Saturday’s Sounders FC story for the paper (one of the most commented on stories on the Times website thanks to the readers) focused on Philadelphia coach Peter Nowak blasting Seattle’s players for diving — specifically Freddie Ljungberg.
The Swede didn’t exactly respond to Nowak’s comments on his blog, but he certainly argued his case well:
“I personally got a knee straight in my spine from behind shouldn’t happen that you can knee someone that high up when the ball is 3 yards away on the ground (Straight after the game we went to the ER to get my spine x-rayed as I couldn’t and still cant sit or lay on my back. Luckily no fractures. Only bone bruising. The doctor compared the injury with an NFL injury when someone uses their helmet to crash it into someone’s spine. Hopefully ill recover quickly).”
Having to go to the hospital? X-rays and bone bruising? Comparable to an NFL injury? Doesn’t sound like simulation to me. I’m surprised he made it 60 minutes.
Ljungberg said he thought more Union players could have been sent off, but praised the referee’s performance. He also had praise for the loyal Sounders FC crowd and young forward Michael Fucito.