Don't count Omar Gonzalez among those impressed by the San Jose Earthquakes' hard-nosed approach to the game. The LA Galaxy center back blasted the Quakes after Sunday's 2-2 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium, calling the Supporters' Shield winners' style “embarrassing” and “not the way the game should be played.”
Is it the first blow in a Western Conference semifinal series between the longtime rivals?
The result, along with Seattle's victory over FC Dallas, cemented a Galaxy-Vancouver matchup in the Knockout Round, to be played the first week of November at the Home Depot Center, and LA figure to be a huge favorite to push through to a home-and-home series against you-know-who.
Gonzalez, last year's MLS Defender of the Year, may not be the first opponent to criticize the Earthquakes' game, but he might be the most vocal.
“To be honest, this game wasn't even fun,” saud Gonzalez, who didn't like San Jose's physical manner, especially off the ball, after LA let two leads slip away on set pieces. “I think those guys are a bunch of jokes, the way they play the game. It was just obnoxious. And, you know, it wasn't even fun out there. It was terrible.”
Gonzalez was whistled for a foul on Steven Lenhart in the 60th minute to set up Marvin Chávez's free-kick goal as San Jose rallied from the first deficit moments after Robbie Keane's 58th-minute opener.
“I would say it was a foul on me, like I got fouled,” said Gonzalez, who fell after contact from Lenhart, who also hit the turf. “Because my eyes were directly on the ball, and I'm just running back and, all of a sudden, I got hit. But Jair [Marrufo, the referee] said I fell on him.”
That didn't steam Gonzalez as much as how San Jose play the game.
“It all starts when the ball's on the other side of the field, and you're just running and all of a sudden you get blindsided,” he said. “You just get checked by Lenhart or something. It's just dumb [expletive] like that happens every time, and that's not the way the game should be played. It's embarrassing.”