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Espindola’s ankle not broken, pride still bruised


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Real Salt Lake forward Fabian Espindola is set to miss four to eight weeks with an ankle injury suffered in RSL’s tie vs. Los Angeles on Saturday. The injury could have been much worse, but not much more embarrassing.

In case you missed it, Espindola injured his ankle executing a back-flip after scoring what he thought was a goal just six minutes into the match. Unfortunately for Espindola, the goal was waived off for offside AND the pain in Espindola’s ankle forced him to leave the match soon after.

As angry as RSL fans must be at the less than wise celebration, the injury might have helped RSL salvage a point. Yura Movsisyan came on in the ninth minute in place of the injured Espindola and provided a goal and assist in RSL’s 2-2 tie.

Check out Espindola’s less-than-perfect back-flip after the jump:

Perhaps just as absurd as Espindola’s injury is the fact that Brian Jordan celebrated a goal just two minutes with his own front flip (you can spot it just before the clip goes:

What do you think of Espindola’s injury? Should teams forbid their players from performing flips after goals? Was it just bad luck on Espindola’s part? Would you pay good money to watch Kenny Deuchar try a flip?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. That was the worst two minutes for RSL this year. Goal waived off, hurt on celebration, Olave gifts Buddle the ball, goal LA, what the…

    I’m proposing that Espindola adopts the Robbie Kean “somersault (on the ground) and come up with pistols blazing” celebration.

  2. He might of injured his ankle doing a flip but i wonder how much of it is just chance.

    There are plenty of times your ankle will come under increased pressure when you’re playing, i guess he just happened to get injured while doing this.

    It could have just as easily happend going up for a header and coming down awkwardly or some other way.

  3. Nick:

    Actually Espindola was NOT in an offside position. He was level just as the ball was kicked then the back defender stepped up…thus Espindola appeared to be offsides. Funny how he wasn’t offsides until Arena threw a hissy for a minute and a half until it was overturned.

  4. Strider:

    Maybe you should watch the clip again. Espindola was in an offside position and deflected the ball with his head into the net. You know there is a reason he celebrated the goal after all.

  5. more of a reason those types of celebrations are DUMB… yes they entertain, but i never could fathom the idea of doing something potentially risky when it has nothing to do with the game …

  6. Unless I’m missing something, the real question here is why was the goal waived off. Yes, there was a player in an offside position, but this was a shot, not a pass and the player did not interfere with the goalkeepers vision or positioning. I’m not an RSL fan, but it seems this goal should have counted. RE flipping, while goal celebrations are important, keeping key players injury-free is more important, especially to a team like RSL that is battling for a playoff spot.

  7. Nah, I think Espindola should be encouraged to do back flips. For me, this is one of the most entertaining parts of the game.

    MLS needs some showtime.

    Hurting himself was just bad luck. Everyone is entitled to a little bad luck now and then.

  8. Didn’t Kreis do this celebration after each of his goals? I guess he can’t be the one to say no.

    Fabi is made of glass. Clearly he is a extremely gifted striker but he is often injured by running, scoring, sliding, and now flipping. I hope the move to home stadium with grass will allow him to play a few more games before injury.

    RSL did not address the need for a finisher during the transfer window. This may bite them in the butt.

    BTW Dr. Goals has to score goals before he can flip out. Actually wasn’t Kenny assisted into a ‘have gainer no brainer’ flip in the same game?

  9. The question is not should they be punished, but how they should be punished. I would prescribe forty lashes. And going to bed without their supper.

  10. Teams should not forbid players to do celebration after a goal. Soccer is also about entertainment.

    In this case, it was just bad luck on Espindola’s part. I could symphathize with him since I tore my meniscus doing a jump kick. It was the same kick that I had performed during Taekwondo demos numerous times before. Freak accidents do happen.

  11. Great picture. In that picture he looks like he is 20 feet in the air. I was a little disappointed when I saw the video.

    The pain on the road continues for RSL.

  12. I always wondered why:

    a) guys do that


    b) they don’t hurt themselves doing it.

    Today I learned the answer to “b.” Still not sure about “a.”


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