MONTREAL – Marco Schällibaum wanted to set the record straight.
In the wake of his sending off last Saturday in Kansas City, the Montreal Impact boss spoke to the media on Tuesday morning to address a number of details regarding the incident, which happened after a Graham Zusi 80th-minute goal all but confirmed Sporting Kansas City’s 2-0 win over the Impact.
Several reports published following the game said Schällibaum had thrown a water bottle. On Tuesday, though, the Swiss coach insisted that he never did such a thing, instead confirming the MLSsoccer.com match report that he'd squirted water from a bottle at the area between the benches. He denies, however, that it was at the fourth official, Matthew Foerster.
“When I make mistakes, I always own up to them,” Schällibaum told reporters. “What I did wasn’t major, but it wasn’t nice. I read somewhere that I’d thrown the bottle, and that’s not true. I only threw a bit of water on the other side. But it’s a mistake on my part. The other side provoked us for 90 minutes, but I still have to control my emotions.”
Schällibaum did not, however, go on record as to what those provocations were. He played similarly coy in the wake of last month's encounter with Toronto FC, which featured an ongoing war of words between the Montreal coach and Reds right back Richard Eckersley.
The end-game is that the Impact are now set to play their second "home opener" on April 13 at Stade Saputo without Schällibaum, who'll have to watch from the stands.
“I'll be there, I’ll prepare the game the right way and I fully trust that [assistant coaches] Mauro [Biello] and Philippe [Eullaffroy] will do great work during the game, but I certainly am bitter because I really wanted to be there for the first game,” Schällibaum said. “I was really looking forward to going to Stade Saputo. … It breaks my heart.”