Thorns draw late on goal by keeper Betos

Dan Lauletta June 20, 2015 167

Goalkeeper Michelle Betos rescued the 10-woman Portland Thorns by scoring a goal off a corner kick in stoppage time to give her side a 1-1 draw with FC Kansas City on Friday in the first NWSL match after the World Cup break.

Betos became the first goalkeeper to score in National Women’s Soccer League history when she threw caution to the wind to give the Thorns an extra attacker on a corner kick in stoppage time.  The first one was sent out by FC Kansas City.  The second one—from Allie Long—found Betos unmarked and she drove a header off the midsection of Frances Silva and over the line.  The goal marked the first time the Thorns have ever flipped the result of a match with a goal in the 90th minute or stoppage time.

Betos was mobbed by her teammates as she scrambled back to defend her goal for the final few moments of the match, and again next to her goal after the final whistle.  The Thorns had played the final 20 minutes with 10 players after McCall Zerboni was shown a straight red for stepping on Kansas City forward Shea Groom.

The return match for NWSL was a battle between two of the clubs most impacted by World Cup call-ups.  The result was an opening half in which both teams had moments of possession but neither proved particularly dangerous.  By the break the match was scoreless and FC Kansas City had taken partial control of the midfield.  Sarah Hagen hit the post in the 33rd minute and the Blues had another near miss as the halftime whistle drew near.

Five minutes into the second half, Groom got away in space and drew a foul from Kendall Johnson.  Jen Buczkowski drove the long free kick to the middle of the box and Sarah Hagen beat Betos to it and headed into an empty goal to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.  Betos argued she was fouled but most of the contact came from teammate Rachel Van Hollebeke.

The match changed again in the 70th minute when Groom was on the ground  after a foul and Zerboni stepped on Groom as she walked to the aid of Sinead Farrelly who was shaken up on the play.  Zerboni received a straight red.  Shortly after the match she took to Twitter to say she was simply trying to get to Farrelly and did not intentionally step on Groom.

The Thorns showed little ability to pester FC Kansas City after that until Betos came about 40 yards out to take a free kick.  From there the Thorns won a corner kick and Betos wandered into the box.  Left unmarked all the way she stepped into Long’s second attempt for an aggressive header that knotted the score and incited pandemonium at Providence Park.

Despite the late heroics, the Thorns (2-3-4, 10 points) extended their club-record winless streak to seven and remain ahead of only Sky Blue FC.  FC Kansas City (3-4-2, 11 points) moved up to 5th place.

  • kernel_thai

    Great finish in front of a great crowd. Sal-lute!

    • Steglitz49

      Zidane at least faced the player he head-butted in the 2006 final. He retired immediately and as far as I know the whole episode was dropped. Had Italy not won, it might have been a different story.

  • Rdalford

    another great crowd in Portland, attendance 15214

    GK Betos would get my vote for player of the match.

    • kernel_thai

      She probably has Player of the Week regardless what follows.

  • Davis

    Thoughts:
    -Amy Lepeilbet was fantastic all night. I thought she was the best player on the field. Had Ayo covered the whole game. When the heck did Lepeilbet become that fast?
    -Michelle Betos is my new favorite Thorns player.
    -Sarah Hagen is pretty good.
    -What the heck was McCall Zerboni thinking? She could face further disciplinary action for that.

    • guest

      LePeilbet (capital P) is so underappreciated. It’s truly stunning how fast she is when you think about how she came back from two career ending knee injuries.

      • patently false

        “career ending?”

    • Ron Bishop

      Zerboni should receive an extra two game suspension for that cheap shot.

      • Steglitz49

        I would give her a 5 match ban. It was mean, nasty and totally unnecessary.

        • Matt Ryan

          1 or 2 additional games to the automatic 1 match ban is sufficient. That would be a huge chunk of a 20 game season.

          • Steglitz49

            No. She purposely stepped on a player lying face down, defenseless, on the ground. I am starting to think of a season ban.

          • guest

            It was more of a stupid error than a malicious one, so the standard three game suspension should apply, but I see what you’re trying to do there.

          • Steglitz49

            As I have commented in two places already, there are two, nay three, dimensions here. Her chances of
            — a future in the NWSL;
            — gainful employment inside or outside soccer;
            — rewarding interpersonal relationships.

            Someone needs to teach her the facts of life. Stuff stay on the web forever and a day.

          • Guest

            Is there a way to intentionally step on someone in a not malicious fashion? Any intentional action like that is by definition malicious. Hurting them is the only outcome.

          • guest

            You have to ask the stepper what their intention was. If she really wanted to be malicious she could have stomped on her spine, but she didn’t do that. It looked like she was pretending not to see her and stepped on her “accidentally” which is pretty stupid.

          • Guest

            There is 0% chances of a good outcome to Groom from being stepped on. 100% of being stepped on is malicious. Even if she just wanted to leave an interesting and painful bruise pattern on her back and not actually crack a rib with her weight. The range of terrible bruise to broken bone is all malicious. Geez. There is no “fluffy bunny” option.

          • Lorehead

            A two-game suspension was what the disciplinary committee gave Carli Lloyd last year for grabbing Vanessa DiBernardo by the jersey and intentionally striking her in the face. Two games seems right to me: consistent with what a star of the USWNT got, and more serious than just a straight red.

          • Steglitz49

            What punishment would you meet out if the fouled player had had a fractured spine? That is what could have happened. It was also intentional, not in the heat of the moment and the player defenseless.

            I would ban her for the season and on appeal maybe reduce it to a 5 match ban.

          • Lorehead

            It didn’t look to me as if Zerboni could have fractured anybody’s spine. Recklessly breaking someone’s spine? Who was lying on the ground after the play was dead? The punishment for that wouldn’t just be a suspension.

          • Steglitz49

            If the coach is smart he does not play her for the next 5 matches. He also cuts a deal with the chairman of the disciplinary commission.

          • David K Anderson

            She’ll get a total of three games, I’m thinking. That sounds about right. It was a step, not a stomp. Bad…but not as bad as it could have been. Bloody stupid thing to do, and I’m disappointed in a player I’ve been liking quite a lot.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken. It has to be a game more than Carli’s for striking a player in the heat of the moment.

            The disciplinary committee holds the cards. Thus, her coach needs to speak with the chairperson pronto and cut a deal. Whatever she gets, he would be wise to do without her for 5 matches (unless it is longer than that).

          • Lorehead

            I’d be fine with that.

            She tweeted that it was all an accident and she just wasn’t able to stop her momentum, then deleted it.

          • David K Anderson

            I read that tweet (and responded, actually). She got some really over-the-top nasty responses to it, but she may also have realized that the best thing to do was just apologize to everyone, including Groom (which she did in a later tweet), and take her lumps from the Disciplinary Committee.

          • Steglitz49

            Why can’t they learn not to tweet? She is 28 and went to UCLA, for crying out loud. Not 16 and from the wrong side of the railroad tracks.

          • David K Anderson

            The players get used to tweeting fun stuff…and forget that social media is a terrible place to discuss matters of import of controversy.

          • Steglitz49

            Someone ought to sit down with her and explain that this sort of event can seriously impact her chances of gainful employment. Maybe already has.

          • David K Anderson

            Paul Riley mentioned in his post-game interview that while he couldn’t say too much (he hadn’t seen any video of the foul yet), he might take some action if needed. He was doing his best to mask it, but he was obviously annoyed with her.

            I think that tweet about it being an accident was pretty suspect. I didn’t at first…but I subsequently watched the replay a few times, and not I’m dubious. What I think happened was that McCall was angry over Groom’s hard foul on Farrelly (which itself earned a yellow card) and foolishly elected to dish out some payback. As I said previously, I’m really disappointed in a player I like a lot (although I’m happy to see that she later tweeted an apology to fans, the team, and (most importantly) to Shea Groom.

          • Lorehead

            Brent Diskin had a very perceptive comment on Twitter: “Zerboni had best be thanking her lucky stars that BETOS happened tonight. Otherwise, the takeaway from this match would be a complete 180°.”

          • sweetjazz3

            That sounds about right to me too.

          • TsovLoj

            That wasn’t anywhere near her spine.

          • Steglitz49

            Stop making excuses.

          • TsovLoj

            I’m not, I agree that she should be punished, but let’s not be hyperbolic. The scenario you’re describing doesn’t make sense from where she stepped on her.

          • Steglitz49

            Once the matter has been resolved, it would be a nice gesture for Paulson to pay for Zerboni to travel to KC and apologize in person to not just the player she stepped on but the whole KC squad.

          • guest

            Might as well he is paying for everything else.

  • guest

    LePeilbet is the epitome of an absolute die hard warrior. First gets knocked out flat and is curled up in pain, takes a minute to recover then comes right back in. Then later took a direct shot to the face with blood everywhere. Again cleans up and comes right back in. Never missed a beat. Amazing.

  • Retire Please

    In other news Liz Bogus still absolutely sucks and is a complete liability on the field.

    • Ron Bishop

      I’m not a Bogus fan either, but she had a game winner a few matches ago.

  • justsomeguy

    wow that was awesome

  • Miami66

    Outstanding. Sportscenter Top 10 please!

    • Lorehead

      #2!

  • Oregon

    That was so heartening I am ready to pull out my PTFC scarf again!

  • Lisa

    That header was awesome, Abby should take note! … but cheering on the Thorns after that Zerboni garbage still doesn’t sit quite right. That’s got to be a 3 game minimum

    • Guest

      It is shocking that she managed to convert a diving header on turf. Why wasn’t she more concerned with her body like Abby is? If a WC isn’t deserving of giving it your all a league game certainly isn’t. Betos needs to learn to try less hard like Abby.

  • No remorse

    McCall you look like a man, your slow as s###, and your true nasty personality showed. Someone who is faster, smarter, and more technical worked you all game. Just accept it rather then getting dirty. Give it up already and retire please because you don’t deserve to be on the thorns.

    • Matt Ryan

      MZ is a good person who had a bad moment. You, on the other hand, actually had to stop and think before posting something this stupid. Please retire from the internet.

      • Remorseful

        I was focused on the person who was harmed, Shea Groom. I.couldn’t stop the momentum of my fingers while I was typing. Honest mistake sorry:(:( sincerely

  • mskillens

    made sportscaster top 10 tonight. Good job Betos and what a goal!!!

  • Steglitz49

    KC had better shape up. They risk not making the play-offs.

  • Steglitz49

    I am told 15,214 went to the match. That ought to be a Portland record, at least for the basic series.

    Meanwhile, I read that no less than 4.5 million watched the Fox broadcast of the match USA-Sweden. It is, allegedly, the American viewing record for a group stage match of a World Cup.

    It is harder to judge viewing figures in Europe because Eurosport do not have exclusive rights. Quite a lot of matches are shown on the open channels in England, Germany and Sweden (though apparently not in France).

    • David K Anderson

      The record is 19,123k for a regular season game in August of last year, vs Houston (and, sadly, we’ve not had a home playoff game yet). Stadium capacity is just a little over 21k.

      • Lorehead

        And it’s looking like a long shot this year, too. At least we got a point against the defending champion—at home.

        • David K Anderson

          Everything is still so close in the table, but the top two are starting to open up some distance from the pack…and of course only the top two play home games in the playoffs (unless the #4 knocks off the #1).

          • Steglitz49

            Last season Seattle opened up a gap like Puget Sound if not Hudson Bay but failed at the last hurdle.

        • Vladlagg

          I still say that PTFC will be outside looking in at WNY this year, but we shall see. Heck of a game, though. Amazing header , and I’m an FCKC apologist.

      • Steglitz49

        Vow!

        Almost enough to fill a tier at Wembley. Maybe the FA should cut a deal with Paulson?

        • David K Anderson

          The team should be proud of tonight’s attendance. Over 15k with eight internationals gone (including huge fan favorites like Alex and Sincy). The crowd was absolutely thunderous after Betos’ equalizer…and the noise kept going for a good ten minutes after the game ended. It was pretty darn wonderful to be part of, for sure.

          • Steglitz49

            High time to study, dissect and tranch the Portland spirit, to find the WoSo-virus and then infect the world with it.

            Does it have any downsides? Are WoSo-fans in Portland known for deviant behavior?

          • David K Anderson

            No, it’s a pretty good crowd. Loud, but not nasty (the Timbers Army can get pretty over-the-top, but the Riveters are less inclined to be loutish). Awesome tifos! =)

          • Steglitz49

            I learnt them as tifosi, with an “i” on the end but, allegedly, if it is an all (majority) female bunch of fans, tifose with an “e” on the end (female plural) can be used but hardly ever is. LoreHead maybe does?

          • David K Anderson

            Oh, I meant the big banners the supporters group puts up, not the supporters themselves. I know the term “tifosi” from Formula One (usually referring to the Ferrari fans).

            And the very idea of Portland soccer fans abstaining form alcohol is unthinkable! =P

          • TsovLoj

            Define deviant behavior, lol. It’s kind of a strange place.

          • Steglitz49

            The rednecks would claim watching WoSo instead of getting lucky.

          • sweetjazz3

            I’m an FCKC fan, but even I enjoyed the Betos goal and the celebration that ensued. It’s great to see for women’s soccer and I am glad that PTFC fans got to experience a thrilling finish. The dream is that women’s soccer reaches a point where other cities can match Portland’s enthusiasm for the sport.

  • brdn08

    Portland was already my favorite team but I am officially a diehard fan after tonght. This team haslost more than any other team due to the wwc. The fact that they keep fighting is admirable and the fans are even more remarkable.Im not happy with McCall Zerboni but i wish I knew what set her off.SO happy that this fanbase got an ending like this. This franchise is truly growing the game, all credit to Merritt Paulson and staff as well as some very special players. 15,000+ during the world cup deserves praise. #BAON #PDX

    • TsovLoj

      I’m also really glad I haven’t heard the Portland fanbase make any excuses for Zerboni on this one. Oftentimes you don’t see a sports team and its admirers being willing to call out one of their own.

  • Pressured

    Menges is a way above average defender and she handled Groom and Silva quite well. Groom though, is developing and could become an elite attacker. Groom has to stop ticking off opposing teams though, by giving up on an attack when shes late charging a ball. Groom has good on the ball skills and is close to taking it to the next level. Tymrak is regaining form as well – If Holiday was CAM absorbing blows w/ back to goal, Tymrak could attack from the outside.

    • David K Anderson

      Agreed: Groom’s got NT potential (as does Menges). Well…once young players actually start getting more call-ups.

      • mockmook

        For the first time this season, Tymrak looked like that supernova of 2013 — she needs another call-up too (if she maintains form).

        • David K Anderson

          Agreed. I was certain,. back in ’13, that Tymrak was going to WC15. I’d like to see her return to that level of play (particularly since after the tournament, I think younger players are going to start getting a lot more attention).

          • Steglitz49

            I expect Katie Stengel will get called up before Tymrak is, and that other lass who plays for Liverpool Ladies.

          • David K Anderson

            She just might. Katie got called into the January U-23 camp, which had a very good group of forwards: Sarah Hagen (FC Kansas City), Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston College), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Katie Stengel (Bayern Munich)

            Tymrak got called in, too, in the midfield.

          • Steglitz49

            Who played in that U23 tournament in Norway a fe weeks back? That is the litmus test, isn’t it? From memory it was Katie Stengel and Chioma Ubogagu, who plays for Arsenal Ladies (not Liverpool as I typed before).

            Indeed, katie missed the celebrations on the balcony of the Munich town hall because she had to go to Norway.

          • David K Anderson

            Four Nations? The US won with a 2-1 win v England, and the starting forwards were Ubogagu and Savannah Jordan. Stengel and Taylor Smith replaced them at the start of the second half.

            Star of the game was midfielder Rose Lavelle (who I blather about a lot…future superstar!) with a goal and an assist. Smith got the winning goal off Lavelle’s assist.

            #EDIT: Watch the first goal in this video for one indication of why I’m high on Lavelle’s prospects. A thing of beauty…

            http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/06/01/12/12/150531-u23wnt-v-eng-gamestory

          • Steglitz49

            It is called the Nordic cup and is hosted alternatively by Norway and Sweden, though Norway may do it a bit more often than Sweden. This year it was the US and England who were the guests.

      • mockmook

        A lot of young players will be getting called up after Monday (if things go according to Lady Andrade).

  • Pressured

    Zerboni’s quote, “I simply couldn’t stop.” F#^%ing bullshit!

    • HM

      Highly trained pro athlete couldn’t stop a walking pace. Incredible.

    • Hwah

      That damn turf issue rears its ugly head again:)

      • David K Anderson

        Nah…Providence Park has genuinely great turf. Just ask Thierry Henry! =P

  • john

    I hope the committee takes into consideration Zerboni’s overall career. Personally I’ve thought she was a dangerous, dirty player her whole time in the league. That sad attempt at justifying an assault really underscores her disregard for other players and the game.

  • NYRick

    Holy crap, Zerboni needs to be suspended for a long time, maybe the season. That was so intentional and was a page right out of D. Zuh’s playbook.

    Also, what is it about Shea Groom that gets under the skin of players so much? Didn’t she have that situation with the Flash keeper too?

    • Lance Scallop

      I think her feisty nature and hustle gets on the other team.

      I know the collision with the Flash GK was a bit out of control, but I’ve never considered Groom dirty on the field.

      • GT

        I defended Groom in the collision with the Flash Gk. But no more. There is a disturbing trend here. She’s an accident waiting to happen.

        • mockmook

          I’m undisturbed.

          • GT

            Who cares.

          • mockmook

            Me.

          • GT

            And that’s about it.

          • mockmook

            That’s enough.

        • kernel_thai

          She went in really hard later in the match just before she came out. She easily could have gotten a second card.

        • JL

          She’ll be glued to the bench once the NT players return.

      • GT

        There’s a difference between aggressive and reckless. Groom needs to learn the difference.

        • Steglitz49

          Assertive. You mean assertive, I presume, not aggressive.

          • Lorehead

            Ogden Nash once gave the following irregular conjugation: “I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool.” Similarly, I am assertive, you are aggressive, she is a dirty player.

          • Steglitz49

            “have it your way. Your heard a seal bark.”

          • GT

            No I meant aggressive. It’s an American term.

          • Steglitz49

            That is what got this woman into hot water.

          • GT

            What planet are you on?

      • Guest

        She’s reckless and borderline dirty but there is no excuse for Zerboni’s actions.

      • Ha

        Then you need to take your blinders off. She’s been guilty several times against Keepers in the past. Once or twice maybe reckless but a pattern of this type of behavior is plain dirty.

        • Steglitz49

          As I noted in the earlier string on this topic, these young women ought to consider how this sort of behavior impacts their employment prospects.

          In short, would you have them as a coach at your soccer camp? If not you, who else would?
          Down the line, in a mainline job. May not even get an interview if the HR spots.
          As for finding a partner, feisty may have its attractions but mean?

          • Not again…

            Oh look, more borderline sexist comments by Steglitz. You must really like them submissive, eh?

          • guest

            He doesn’t like women at all.

          • Steglitz49

            If you were running a soccer camp, would you employ her? How would you insure yourself against mishaps? How would you deal with a complaining parent?

            Get real.

          • Steglitz49

            It was a mean and nasty and insulting foul. She brought the game into disrepute. WoSo needs behavior like that like a hole in its collective head.

            The woman should be handed her pink slip and told not to use them for a reference.

      • kernel_thai

        If ur a baseball fan, Groom sortta plays in the vein of Pete Rose. While it’s great that she hustles, she also has to be in control so that she isnt hurting other players. There is a fine line between hustle and recklessness.

      • David K Anderson

        I think this incident resulted from McCall foolishly overreacting to Groom’s (yellow-carded) foul on Farrelly on that play. A hard, cardworthy foul is one thing, but stepping on a player is another thing entirely. No excuse for what Z-bone did. McCall’s doing to miss a good few games (and Paul Riley was clearly unamused about what she did in the post-game presser).

    • GT

      I think both Zerboni and Groom need to re-assess the way they play. Especially Zerboni.

    • Guest

      Groom has had at least one borderline dirty/stupid play vs each team they’ve played this season. Including three late hits to goalkeepers. I don’t get the impression she’s made a lot of friends because of that. Despite loading up on yellow cards she hasn’t toned it down. Someone on their team or staff need to sit her down and set her on a better track. All that said she shouldn’t have been stepped on. That was uncalled for.

    • Craigaroo

      It’s becoming a good general rule, if NYRick says something, the opposite is probably true. 🙂

  • NYRick

    The fortunate thing about the Zerboni incident is that the ref was literally right there when it happened. Watch the hesitation and look down by Zerboni just before she steps. That is just disgraceful. Loved Tymmy’s reaction too.

    • Lance Scallop

      Absolutely no hesitation pulling out the red either.

  • NYRick

    Hmmm…I’m kinda digging this Zerboni girl.

    • Hwah

      Ha! The first time I saw this comment, the photo didn’t show up and I was wondering what the hell…..

    • David K Anderson

      She’s been a favorite of mine even before she came to the Thorns, but I’m really disappointed in her right now. A tweet subsequent to the ones shown above included an apology to Shea Groom, which was good to see.

      • Hwah

        but then she deleted it….

        • David K Anderson

          Yeah…she’s deleted every tweet about last night. Most recent tweet left on her profile is from the 17th. Front office instructions, perhaps?

          • Hwah

            Probably. I just don’t understand them having her delete that last one. It’s pretty clear what happened, at least leave the apology. I’m not sure that tweet changes anything that could happen to her from a disciplinary standpoint, it’s not like she’s conceding a point that otherwise could be argued.

          • Lorehead

            My guess is that someone wanted a simple rule that you don’t tweet about your red cards at all, not a complicated one where, if it seems like a good idea, you can tweet just this once.

      • Breakers fan

        She, in my opinion, should speak directly to Groom, even if just over the phone — not just write a few words on Twitter.

        • David K Anderson

          Agreed. That would be the best way to handle it.

        • Steglitz49

          Over the phone is not good enough.

          • Hwah

            Is there precedent in any sport, any league where they go to the other team’s home stadium to apologize as you have suggested?

          • Steglitz49

            If there is not a precedent, then Portland can set one.

          • David K Anderson

            Given the schedules and physical distances involved, that could mean quite a long period of time might transpire before the personal apology. I think it’s better to do it right away.

          • Steglitz49

            Paulson can send her there while she is banned.

          • anna bobana

            Honestly, if I were Groom, I would not want to see her or speak to her or hear her apology for quite some time.

          • Steglitz49

            An honest apology must always be accepted. The offender, obviously, must show that she understands and has insight.

          • ARED

            This may be true, but the timing of it should suit the “victim”. I hate when a player hacks someone down with clear intent and knowledge of what they’re doing, then immediately goes over laughing about it and pats their face and tries to pull them up by their arm. No thanks, I’m waiting for the feeling to come back to my leg, and I’ll sit here however long I like thank you….lol.

            Same for when people are upset that a manger or player refuses a handshake after the match -as if any amount of dirty play and intent is automatically resolved and forgiven with a phony handshake? Again, no thanks. It doesn’t mean I don’t ever want to speak to you or will never forgive this and get over it, but you can’t expect a player/coach/etc to just be a naive punching bag either.

          • David K Anderson

            Fair point.

  • David K Anderson

    Betos was simply charming in the post-game presser, too. My favorite remark: “I don’t think I was marked very well…I mean, I probably wouldn’t have marked me very well,either.”

  • NYRick

    In all fairness you can seriously injure someone stepping on their back in that spot. Certainly break a rib or worse damage a kidney. If you step on someone’s back barefooted (and they are not expecting it, this isn’t shiastsu or acupressure) that is a shock to the body. But do it with cleats and it’s borderline criminal.

    As for Groom, I think she must be like one of those hockey agitator type of players. Like maybe a Sean Avery when he played. Just enough of chippiness that the ref doesn’t see. A push here, a tug there, a reckless tackle there that isn’t called. It grates on players. But still inexcusable for a player to retaliate in that manner. Zerboni is a real solid player too, but this incident will tarnish her and follow her.

    • Steglitz49

      I would simply waive her. Leave her off the team.

      • David K Anderson

        I could actually see this happening, although not until Kaylyn Kyle returns, as we’d otherwise be without a true box-to-box mid. I’d be gutted (I’m disappointed in McCall, but I still love her game and I see this as an aberration), but I could see the FO sending a message.

        • Steglitz49

          It must be immediate to add value, else it is just cynical. A touch of class is not a free lunch. It is worth it in the end.

        • JL

          I watched McCall play two seasons with the Flash, and while she could be a bit too aggressive at times, she never once did anything like this. It’s so out of the blue from her. I think she might get a 4 game ban- the red card game plus an additional 3.

          • David K Anderson

            I’d noticed her play in the first two NWSL seasons and thought she was a huge pain in the ass to the Thorns (that’s a compliment!). I was stoked to sign her, since now she’d be OUR pain in the ass. I never saw anything dirty in her play, although I agree she could be aggressive to a fault. I genuinely see this as an aberration, and I’m doing my best not to make that assessment through “rose (city) colored glasses.” She has to face up to the consequences (I’m predicting a nice, long suspension), but I’m not about to give up on her.

      • guest

        No second chance?

        • Steglitz49

          No.

    • Lorehead

      If you or I did that to somebody sunbathing on her lawn, it would be criminal. In the context where it actually happened? There’s going to be some kind of suspension and fine.

      • NYRick

        Good point.

      • Breakers fan

        Easy to moralize about this but I didn’t like her protestations to the ref or then to Coach Riley right after it happened — she couldn’t accept right away that she had done something really bad even though she knew she had.

        • Lorehead

          I don’t think I was moralizing (if that’s what you’re saying). I mean, a punch to the face during a game will get you sent off, not charged with a felony.

          • guest

            That’s right, there’s no morality in soccer, only yellow cards and red cards.

          • Lorehead

            Excellent use of reverse psychology, but really, this falls into the category of “stuff that gets you a two- or three-game suspension” and not the category of “stuff that ends your career.”

          • Steglitz49

            She is 28 and not in the NT. Her career is over. Who would take her even on a free transfer? I hope she has a decent trust fund to fall back on.

          • Lorehead

            Steglitz, I don’t think other people think this is quite as bad as you do. It’s not the equivalent of breaking someone’s spine, which you compared it to.

          • Steglitz49

            She has brought WoSo into disrepute. If Paulson has any spine he will pay out her contract and send her packing. That way he will come up smelling of roses — in the city of Roses.

            If you were about to run a soccer camp, would you hire her?

            If she applied for a position in your company, and you were asked your opinion, what would you say (knowing that others in your workplace may well have seen that clip)?

            In short, would you buy a used car from this woman?

          • Breakers fan

            No, sorry, not at all was I referring to your post. I was referring to myself — who was about to moralize. Apologies for the confusion. I mean, this case is so cut and dried that it’s easy for all of us to say how bad it was, and it was. Heat of the moment, Zerboni sees her teammate get an overly hard hit, and then, for that and for whatever else was in her head about Groom, she finds her in her path and decides to express some of those feelings.

            edit: since I was responding to a post you made I can see how you would think that. It was really just a case of me wanting “somewhere to post this thought” than a reference to what you wrote in your post; plus I know you’re a Portland fan so I figured you could respond to what I was writing.

          • Lorehead

            Ah, okay. I mean, morally, this is pretty clearly worse than the captain of the USMNT losing his head and tearing up the referee’s book, because Shea Groom could have gotten hurt.

          • Breakers fan

            Agreed. And to clarify, I wrote “easy for us on the sidelines to moralize” but in the heat of the moment I think a lot of us are potentially capable of rash actions of one sort or the other. Not saying we’d do what Zerboni did, or at all justifying what she did, just that intense competition can potentially bring things out of people.

        • Steglitz49

          Portland should simply cut her lose.Pay her the remainder of her contract and send her packing. You weed your flower border, don’t you?

    • Breakers fan

      The funny part about Groom being an aggressive player (a quality I like in general, if the player is basically smart about it) is that she is physically so slight.

      • Exactly. The girl weighs about 90 pounds, so I find it rather hilarious that she has managed to get under so many players’ skins and that teams seem to be so threatened by her.

        She seems to always be the cool-headed one, too. Most collisions she’s involved in, she just calmly gets up and walks away while the other players throw a fit.

        I like her “assertiveness.” 😉 I wish more forwards would follow through on every play, challenge goalkeepers, not get riled after being shoved around for an entire match. She’s fun to watch.

  • kernel_thai

    Dont think Betos hasnt now fallen under the watchful eye of the US coach. Ellis must be thinking if she had a goalkeeper who can score that gives her ten players in the attack. Well, that’s ten if u count the forwards.

    • Hope I’m the leading scorer

      Come to think of it, I bet Solo has more lifetime goals than Betos. Ellis must be really excited for this. So we place Syd on the half line for her speed and put everyone else in the box. Whatta ya think?

      • Steglitz49

        You can’t be offside in your own half.

        The Nadeshiko exploited that once. Miyama hit a pass to either Ogimi or Ando, who did the rest. Because the receiver was in her own half she was not off-side.

        • go back to you bodypaint issue

          No poop!

          • Steglitz49

            The point was that Syd should stand 1 yd inside the half-way line. That way she is not off-side; on, she is.

  • NYRick

    I see what you did there. Very clever.

    • NYRick

      This was meant to KT’s post on the 10 players in the attack for Ellis with the goalie.

  • xanthophobe

    A few thoughts:

    –I was pulling for FCKC in this one but holy hell what an ending–great great great from Betos. Loved watching it all unfold.
    –Used to be a fan of McCall Zerboni and I most certainly will not be moving forward. To pull that off and then try to deny it? That’s a gutter trash move. Hope she gets a hefty suspension for being so disgusting.
    –I love the parity in this league right now. 3rd and 8th place seperated by 1 point. Whoa.

  • Craigaroo

    I know I’m going to be in the minority here but I can’t believe no one here has followed sports long enough to know you have to protect your teammates when the refs aren’t going to do it for you. Now as someone said on BigSoccer, quite observantly, the ref is reaching for a card (the wrong one, though) and Zerboni should, ideally, let the ref handle it. Zerboni deserves a suspension – there’s no disagreement there. But let’s not make more out of it than we should. Let’s face it, that should’ve been a red card on Groom and the fans here at Equalizer, as great as they are, are completely wrong on that and part of the problem if they can’t recognize that Groom should’ve seen red. There is no effort to play that ball, no effort to diminish the contact even though it’s clear she’s nowhere near getting that ball. I’ve made some half-jest comments about hockey and body-checking but you know, that’s a penalty even in hockey. It’s called charging. If it’s a foul even in hockey, you know it’s seriously wrong in a game of soccer.

    • Steglitz49

      You can’t purposely step on a person lying face-down on the ground. If you did it on a public beach you could be done for assault. Just because it is a soccer field it does not mean that human decency goes out of the door.

    • Lorehead

      I don’t agree, but even if that is what she was doing, she needs to accept the consequences.

  • JLC25

    Any word on Zerboni?? I haven’t seen any posts yet re: a suspension.

    • Steglitz49

      It depends partly on the refs report. Mind you, the World Cup is on. The committee may not have time to meet? They could all be in Canada watching.