One quick elbow led to two major problems for the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
While tussling for positioning, Rapids defender Drew Moor threw an elbow square in the face of LA Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, leading to a straight red card for Moor and ultimately the defining moment in the Rapids’ 1-0 loss to the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
Moor’s elbow led to a penalty, which LA’s Mike Magee converted for the game’s lone goal in the 50th minute.
“I let my team down tonight,” Moor told MLSsoccer.com. “I was moving kind of backwards into position and he kind of stepped in my way and gave me a little bump and just kind of a stupid moment, I reacted and kind of put my arm back in his direction and obviously made contact.”
“I’m disappointed in myself. That’s not me. That’s not who I am and that’s not what this club and organization is about.”
The incident occurred early in the second half, with Moor throwing an intentional elbow straight to Marcelo’s face. One of the sideline referees saw the foul and reported it to primary referee Armando Villarreal, who then turned around and gave the 29-year-old ninth-year pro his marching orders.
As for the violator himself, Moor knew what’d done. Before he had even been shown the red card by the referee, the veteran center back had already handed over his captain’s armband to goalkeeper Clint Irwin. Moor apologized to the team post-game.
“I have not even seen the play, so I am not in a position to talk clearly about the play,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said postgame.
The moment of madness from the normally mild-mannered Moor came somewhat as a surprise and marked only the second time in Moor’s career that he received a red card in a regular season MLS game, the other instance coming back in July 2009, when he was playing for FC Dallas.
And the veteran knew it was an inexcusable error.
“I’m disappointed in myself and I told every guy in the locker room that they should walk with their heads up, and I’m the only one who won’t be,” Moor said.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.