From the official LA Galaxy site: No Excuses: LA Galaxy refuse to blame referee after controversial loss to the Portland Timbers.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy refused to allow Jelle Van Damme's controversial first-half ejection serve as an excuse after their ill-tempered 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
There are many facts in that sentence. The game was played on a Sunday afternoon in Carson, the Galaxy and the Timbers were the teams involved, Van Damme was the player sent off, it was in the first half, and it was controversial. The final score was 1-0, and the temper of the game could be fairly described as ill.
One might quibble about whether the Galaxy did, in fact, refuse to blame the referee for the loss, however. For those of you who have just joined us, the LA Galaxy Twitter account - the official one - the one that speaks for the team - the entire team, from Phil Anschutz down to Cozmo - I'm aware Cozmo has his own Twitter account, and I'm also aware it's very entertaining, thank you, that's not the point we're making here, please try to keep focus - decided after the game to post what I think the kids today call a "meme."
Oh, by the way, that's the sort of thing you never see the winning team post. When you win, you don't want to change the subject. When you lose, you talk about anything else. This was an attempt to change the subject.
The Portland Timbers realized this, of course, and didn't respond.
Just kidding - they did respond. But they merely posted a picture of the scoreboard.
Well...no, they didn't do that. They posted a replay of the winning goal, which was completely deserved by Portland, completely a result of the Galaxy's self-inflicted failures, and completely irrelevant to Portland diving or Baldomero Toledo's reffing.
Well, okay, no. The Portland Timbers posted this:
@LAGalaxy if you can only put fans in 60% of your seats a cute meme is one way to get attention. We have video guys, too. Stay tuned...— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) March 13, 2017
Too little attention has been given to Portland's response, so let's analyze it in detail. It was a stupid idiot Tweet that was both stupid and idiot. However you feel about the official LA Galaxy site whining about dives, at least they spoke for the vast majority of Galaxy fans (for better or worse). Timbers fans and players didn't give a haysi fantayzee about the attendance - they got three points on the road. That was half their road point total in 2016, and their first win on the road against an MLS team since that game in 2015 where they got a shiny cup with weird handles.
Fine, so maybe the top priority for the Timbers - and that account was the official voice of the Timbers, no less than it was the official voice of the Galaxy to which they were responding - was to defend the bruised honor of Diego Chara and David Guzman. How does a random charge of papering the seats help any?
Just to skip ahead to the end a bit - when a Galaxy employee apologized for any mean-spirited intention (whether or not at gunpoint), this was what the Timbers - let us re-emphasize, the Timbers official account, speaking for everyone from Paulson to the wood shavings - thought was a cute response.
"Hey! Nobody's going to your games!" and "Hey! The quality of your turf will take a nosedive come August!" aren't exactly things the Galaxy put on their season ticket brochures. I think the comebacks, rather than Galaxy teasing, are what prompted the MLS front office to cluck their tongues and pull at their beards and say "What is to be done?"
For, as Grant Wahl first informed us, Major League Soccer was indeed unamused. Hindquarters - I mean, but, it's been a week and the Tweet is still up. I know for a fact that Tweets can be deleted. My Tweet predicting Montana would get the next expansion franchise called Helena Handbasket FC? No trace.
Which means that the league did not - at least publicly - take Leander Schaerlaeckens' advice. Leander was absolutely right, of course - it was a funny Tweet, and it did bring the game into a tiny bit of disrepute. Second-guessing referees is a chump's business to begin with, and suppose one day the Galaxy decided they wanted to sign Guzman or Chara.
The weird thing was...no one was, for want of a better word, punished. I hope nobody in the two front offices were fired, but if they were, nothing has been said about it. All the Tweets involved are still accessible. Toledo was given the center circle in a nationally televised game Sunday. Neither Guzman nor Chara were suspended nor fined. Or fined. Yeah, that felt like too many "nors."
Galaxy fans were quick to recall that they had Dave Romney suspended for a game for his own disgusting embellishment that dragged the good name of association football through twelve feet of mud. (Romney returned from his suspension with his shooting boots tied right, to say the least, that was a heck of a goal he had Saturday.) Why weren't Portland's malfeasancers shown the leather glove of justice?
Well...I think it might have had something to do with the Galaxy posting a video trying and convicting them in the court of public opinion.
This really turned out to be a masterpiece of passive-aggressive punishment. Guzman and Chara (and Toledo) were chumped in public, but won't miss any game time. Portland and LA's social media took wildly unfair shots at each other - and those are still up there, apologies or no. The league defends the honor and integrity of its refereeing, while extremely tacitly admitting that mistakes, shall we say, were made. Everyone was guilty, and everyone administered punishment to each other.
Well...perhaps not all the punishment has been doled out quite yet. The Galaxy play in Portland on August 6. I don't know why you would intend to miss it.
EDIT - well, we're on a new format! Maybe you can even comment!