Rafa Márquez, who criticized teammate and defender Tim Ream for "errors that were infantile," last month, displayed some incredible infantile behavior of his own in the New York Red Bulls' 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy in the MLS playoffs Sunday.
The Mexican National Team captain and LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho were red carded for their roles during the post-match melee after the MLS Western Conference semifinal match. Both players will be suspended for the second leg of the total goals series at The Home Depot Center on Thursday night.
Márquez started the fracas by throwing the ball at Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan. Juninho retaliated and elbowed Red Bulls defender Stephen Keel in the lip. Keel fell to the ground.
Red Bulls captain and striker Thierry Henry said he spoke to Márquez "briefly" after the game.
"He said he threw the ball or something like that," Henry said. "I don't know but at that time I was clapping to our fans. . . . That's not what you want to see at the end of the game. I would like to say that. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, stuff like that happens.
"Let's talk about the game. I think it's better. We're going to miss Rafa definitely. You would rather have Rafa on the field than not having him on the field. We're going to have to do the same type of game at their place and we all know how difficult to win at their place."
Donovan could not believe what he had seen from the Red Bulls.
"In all my years in this league I have not played against a cheaper team than that," he told reporters. "We've seen that stuff all year."
Márquez, the Mexican National Team captain, did not make himself available for comment after the match. He has not spoken to the English-language media covering the team since the 3-1 home loss to Real Salt Lake on Sept. 21.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernández
Chicharito rescued Manchester United with an early goal less than a week from the Manchester City humiliation en route to a 1-0 victory at Everton in Liverpool in English Premier League action.
United was still feeling the effects of its 6-1 derby demolition by City at Old Trafford last Sunday. ManU won at Goodison Park for the first time since 2007.
“It’s an important result to come away from home and win,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. “Everton is never an easy game and they put everything they could into the game. In the first half we played some fantastic football and scored a good goal. We have worked hard for this result. It was what we wanted and we battled hard for this.”
Chicharito struck in the 19th minute. Fullback Patrice Evra sent a cross to the unmarked Mexican and Hernández and he put the ball into the open net that was guarded by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard for his fourth goal this season.
“The goal was a brilliant goal by Hernández,” Ferguson said. “He did what he does best.”
This is what the United website said about Hernández’s performance:
“Caught offside three times early on but not when it mattered most, glancing over to the linesman to make sure his left-footed finish to Evra’s center would count before celebrating with his colleagues. Dashed out of the wall to block a [Louis] Saha free kick and worked tirelessly for the cause, also supplying a cross-field pass for [Danny] Welbeck’s chance.”
Hernández was replaced by Dimitar Berbatov in the 67th minute.
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez did not score, but he played a vital role in Liverpool's 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League. Suarez was fouled in the penalty area by Jerome Thomas to set up Charlie Adam's penalty kick in the ninth minute. He later sent Andy Carroll through as he scored in first-half stoppage time.
Five minutes after he had a goal disallowed due to a handball, Peruvian Paolo Guerrero scored in the 64th minute to give Hamburg a 1-1 draw with VfL Wolfsburg.
Uruguayan Diego Godin set up Alvaro Dominguez's goal that gave Atletico Madrid a goal in its 3-1 defeat in La Liga.
The Mexican international, on loan from Arsenal (England), played 90 minutes for Real Sociedad in its 1-0 home defeat to Real Madrid.
Guardado, who has been hot recently, set up Lassad's goal in the 72nd minute, which gave Deportivo La Coruña a 3-1 lead in what turned into a 3-2 triumph over Girona in the Second Division. The Mexican international came close to scoring in the second half as his header hit the post.
Jonathan dos Santos
Dos Santos, another member of the Mexican National Team, played the full 90 minutes for Barcelona B in its first home win of the season, a 1-0 victory over Nastic in the Second Division.
Gabriel Paletta, German Denis, Gergessio, Alejandro Gómez
Argentine central defender Gabriel Paletta scored for Parma in its 2-0 win over last-place Cesena, which fired coach Marco Giampaolo after the match.
Another Argentine German Denis scored his sixth goal of the season in the seventh minute, but Atalanta needed more in a 3-1 loss at Bologna.
And yet a third Argentinean, Gonzalo Bergessio, connected for the game-winner off a header in the 48th minute for Catania in its 2-1 victory over Napoli. Yet another Argentine, Alejandro Gómez, set up Giovanni Marchese for the equalizer.
Yann Gouffran scored twice for visiting Bordeaux twice within a two-minute span en route to a 2-0 win over last-place Ajaccio and Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Gouffran tallied in the 25th and 27th minutes.
On loan from Arsenal, the Costa Rican youth international started and played the first 45 minutes of Lorient's 3-1 road loss at Brest. Campbell was subbed at halftime.
Three minutes after he came on as a substitute in the 71st minute, Argentine Ricardo Verón set up Vangelis Mantzios on a free kick and he tallied helped OFI rally from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw with defending champion Olympiakos.
Alvaro Saborio, Javier Morales
Costa Rican international striker Alvaro Saborio was the star of Real Salt Lake’s stunning 3-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference semifinal series in Sandy, Utah. It wasn’t that RSL defeated the Sounders in the first leg of the total goals series, it was the margin of victory.
Saborio struck for two goals — once in each half — at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“I think the team was sharp in all the positions,” Saborio said.
Saborio, who found the net 10 times during the regular season, gave the hosts a 1-0 advantage in the 41st minute, although there were some concerns that he was offside on the play. Argentine Javier Morales started the scoring sequence, finding left fullback Chris Wingert, whose shot from the left side was redirected by Saborio past goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
Morales and Saborio hooked up again on the other side of halftime in the 53rd minute as Saborio back heeled a shot past Keller for a 2-0 lead. Second-half sub Ned Grabavoy added a third score in the 88th minute.
“We’re friends,” Morales told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “We’re friends outside and in the field. So I’m happy for him because I think he deserves two goals. And the second one was so good.”
The second leg is set for Seattle on Wednesday night.
Michael Lewis, who has covered international soccer for three decades, can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com.