HARRISON, NJ - APRIL 02: Hunter Freeman #21 of the Houston Dynamo controls the ball against Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on April 2, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Jonathan Fickies/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Thierry Henry, we all get frustrated. Nobody will judge or blame you for being human and not being pleased with either your own performance of that of your team. What we will judge you for is kicking out the feet of a defenseless player because of your frustration. Your needless assault on Hunter Freeman was petty and childish and what's worse, the league will probably do nothing about it.
We have words of that kinds of behavior and those kind of people. Petulance and bully come to mind, and I don't care how good of a soccer player you are or how many jerseys and tickets you sell, acting like a tantruming child and potentially injuring a fellow competitor is just plain stupid.
This isn't the first time you've acted like an ass on an MLS field. We haven't forgotten your "celebration" that looked a lot more like an attempt to launch a ball in to the FC Dallas supporters that injured Kevin Hartman last season...what's that? You don't remember?
To the video evidence!
You got away with a $2000 slap on the wrist for that and you'll probably get nothing for going after Freeman. Why? Who knows, maybe the league is protecting guys like you and David Beckham.
Whatever the case may be, this is the second time you actions have embarrassed you and we can take small consolation in the fact that you didn't injure an opponent this time.
More after the jump.
Another tough road game for the Houston Dynamo and another point...not too bad at all. I know many of us were concerned when MLS released the 2011 schedule and saw trips to Seattle and New York in weeks two and three. To leave those two matches in the rear view mirror having been out shot 48-15 with a pair of 1-1 draws and two points has to be considered a success.
48 shots to 15 shots and only two goals against? Viva Tally!
Sure the Seattle match was winnable and you could make the case that if not for a defensive lapse to open the second half against the Red Bulls, the Dynamo could have won that one as well. What ifs are a
You can point out many variables that sunk Houston last season but there is no bigger one that the lack of positive results at Robertson Stadium. What had been a fortress for the Dynamo since their arrival became a drafty and dilapidated castle with lots of easy access points. The opening day loss to the Union didn't make me feel any better about this problem but having seen the steady improvement of the club over the past three weeks I'm inclined to think that will not be the norm this season.
One thing is certain, the Dynamo must find way to get more possession and limit the shot totals they are giving up to opponents. No matter how good Tally Hall is (and he's quite good), even the best goalkeeper is going to eventually crack when he's being bombarded at the rate of 20+ shots per match.
Basically we need to see more performances like the majority of the first half in New York on Saturday night in which the Dynamo dictated the tempo and were able to hold possession. The Brian Ching injury, which doesn't sound as bad as feared, based on a tweet from Jesus Ortiz of the Chronicle, will have a lot to say about how well the Dynamo are able to accomplish that task.
Speaking of Ching's injury, it seems that Glenn Davis and idea are of similiar mind this morning.
Ching took two shots from Bouna Coundoul, neither malicious but each the type of collision that can and did lead to injuries. Officials have a delicate line to walk between protecting goalkeepers (something they too much of) and protecting attacking player (something they neglect too much). The job of controlling a professional soccer match is hard enough without big athletes unnecessarily clattering in to each other.
Goalkeepers have to be aggressive and defend their box but that doesn't mean violent gestations should be allowed in the process. Seeing Ching hit in the head and then kneed in the ribs is hardly the kind of fair play that needs to be occurring. Just because Coundoul has the right to play the ball and defend his space doesn't mean he can go bulldozing through people to do so.
Just as a outfield player is punished for clattering in to an opponent in an attempt to win the ball, it stands to reason that goalkeepers need to be punished for running over people as well. Surely a balance can be found and the league can do something to better protect attacking players from unnecessary fouls that 99% of the time are ones the player doesn't see coming.
Do we really want more stories like Taylor Twellman and Alecko Eskandarian?