Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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LAFC coach brands snowstorm loss to RSL ‘one of the worst pro sporting events I’ve ever seen’

Real Salt Lake beat LAFC 3-0 during a snowstorm in Utah on Saturday. After the match, LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo did not mince words about his opinion of the decision to play the game in such extreme weather.

Cherundolo said the only positive he could take was that no players got injured, but it was a “disgrace” the game was played.

“It was an absolute joke we had to play today,” Cherundolo told the media after the match. “It was one of the worst professional sporting events I’ve ever seen in my life. I feel terrible for the players that we put them through this. The game could have and should have been called (off). In my opinion, it was an absolute disgrace we had to play today.”

Kickoff was delayed by two hours due to lightning strikes in the area, and then four minutes into the match, players had to go back to the locker room again due to lightning. By the time they came back out to resume play, the snow had gotten heavier and wouldn’t stop for the rest of the match.

“I had a conversation with Steve and the referees before the game,” RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “At that point, we were all on the same page. Then once you decide to start a game, when it’s snowing, there’s very little you can do. As the game wore on, it became less like a soccer match and it wasn’t desirable conditions for either team. But when we started it, it was like ‘let’s just get this over with.’”

RSL got out to a 2-0 lead via a brace from Andres Gomez, before Chicho Arango added a third in first half stoppage time. He celebrated with a snow angel, a nod to the conditions.

“I just don’t understand why on earth we’d count a game like that, finish a game like that or even play a game like that,” Cherundolo said.

The result gives RSL its first win of the season after a loss and a draw in their first two matches.

“I don’t know how these guys were able to pass it from A to B,” Mastroeni said. “I couldn’t even walk in the snow, let alone pass the ball.”

“It was just ridiculous, there’s no other way to put it,” Cherundolo added.

(Top photo: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)


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