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David Ochoa’s post-game antics leave Minnesota United fuming

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Minnesota United already had plenty to be unhappy about when the final whistle blew on Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, having suffered a home defeat in a match the Loons largely dominated. So when Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa let his emotions get the better of him, leading to him kicking a ball high into the Allianz Field stands, and towards the Minnesota United supporters section, it kicked off a reaction that wound up overshadowing the match itself.

Playing in his first official match since his brutal mistake contributed to the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team failing to qualify for the Olympics, Ochoa showed his emotions when the match ended, but when he turned to the Loons supporters section and booted a ball high into the stands, it immediately led to Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath and his players confronting the 20-year-old goalkeeper about his actions.

“He’s got some edge on him for a kid who’s not that good,” Heath said in a post-game television interview where emotions clearly got the better of the Loons coach.

Heath was more diplomatic in his post-match press conference, criticizing Ochoa’s actions.

“There’s no need. They’ve won the game, he doesn’t need to be blasting the ball into supporters,” Heath told reporters. “Everybody knows that’s a no-no. And normally, when you use (those) antics like he’s done most of the evening, you’re normally pretty good, so that was a surprise for me.”

Heath’s comment alluded to Ochoa’s attempts to waste time late in the match, with RSL holding onto the lead.

“He’s actually a bit of a clown like within the 90 minutes before that, and then decides to top it off with that, which is pretty disrespectful, I think,” Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall said. “I mean, I don’t know if it’s his first time out on the field, or just doesn’t seem like he knows how to behave, and I think we wanted to let him know.

“Yeah, he’s just a bit of a clown, you can tell him I said that.”

Ochoa was confronted immediately after the kick by several Loons players, including his own former U.S. Under-23 teammate, Minnesota United midfielder Hassani Dotson.

RSL head coach Freddy Juarez was asked about Heath’s criticism of Ochoa, including the shot saying Ochoa wasn’t that good and Juarez did his best to try and downplay the situation.

“Everyone’s fired up right now. We’re all competitive and everyone has a right to their own opinion,” Juarez said. “I thought Ochoa had a pretty good game. He’s still developing in many ways, he’s a young adult and we’ll continue to groom him and help him in his career.”

Ochoa made one save on the night to record the victory in his first official start since his appearance in Olympic qualifying that saw his costly blunder lead to a United States loss to Honduras that kept the Americans out of the Olympics for the third Olympics in a row.

Comments

  1. Boxall and Heath come off as the clowns here. First of all, no one can reasonably claim that Ochoa’s kick was dangerous for anyone. Secondly, they are both aware that the US and Mexico national teams have been fighting for Ochoa’s service, that he was the GK for the US U-23 team during Olympic qualifying (and kept them in the tourney vs Costa Rica), and that he’s been called up to the full national team. Boxall, as a Kiwi Nat, and Heath, who’s been coaching in the US since 2008, are both well aware of this.

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  2. There was incident with holding the ball after the MN Utd goal as well. Gasper ending up wrestling with Ochoa to the ground.

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    • The energy and passion was not a problem – finishing was. MNUFC had many chances to score and didn’t. And as Ives said, they controlled most of the game. I’m going to assume due to his on field stalling Ochoa was getting some choice words from the Wonderwall – probably including some references to Honduras.

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      • Seems the young keeper got in their head. I understand their frustration after that match, but their attention should be focused inward.

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