LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez expressed on Sunday what many of us fans have been saying for years -- that Steven Lenhart is an embarrassment to the league, that the San Jose Earthquakes have acquired the Supporters Shield playing cheap and dirty, and that the referees have turned a blind eye to all of it.
The money quote: "It all starts when the ball's on the other side of the field, and you're just running and all of a sudden you get blindsided. You just get checked by Lenhart or something. It's just dumb [expletive] like that happens every time."
MLSSoccer.com also quotes Gonzalez as saying, "The players sure knew what was going to happen, but it seemed every time we looked at the referees, they act like they didn't see anything."
Exactly. Thank you, Omar.
Every time he benefits, he gets the congratulatory head slap from his teammates, as if making a mockery of the sport is in his job description.
Any time a foul is called against him, he appears to tell the official: "That was nothing -- you shoulda seen all that other [expletive] I was doing before."
It's one thing to embellish a foul, feign injury, or tug on a jersey in the scrum before a corner kick. It's quite another to plan your whole day around inciting the opposition by knocking them to the ground while the referees aren't looking.
Omar Gonzalez is right: this [expletive] is embarrassing. It's embarrassing that such a cynical club will be the 2012 Supporters Shield winners. It's embarrassing that Alan Gordon has earned a USMNT call-up at least partially on the basis of his own divey performances. It's embarrassing that the Quakes' success might drag the whole league down to this "whatever I can get away with" brand of soccer.
The only story with the San Jose Earthquakes ahead of the final game of the season is the possibility of Chris Wondolowski tying or breaking the MLS record for goals scored in a season. As we discussed back in September, such a possibility was looking rather bleak, after a slow stretch in July and August.
In just over a month since that report, however, Wondolowski has scored seven goals, including two against the Portland Timbers, true to the late surges he has been known for over the previous two seasons. The run has brought him right back within striking distance of the record.
As our own Will Conwell reported yesterday, David Horst is up for the challenge.
"I am going to make sure that our defense -- we are not going to let Wondo break this record on Saturday," Horst proclaimed. "Our first goal on Saturday is to win the game; our second is, don't let him break this record."
The official Stumptown Footy projection gives San Jose a 69% chance of winning on Saturday, but I'm predicting that 2012 will end the same way it began: with a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.