Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Strikers’ coaches escorted out by police, FCE considering forfeit claim

Strikers’ coaches escorted out by police, FCE considering forfeit claim


If NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson wakes up Monday morning with a massive headache, no one could really blame him.

The sendings-off of Fort Lauderdale Strikers coach Gunter Kronsteiner and goalkeeper coach Ricardo Lopes overshadowed the 1-1 draw between the league’s two top defensive teams. After being thrown out of the game, Kronsteiner and Lopes were eventually escorted from the stadium by the police, an ejection caught on national television cameras.

The actions of the Fort Lauderdale coaches have FC Edmonton brass contemplating asking the league for a forfeit. The team has confirmed it will be making some kind of formal protest. A forfeit plea is an option.

Coaches being escorted out of the stadium by local law enforcement doesn’t look god on the league.

“I will talk to (coach Colin Miller and assistant Jeff Paulus) about it,” said FCE General Manger Rod Proudfoot after the match. “We will be considering it (asking for a forfeit).”

The league released this statement: “League policy is to not comment on such matters. All games are reviewed for disciplinary purposes.”

The pair were also caught on camera trying to coach their team after they’d been tossed out — a direct contravention of the FIFA and league rules on red cards. At halftime, Kronsteiner got in a shouting match with Proudfoot, who tried to block the Fort Lauderdale coach from being near the field of play. The Strikers had a member of the bench staff going up to the stands to communicate with the coaches. And, Lopes, caught on camera, was clearly on the cellphone to the bench and making hand gestures towards it.

There have also been allegations that both coaches used threatening language towards FC Edmonton staff, and there may be more police involvement.

“I told (Kronsteiner) that being allowed in the stands is a privilege, not a right,” said Proudfoot.

The coaches were sent off before halftime. After a free kick was awarded to FC Edmonton, Lance Laing stood over the ball, and it moved before he struck it. Referee Alain Ruch ruled that the kick should be retaken. With wind gusts up to 50 km/h, the ball wasn’t settling down. On the retake, Laing’s free kick took a deflection off the Fort Lauderdale wall and went into the corner of the net.

Proudfoot said that Kronsteiner was so enraged by the re-take, that he threatened to pull his team off the field and forfeit the game right there. He and Lopes walked onto the field of play, and eventually both were sent off.

Neither would leave, so police escorted them off the field of play.

Striker sub Walter Restrepo was also sent off.

Proudfoot said he was in contact with league office; the coaches wanted to sit in the stands, so he asked about allowing them to do so. Proudfoot said when FCE coaches have been sent off on the road, they’ve been required to not leave the dressing rooms. The league, Proudfoot claimed, said it was OK for Kronsteiner and Lopes to be in the stands, as long as they didn’t try to communicate with their bench.

When both coaches were caught defying the rule, they were asked to leave. By the police.

At least the duo got to see their team tie it up before they were asked to leave the stadium outright. With the gusting wind at their backs, the Strikers began the second half with intense pressure, and it finally paid off with a goal. Off a free kick, Martin Nunez, cut by FCE out of training camp, got a free header that forced keeper Lance Parker into a tremendous save. But the rebound came to Striker Yaikel Perez, who hammered a shot towards goal. Parker dove across the goal and actually got a touch to the ball, but couldn’t keep it out.

“The ball hit me in the hands and then my face, and the wind blew it in,” Parker said.

For FCE, barring any appeal of the result, the game marked its fifth 1-1 draw in a row.

The Eddies had the advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half. And, despite goalkeeper Richard Sanchez not being able to kick the ball more than 25 yards, despite the fact there was no long-ball options available in the wind, Kronsteiner had his defence playing a very high line. Miller said that when he saw the way the Strikers had set up, it “defied belief.”

And he was bitterly disappointed that the best the Eddies could do was one goal out of the half. Striker Corey Hertzog kept drawing offside flags. A through ball that sent in Daryl Fordyce in alone went for naught, as the Northern Irish forward couldn’t get a touch on the ball to round Sanchez.

“This was a team we could have beat, that’s why I’m so disappointed,” said Miller.

The coach was so unhappy about the number of offsides and easy giveaways in the first half that he said the players to be prepared for some tougher training sessions than normal. He said he hasn’t been that disappointed with an FCE match since the fall-season opening loss at Carolina.

Had it not been for Parker, the Strikers could have got two or three early in the second half. He mad a diving stop on Darnell King, then made a diving effort to corral a free kick from Manny Gonzalez.

FCE’s Michael Cox, who came on as a sub, got a late chance to win it, but his overhead kick was stopped by Sanchez.

So, for now, the Eddies are four points adrift of the first-place New York Cosmos. A forfeit would be a precedent-setter; it would be a longshot at best.

But chances are the Strikers will be without their coaching staff for a while. When a coach is escorted out of the stadium by police, it’s not the stuff of a one-game suspension, is it?

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  1. LOTG

    September 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    There is no such thing as an ejection under FIFA LOTG. Get your terminology correct. Coaches are dismissed, players are sent off. Also, coaches are NEVER shown a yellow or red card under LOTG.

  2. Stephen

    September 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Referee did everything right in the situation. I hope these coaches get multiple game bans. They are a complete disgrace.

  3. Sas

    September 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    NASL officiating is horrible. It is pub league quality and makes the league look Mickey Mouse. And Bill Peterson is lucky very few care about or follow the NASL. Otherwise this would be a massive embarrassment. Being an afterthought to MLS does have its advantages.

  4. Scott

    September 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    This article, written by an FC Broadcaster isn’t biased at all (sarcasm).

    FC Edmonton asking for a forfeit would just be ridiculous. It would make it seem like that would be the only way they could get a win.

    And while the Strikers coaches should be punished, there were no punches thrown. It seemed the cops entered the field pretty prematurely.

    Finally, what about punishment to the ref for making a terrible call?

    • FootballJimmy

      September 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Can you elaborate? How is it biased? As far as I can tell, this is all based on fact.

      At least we can all agree that NASL officiating is regularly sub-par.

  5. Madmonte

    September 16, 2013 at 5:52 am

    I don’t care if the refs were correct or incorrect on every single call. I don’t think unprofessional describes what I was watching. I think the one word I would have to use is “disgraceful”. More than one game ban indeed. If threats were a part of it, then I would assume a full season ban.

  6. #alexclark1944

    September 16, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Wind, passion and law enforcement – what more do we need? Perhaps a win and fewer long balls. Be interesting to see where this one goes. Do they make an example of the coaches and club or brush under the carpet? We need three points so I hope FCE complain. Love that he threatened to pull the whole team off…what a youtube sensation that would have been. Can’t blame too much sunshine exposure as the Florida boys should be used to that.

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