Apr 18, 2013, 12:49 AM EST
The uneven start to Juninho Pernambucano’s Major League Soccer career took an unexpected twist on Wednesday, though you’re going to read two distinct interpretations of this incident as it’s discussed in the coming days. Some people are going to focus on Juninho’s transgression. Others will dwell on the piece of impromptu theater Jimmy Nielsen performed at Red Bull Arena.
Let’s set the scene. It’s late in Harrison, and for almost 80 minutes, the Red Bulls have been trying to equalize Sporting’s 13th minute opener. Ahead of a late goal kick, Juninho goes to flip the ball back to Nielsen and decides to put a little extra on it. The ball ends up nailing Nielsen right below the collarbone, earning the Red Bull midfielder a straight red card.
As a television lawyer might say, those facts are undisputed. The different interpretations start with Juninho’s intentions. A sympathetic sort might think Juninho just tried pop the ball up by coming down underneath it. When he got too much of the ball, he inadvertently fires his “chip” into Nielsen’s chest.
That’s a reach given Juninho’s skill level. What’s more likely: That he hit the ball at Nielsen out of frustration with the keeper’s time-wasting? Or he mishit the ball and it happened to end up in the guy’s chest?
Given Nielsen’s response, you can see some people wishing the latter were true. The guy collapses, rolls around as if the ball nailed him in the face. It sure doesn’t look that way in the replay, though Nielsen does take Juninho’s attempt to avoid time-wasting and turns it against him. His act gets Juninho tossed and leaves the clock running for nearly two minutes, time Allen Chapman thankfully added at the end.
No doubt, whether he intended it or not, that’s a red card for Juninho. But seeing those shots of Nielsen lying on his side, eyes closed as if he just got George John’d, you can’t help but feel a little frustrated by the farce.
Juninho was going to get red carded, and any time you spend on the ground is just going to get tacked on at the end. Just get up already.
Here’s the footage:
Dec 24, 2014, 7:43 PM EST
Toronto reportedly wants to either keep Defoe or sell permanently, and while Redknapp is interested, that would be a problem.
Dec 24, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
With Saido Mane headed to the AFCON and Jay Rodriguez struggling with his knee injury, Ronald Koeman has added another outside threat.
Dec 24, 2014, 5:07 PM EST
Only England plays matches on Boxing Day, and that means something to the Arsenal manager.
Dec 24, 2014, 3:49 PM EST
With a new style of high-pressing play not suited to Balotelli’s style, Brendan Rodgers is admitting his summer signing no longer fits.
Dec 24, 2014, 2:35 PM EST
Here’s how PST’s lead writer and editor sees things panning out on Boxing Day.
Dec 24, 2014, 12:10 PM EST
Arsenal’s likeable winger just hasn’t seen the field, and could be headed to Serie A as a result.
Dec 24, 2014, 10:46 AM EST
The new Manchester United boss is sweating the heavy injury list, both those that need treatment and those in the recovery room.
Dec 24, 2014, 9:23 AM EST
They don’t play for over a month, and therefore Manuel Pellegrini isn’t thinking about Chelsea despite being three points off the Blues for the top spot in the Premier League table.
Dec 23, 2014, 11:13 PM EST
And yes, we’re opening that unfortunate Pandora’s box of discussion again this fine Tuesday in December.
Dec 23, 2014, 10:42 PM EST
Torres is staying in Major League Soccer after a loan stint in Liga MX, and both MLS and Houston are looking solid after the deal.
Dec 23, 2014, 10:03 PM EST
Three cheers for James Milner, who sank his teeth into the idea that his holiday would be simply mundane in this hilarious video.
Dec 23, 2014, 9:10 PM EST
The article also provides us with anecdotes like the following tale of Colts quarterback Luck, one of the many stories that make us wonder, as always, “What if?”
Dec 23, 2014, 8:20 PM EST
The L.A. Galaxy striker doesn’t sound absolutely certain of his MLS future despite appearing at a press conference for an Ireland friendly.
Dec 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Four matches in 10 days is not a situation unique to Arsenal, but it’s still something the club boss is concerning himself with this holiday season.
Dec 23, 2014, 6:40 PM EST
The serial kit-leakers at Footyheadlines.com have brought us an image that may or may not be the United States international away jersey for 2015.
Dec 23, 2014, 5:57 PM EST
In honor of LVG this Christmas, let’s all dedicate ourselves to becoming total human beings.
Dec 23, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Zelalem has only represented Germany at youth levels and would be valuable to their system despite not appearing for the nation this year.
Dec 23, 2014, 4:37 PM EST
We’re down to nine days before the opening of the January transfer window.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic named No. 2 Swedish athlete of all-time; believes he should be Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Dec 23, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
Zlatan was asked for this thoughts, and his thoughts were, by nature, extremely Zlatan.
Dec 23, 2014, 3:28 PM EST
From LVG’s blazer to grim reaper and sideshow Bob… Let’s take a look back at some wacky moments in the PL.
- Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United 1
- Report: Lukas Podolski agrees to terms with struggling Inter 4
- Houston Dynamo massive winners in the Erick “Cubo” Torres sweepstakes 1
- Gedion Zelalem, an American flag emoticon, and the Twitter account that wasn’t 4
- Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup: Strootman, Rodriguez and that crazy Bale/Man Utd talk 0
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic named No. 2 Swedish athlete of all-time; believes he should be Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. 3