- Andy Mead/ Carolina RailHawks
- Montreal’s Tony Donatelli gets tackled by the RailHawks’ Amir Lowery during the Oct. 17 semifinal.
Inside Minnesota Soccer reported yesterday that the United States Soccer Federation disciplined three Montreal Impact players, a coach and the entire organization for their actions after the conclusion of a game in Cary against the Carolina RaiiHawks on Oct. 17.
Technical director Nick DeSantis, players Adam Braz, Hicham Aaboubou and Richard Pelletier all received fines and suspensions. DeSantis received the heaviest fine, at $1,500, and DeSantis and Pelletier were given the longest suspensions, for six games. The Montreal Impact organization was fined $5,000 for its failure to maintain order.
It was the second leg of the USSF D-2 Pro League playoff semifinals, which the RailHawks won 2-1 on aggregate. The game included two officiating decisions that Montreal felt, with some justification, hard done by.
First, Tom Heinemann’s winning goal in the 89th minute appeared to some to be offside. A couple minutes later, in stoppage time, Montreal’s Marco Terminisi appeared to score a dramatic equalizer, but an official ruled a Montreal player offside.
After the game, DeSantis and members of the Montreal team stormed the field, chasing the officiating crew to the southeast corner of the pitch. The disruption continued for several minutes as RailHawks COO Jim Houghton [See note below. -ed.] and members of the Cary police attempted to restore order.
According to numerous reports, tempers continued to flare in the tunnel leading to the dressing room and also later in the parking lot, when a confrontation erupted between Montreal Impact players and RailHawks fans.
Three videos follow after the jump. The first two are murky, inconclusive clips of the disputed plays. The third is a Triangle Offense video (complete with the sound of giggling reporters—sorry) of Braz angrily confronting the RailHawks’ Houghton a few seconds after the main fracas had been defused.
Note @ 1:13 p.m.: In the course of publishing this piece, we noticed that the Inside Minnesota Soccer post referred to Houghton as the “former” COO. Indeed, Houghton’s name is no longer on the Carolina RailHawks website. When we get confirmation of the change from the team, we’ll post it.
Note No. 2 @ 6:28 p.m.: The indefatigable Brian Quarstad of Inside Minnesota Soccer has located good video of the main altercation that took place after the final whistle blew. Here it is:
Note No. 3 @ 11:36 a.m., Nov. 10: The original version of this post erroneously stated that Braz received a fine of $1,500. This morning, Neil Buethe of the U.S. Soccer Federation, in response to a Triangle Offense query about conflicting reports on the penalties, confirmed that Braz actually received a $300 fine.