MONTREAL – Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum kicked off his week’s work in an unusual way.
The Swiss coach apologized to his players for his sending off in Montreal’s 2-1 win over D.C. United on Saturday. It was Schällibaum’s third ejection this season, after he was expelled from both of his team’s games in Kansas City.
“I made a mistake,” Schällibaum told reporters on Monday. “I also told my team that I should be an example in many respects – I’m the leader of this team after all – and that I did something that wasn’t right. I was punished and went off earlier than the others. I take full responsibility.”
The incident started in the 75th minute as James Riley received a yellow card for a challenge, on a 50-50 ball, that sent Justin Mapp crashing into a TV camera. Schällibaum raced out of his technical area and was ejected along with D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen, who also stepped out of his area. Ironically, Riley and Mapp had shook hands by the time both coaches made their way to the tunnel.
Schällibaum had calmed down when he sat for his postgame press conference, but he admitted on Monday that this weekend’s win hadn’t been that great an experience for him because of the incident.
“I felt uncomfortable yesterday still, but I feel better now because [the players] have accepted my apology,” Schällibaum said. “Again, I’m not perfect, just like everyone else. I’m also a human being with emotions, strong and less strong. The issue has been settled. I know that I made a mistake, and when you apologize, it comes from the heart. I’d rather it never happened again.”