Derrick Williams told reporters recently he liked to get stuck in, but in this case, he took it too far.
The new LA Galaxy defender received a straight red card after a horror tackle on Portland Timbers winger Andy Polo on Saturday. The Irish international didn’t protest the call, quietly walking off the field as soon as Alan Kelly showed him the red card.
While there’s a history of tough tackles by the Galaxy on Timbers players — to go with a few dives and some gamesmanship along the way, too, it must be said — the consensus was that Williams’ tackle should obviously be forbidden for good reason.
“It’s a tackle that is going to be a red card every single time,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney told reporters postgame. “For Derrick, it is almost a delayed reaction and that he probably should have read the play a little bit earlier and been a little bit tighter and could have dealt with it in a different way. Then he saw it happen and was just so committed to the challenge at that point that it just became an amount of force that is just never going to be okay, whether it is this league or any other league. It just becomes a challenge that is going to be a red card every time.”
Williams had been a bright spot for the Galaxy this season up until his ejection, providing steady play and good tackling and blocking instincts since entering the lineup.
But it was undone in an instant, and while the club did not speak about future ramifications, it seems almost guaranteed Williams will get a suspension beyond his automatic one-game ban for the red card.
The Galaxy fell apart after the red card, conceding three times in the 2nd half to lose 3-0 to the Timbers.
On a day in which things just didn’t go their way, Sebastian Lletget said the team needs to take lessons from these experiences so they aren’t repeating them at the end of the season.
“Obviously we need to bounce back and learn from this,” the midfielder said. “There’s a lot of things tactically that we want to get right and we go into games wanting to do and we just didn’t execute them the fashion that we wanted to, especially in the first half when we had 11 men. So that was disappointing from us, if you just look at just at us and not the opponent or what they did, but what we did to ourselves. And maybe it’s things that people don’t even notice, but it’s just things that we want to do. But I thought [Greg] was positive and just reinforcing [it’s better] to have this happen now than later.”
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