Saturday night featured an MLS tilt between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquake. The former sit in the top half of the Western Conference, while the latter have struggled this year but are capable of playing some really eye-catching, up-tempo soccer when things are going well for them.
The reason for the latter is manager Matias Almeyda, whose full-throttle approach leads to his team playing some real feast-or-famine football from time to time. What he never seems to be is a particularly mean dude, although he was tangentially involved in a red card that got handed down during Saturday’s game.
Agustin Zalazar, the head of coaching communications for the Earthquakes and the person who handles translations for the club’s Argentinian manager, got a little riled up in the 69th minute of play. As a result, he picked up a red card and was sent to the back, but it was not for anything Almeyda said — he, instead, got handed a yellow and was able to stick around.
This is wild.
Matías Almeyda’s translator just got kicked out the game. #COLvSJ pic.twitter.com/fTT716Udth
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 18, 2021
After the game, which ended up being a 1-1 draw, Almeyda vented some frustrations about the way games are officiated in MLS, a league he otherwise loves.
Matias Almeyda says that he defends MLS to detractors abroad, but he doesn’t think games are officiated fairly in the league and that’s his biggest issue with MLS. Includes “I love this league” for emphasis to wrap up his answer.
— Alicia Rodriguez (@soccermusings) July 18, 2021
Soccer is a gigantic sport played all over the place, so it is extremely possible this has happened before elsewhere. But with that disclaimer aside, I have never seen anything quite like a translator getting the boot while a manager picks up a yellow.