Guarda Suspended After Kicking Ball at Philly Fans

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    NEWSLETTERS

    MLS via Getty Images
    CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 26: Los Angeles Galaxy Midfielder Brandon McDonald #32 battles Bruno Guarda of FC Dallas for control of a loose ball during their MLS game at Home Depot Center on October 26, 2008 in Carson, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/MLS via Getty Images)

    FC Dallas midfielder Bruno Guarda was suspended for one game Thursday after he punted a ball into the crowd and made an offensive gesture (the bird) toward fans in Philadelphia.

    Right on!  This sort of thing was once encouraged between sports fans in Dallas and Philly, whose mutual hatred of each other is well documented in the American football realm.  Why not carry it over to this version of football as well?

    I don't know how much, if anything, the 24-year-old Brazilian born Guarda knows about the Cowboys/Eagles rivalry  (he should know plenty after growing up in Arlington, attending SMU, etc.) ... but I'm all for strengthening the healthy rivalry Dallas and Philly fans enjoy and I give kudos to Guarda for doing his part.

    To Guarda, I say, don't feel too bad about losing your temper and taking it out on Philly fans.  He's got more people talking about FC Dallas and MLS this morning -- and that's never a bad thing, especially just a few weeks from the beginning of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.   And, maybe he's helped spark a bit of a rivalry between the Union and FC Dallas.  That's not a bad thing either ... rivalries are good for ticket sales.

    For his efforts though, sadly, he'll be fined $750, will face a suspension and was held out of Thursday's game against the LA Galaxy.

    "There were things that happened in Philadelphia and he reacted poorly to it," said Schellas Hyndman, FC Dallas head coach. "That's not what we want our team, FC Dallas, to portray, and it's not what the MLS wants its players to portray. I think the message is that we don't want our players to cross that line."

    OK, I can see that.  However, I disagree to an extent.  I remember being a kid in high school and joining a group of about 12 of my friends in left field to heckle Rickey Henderson at Arlington Stadium.  After hearing more than enough from us, Henderson turned and shot us the bird.  We earned it.  Henderson wasn't, and shouldn't have been, fined for it.  We had it coming. 

    I suspect something similar precipitated Guarda's punt into the crowd, but I could be wrong.

    Hyndman, who was also Guarda's college coach at SMU, said that he asked him if he would do it differently if he could do it over ... Guarda replied, "Yes."   OK, OK.  Maybe just the bird next time Guarda ... keep the ball in the field of play.