Sounders Insider

Marshall denies responsibility for Crew miss

"Aw, come on," Marshall said today, when told of the issue raised last week in a Columbus blog, and elsewhere. "The guy put the ball behind the penalty spot. I can’t go up there and kick it for him. You can do whatever you want to do, but it’s just one of those things where luck was on our side that night. They hit the post, I kicked one off the line, everything that could go our way went our way. Someone was watching from above. It had nothing to do with me. Any other day he would probably put that in the top of the net. He’s not a player that misses penalty kick. They can use all the excuses they want. If they want to say that was me, then fine."

Here's the original report from the Black and Gold Standard, which is called the official blog of the Columbus Crew. That blog item even includes a picture of the marred penalty spot -- actually a small crater where the penalty spot once was -- so that's a link worth following.

However, here's the highlight paragraphs:

As we all know, Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s shocking and uncharacteristic penalty kick miss was a major factor in the Crew’s 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night. Guille ripped the ball wide of the left post. Afterward, he expressed his remorse.

“It’s my fault, I know,” he said. “I feel terrible for the missed penalty. I shoot bad and put the ball outside. They broke the floor before the penalty, but it is my fault.”

They what? Broke the floor?

Like most classic Guille-isms, this one is rooted in a very simple truth. Some will insist that this is cheating, while others will insist that it was a brilliant piece of gamesmanship. No matter where one stands, one must tip their cap to Seattle for their flawless execution.

After referee Ricardo Salazar whistled Jhon Kennedy Hurtado for bodyblocking Eddie Gaven in the box, Hurtado and James Riley undertook a lengthy appeal. Hurtado and Riley remained in Salazar’s face for nearly a minute, keeping the referee occupied. It was the perfect diversion for Sounders defender Tyrone Marshall, who went to the penalty spot and got to work with his cleats. Marshall earnestly dug into the spot as if he were a slugger prepping for a crucial at-bat. He raked his cleats and back and forth, back and forth, over and over again. He jammed his heel into the ground when more force was needed. By the time he was finished, there was barely any evidence left of the white dot. There was a crater in its place.