By IVES GALARCEP
Michael Parkhurst is a pretty mild-mannered guy, but if you bring up the controversial goal scored by Shakhtar Donetsk’s Luiz Adriano against Parkhurst’s Nordsjaelland in Champions League play on Nov. 20th, you will hear a different side of Parkhurst.
The U.S. National Team defender still sounds angry several weeks later at a play that left soccer fans around the world disgusted and scratching their heads. A play that drew a one-game suspension for Adriano, who scored a goal after pouncing on a long ball intended to be a return pass to Nordsjaelland after an injury stoppage.
“I was just utter shock when it happened, I remember thinking ‘what the heck is this guy doing’,” Parkhurst said. “It’s just a disgrace. You look around and no one on his team is moving, they’re all thinking the same thing we are.
“When he puts a goal in you’re like “What do we do now?” It’s just a shame. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I don’t think anybody on the field had.”
Parkhurst admits to having wanted to exact some revenge on Adriano for the goal, and the fact that no other Nordsjaelland player went after Adriano left a sour taste in his mouth.
“That was what I was most upset about after the game in the locker room,” Parkhurst said. “I was looking to get the opportunity myself, and I’m not that type of player but I was thinking about it the whole game. I never had the opportunity because he stayed in the middle of the field.
“I was really upset afterwards that no one got after him,” Parkhurst said. “In my mind he should have left that field limping or on a stretcher or being carried off. He should have been taught a lesson.”
As for the claims after the match from Shakhtar that they let Nordsjaelland score soon after? Parkhurst wasn’t buying that one bit.
“I think their coach is full of you know what,” Parkhurst said. “If he wanted their team to let us score then he would have pulled the team over and told them what to do and we would have walked down and put the ball in the net.
“A few of the guys on their team were okay with us scoring and a few were like ‘What’s done is done, we might as well keep playing’.”
And Luiz Adriano’s apology and claim he didn’t know what was going on when he scored the goal? Parkhurst isn’t trying to hear that either.
“Absolutely not,” Parkhurst said when asked if he believed Adriano’s excuse. “He came out with that excuse after UEFA said they were looking into it. He was just trying to save his own butt.”
Parkhurst isn’t spending too much time thinking about the play anymore, but does say that the punishment issued by FIFA was weak and will hardly be a deterrent.
“A one-game suspension for a game that doesn’t matter,” said Parkhurst. “Of course any player would do that so I don’t think the punishment was strong enough.”