Handshake-Gate? Sparks fly between Sporting Kansas City and Montreal Impact after latest intense battle
Meetings between Kansas City and Montreal sure are getting boisterous.
After the Impact secured a 2-1 away win, Le Journal de Montréal’s Dave Lévesque reported a claim by assistant coach Mauro Biello that Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes refused to shake his hand at the final whistle, reportedly saying, “[Expletive] off, you guys are classless.”
“I think it came about through back and forth between the benches,” midfielder Collen Warner said of the general turmoil that broke out. “Once [Marco] Di Vaio got subbed off, there was some more talking going on – and I’m not exactly sure what exactly was said or anything, but there’s not too many bad feelings on the field, to be honest.”
Someone clearly forgot to tell Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum, who is now a perfect 2-for-2 in the ejections department at Sporting Park. Schällibaum took issue with a penalty conceded by Montreal defender Alessandro Nesta, who later saw red himself after a disorderly battle with Claudio Bieler throughout the game.
“If you look closely before the foul – and even many plays before that – he hits Alessandro a number of times,” Patrice Bernier told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “It’s got to go both ways. I agree that maybe Alessandro does something, but it stems from something else. It was a huge battle that was obvious from the start.”
Yet despite the obstacles, the Impact did it again: they rallied, this time with opportune goals from Sanna Nyassi and Collen Warner – the latter’s first in MLS – to ultimately claim victory in a most meaningful game.
Against a serious Eastern Conference rival, the Canadian champions have picked up arguably their biggest win yet this season in MLS to regain the top of the conference standings. The one-point margin may be slim, but another advantage lies elsewhere: the four games they have in hand over second-placed New York Red Bulls.
“I’m happy for Collen and for Sanna, who haven’t played a lot of late, but they brought freshness and a win,” Bernier said. “It shows how deep our group is.”
Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for MLSsoccer.com