Ryan Hollingshead on sideline incident with Gio Savarese: "I'd probably do it again"

If you thought Ryan Hollingshead was going to be apologetic about the sideline incident with Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese that earned the FC Dallas defender a yellow card and ignited emotions Saturday night, think again. 

In fact, Hollingshead said after FC Dallas’ 4-1 win over the Timbers, he’d do it again if he could. 

“Honestly I probably would do it again because man, our team got pumped after that,” Hollingshead said. “The remainder of the game after that we really came flying, scored our fourth goal, it really changed the momentum of the game. Man, sometimes, you need something like that, a little bite or a little personality to change the game and energize the team. It ended up working this time.”

The incident, which went viral on social media, occurred in the 77th minute with Dallas already leading 3-1. Hollingshead said he went to retrieve the ball from the stand to throw it in, but Savarese already beat him to it. 

“Gio tossed the ball at the side of my head, but I knew it was coming so I caught it,” Hollingshead said. “Then he was just jibber jabbering so I thought ‘Oh I know what I’m going to do.’ So I pump-faked him and threw the ball in. I didn’t know that was a yellow card. I don’t know if that would have changed my doing it or not doing it.”

Hollingshead not only received a yellow card for his action, but drew the ire of Timbers players as well, although he said he has no issues with the Portland coach. 

“I’ve only heard good things about Gio, I’ve got nothing against him personally, but he caught me in the moment and kinda threw the ball at my head,” Hollingshead said. “I kind of thought the pump fake would be funny.”

Savarese wasn’t laughing after the game. 

“On that situation on the throw-in, I’ll let MLS review it,” he said in his post-match press conference. “What I will always say is that I think in the game of soccer, there has to be always sportsmanship and when you pass the line, I think it’s not the right thing. I will let everybody judge that situation, but what I can tell you from my part, it is what it is. MLS will look at it and make decisions.”