them much this year. Houston is on the more physical half of the league, but they are not somehow the big bully of the league. Ironically, last season Houston was the least physical that they have ever been and was the target of hacks once they switched to their 4-3-3 and teams figured out that was the only way to stop Carr and Boniek out wide.

  3. bazimon - Mar 17, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I was at the game and Ferreira was getting abused in mid field. Thug mentality. Class response from Hyndman.

  4. brian1204 - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I am a diehard Dynamo fan, and I agree that MLS lets too much contact go uncalled. Doesn’t excuse or justify the diving, but there is too much uncalled contact.
    And, by the way, Dallas was doing their share of “thuggery” too…

  5. brian1204 - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Oh, and also, the players play to the ref’s calling style, so that’s where it needs to be resolved.
    The refs need to call a tighter game, both with hard challenges and with diving.

  6. bazimon - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    There’s a difference between tough aggressive play and just kick Ferreira. That’s the Dynamo way..Play ugly and bully…Can’t argue it has brought them some success.

  7. overtherepermanently - Mar 18, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    For all those long calling for “latin flair” in MLS, you got it. The flip side of the creativity and technical play is the incessant whining/diving/flopping/simulating that happens in Mexico and points south. There is a reason why most American fans are more in tune with the English game. That being said, MLS has long been on the wrong side of Hadrian’s Wall when it comes to hard, athletic play vs outright Scottish studs-up brutality. Two divergent cultural influences on our game, and neither of them fit quite right.

  8. joeyt360 - Mar 18, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Who blames the ref for a free kick goal from 40 yards out????

    • SD1 Timbers Special Forces - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      When it was a dive that the ref called and carded for. Diving in Portland’s loss to Montreal was a ref who gave a free kick for an obvious dive by Pisanou and carded Nagbe.

      So, I guess most Timbers fans would.

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