Saturday night was Mark Watson’s first game as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, and he has already embroiled himself in some controversy.
During the 48th minute of the Earthquakes’ 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on the road, Henry Thomas of the Rapids tackled the Earthquakes’ Sam Cronin and was called for the foul. The ball then trickled over the touch line towards Watson near the bench area, and Watson proceeded to kick the ball at Thomas.
Thomas, irate at Watson, stormed over and had a few words for the coach. Chris Wondolowski came over to calm him down, but Thomas proceeded to push away “Wondo,” who responded with a shove of his own.
Both Thomas and Wondolowski earned yellow cards, and you can see the entire incident below:
“I reacted because I’m trying to protect my players,” Watson told Geoff Lepper of MLSsoccer.com after the game. “There had been a few bad tackles, and I thought (the referee) needed to do a better job of protecting our players. I reacted, I shouldn’t have, but my motivation was to protect our players’ safety.”
Thomas, meanwhile, had some choice words for the Earthquakes coach.
“I think that a player in that situation can’t respect a coach who calls himself professional that’s going to kick you the ball when I got the ball cleanly,” Thomas told MLSsoccer.com in Spanish following the game. “The coach felt upset with me and that’s why I think he kicked the ball at me. I’ll let you guys look at the video and you’ll see he kicked the ball at me.”
Well, the video’s above. What do you think? Was it intentional or not?
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