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Oh, good grief! Another MLS ball boy incident?

May 12, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT

Chivas USA defender Mario de Luna will probably hear form the commissioner’s office this week after shoving a ball boy – a ball boy! – Sunday during a silly and unnecessary incident late in his team’s loss to Portland.

In his defense, de Luna is a first-year MLS man. So he wasn’t around in 2012 to see Colin Clark, playing then for the Houston Dynamo, get nailed with a three-game ban for a homophobic slur directed toward a ball boy.

But that’s no excuse. It’s a ball boy! A teenager, by appearances … but that doesn’t matter.

Nor does it matter that Chivas USA was having a very bad day, surely frustrated from being on the business end of a 3-0 throttling.

It could have been worse, I suppose. Just ask Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who was quickly convicted in the court of public opinion after kicking a ball boy in the stomach in January.

Either way, leave the ball boys and ball girls alone, guys.

Surely, MLS commissioner Don Garber will be issuing a reminder this week in the form of a fine or suspension.


  1. lunasceiling - May 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    We let him have it pretty good from the stands, too… =P

  2. Steve Davis - May 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Oh … I can imagine. By the way, speaking of ‘letting him have it’ … check out de Luna’s already updated Wiki page …

  3. bobinkc - May 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    The problem I have with this whole incident is that the ball boy clearly has both arms wrapped around the ball. This would cause frustration to anyone on either side. The ball kids are there to provide the ball to the team who has control, not to hold the ball so the opponent cannot get the ball back into play. In KC this ball boy would not be invited back for quite some time, if ever.

    • sir1389 - May 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      While your argument about the role ball boys play in the game makes sense, it seems to preclude the fact that it was not in fact a Chivas throw in but a Portland throw in, therefore the kid was not stopping any play at all. I have also read so far that someone heard the 4th referee advising the kid not give the ball to Luna as both the head ref and the line judge were clearly marking a Portland throw, although this is the internet and that may just be a fabrication.

    • mikeevergreen - May 12, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      It was Portland’s throw-in, hence the yellow card. The kid got it right, which in KC gets him a regular job.

      • ll8078 - May 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        how does the player know in that environment what the ref called without looking at them? Didn’t know the ball-boy was a referee too.

  4. wfjackson3 - May 13, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    This is total nonsense. He barely even touches the kid. Ball boys have to quit pretending like the ball BELONGS to them. If someone walks up and reaches for the damn ball, just freaking give it to them.

    • chadmoon1 - May 13, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      The ball didn’t belong to Chivas USA either. It was Portland’s throw.

      • wfjackson3 - May 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM

        A player on the field has more right to the ball than the ballboy. The ballboy is not there to decide who gets the ball. They are there to provide quicker access to the ball.

    • ll8078 - May 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      but 12 year old ball-boys are referees too!

  5. geojock - May 13, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    This is pretty dumb. It is really not a push the kid down and more of a push to separate the kid from the ball.

    • chadmoon1 - May 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      So if you had a 12 year old boy or girl who was serving as a ballboy, would you want him pushed that way?

  6. chadmoon1 - May 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I would have no problem with this being a send off. He has already pushed down an opponent, and then puts his hands on a kid? Should have been sent.

  7. timbersalltheway - May 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Note that what has not been reported is that this was actually the _second_ time De Luna pushed the same ball boy. The first time happened out of the view of the referees, but next to some of the coaches and below where we were seated in the 116. Whether the ball boy was in the wrong or in the right is without merit: the ball boy is a kid and De Luna had no right to lay hands on him. I hope the commissioner comes down hard, very hard, if not for anything else than to remind other would be bullies that ball boys or ball girls are to be left alone no matter the circumstances.

  8. patriotsdefense - May 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    The kid needs to be fired and banned from all game and not allowed to root for the team anymore. You can clearly see him pull the ball away and switch hands. That is clear and obvious maleficent intent to interfere and interject with the game. No excuse for shoving a kid though.

    • patriotsdefense - May 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      well, obviously i was just kidding about not being able to root for the team anymore or being fired. Perhaps just lose balling privileges.

  9. ll8078 - May 13, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    i can’t say this without stereotyping, but did the player actually hear someone say it was Portland’s ball? If he doesn’t speak english + it’s a loud place, he could have simply thought it was his ball (he didn’t look at a ref after the ball went out of bounds). If you think it’s your ball and are watching someone take it away…..

    The ball boy should always be giving the ball to any player asking, let them settle it. You aren’t doing your job as a ball-boy if you are noticed, it’s that simple. The kid is clearly interfering with the game, get him out of there.

    • Dan Haug - May 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      Initially, I thought the ball boy was partially to blame as well… but the crazy thing is that there is a second ball literally right at de Luna’s feet. All he has to do is lean over and pick it up. As a matter of fact, he runs right by it to go for the ball boy. It looks to me like de Luna has ardido issues.

      • wfjackson3 - May 13, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        Who cares. If someone asks for the ball, the ballboy should hand it over. It is not the job of a 12 to 15 year old to decide who should and should not get a ball during a game played by professionals.

    • mlsconvert88888 - May 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Let’s be honest, the ball boy is guilty of having a better understanding of the game situation than De Luna and then using his common sense to act accordingly. Sure he should have just handed over the ball like an automaton, but instead he realized a) it was a Portland throw in and b) there was already a game ball that happened to be sitting at De Luna’s feet. In essence his actions prevented De Luna from committing a time wasting penalty.

      And even if the kid had been intentionally trying to waste time (which he wasn’t) the correct response is to turn to the ref and ask him to track the stoppage time. Acting like a petulant twat and grabbing for a ball that isn’t even in your possession is just embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as trying to justify de Luna’s actions in the comments of a blog.

  10. Dan Haug - May 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    MLS has clarified this. The ball boys are instructed to give the ball to the team with possession and NOT to the opposing team. Therefore the ball boy is vindicated. :p

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