Comments Federico Agreda did not see what happened. What happened was a fight. Agreda wanted in. He was sitting on the Syracuse bench with 17:20 left in the match when, all of a sudden, he saw players from both Syracuse and Canisius sprint to the far right corner of the field. He sprung up to get in on whatever had just occurred in Syracuse’s defensive quarter, but he was held back by the SU coaches. He later found out SU defender Robbie Hughes had tackled Canisius midfielder Steve Mahon from the ground. Mahon then stepped on Hughes, and a shoving match, enhanced by some exchanged insults, ensued. Everyone on the field ran to the corner, creating a mishmash of blue and white jerseys. The sideline referee received help from some of the players, but others were less interested in breaking up the fight. ‘I was the first one to get up and go run,’ Agreda said. ‘I wanted to go kick some butt, but all the coaches held us, just in case we got red carded and we got kicked out of the game.’ In a game in which the Orange lacked some vitality, this confrontation may have proven too much excitement for the team. Canisius dominated the second half, particularly the 20 minutes that followed the incident.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Head coach Ian McIntyre continues to look for the spark that will ignite his team early in the game. An almost bench-clearing brawl, however, is not his method of choice. He is looking for a ‘controlled aggression,’ something between the slow first half and the overexcitement of the Hughes-Mahon face-off. ‘We need a little bit of spark,’ McIntyre said. ‘Maybe not to that extreme, but we need a couple of players at certain times in the game to inject a little bit of enthusiasm. It’s important that Robbie and other players don’t play on the edge, that they have that controlled aggression that will allow them to win their physical confrontations.’ Tuesday, a brawl was what McIntyre got. Hughes said the call could have gone either way because both players went in hard for the tackle, but Canisius was awarded the free kick. Both Hughes and Mahon were given yellow cards, but no scoring opportunities came as a direct result of the confrontation. Hughes said after something so heated, it was important to calm down quickly and focus on the rest of the game. He has the captain, goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo, to thank for that. Vuolo pulled him away from the fray and talked him down. Defender Jakob Karlgren said it was important to move past emotional confrontations. ‘If you take it the wrong way, you’re going to try to get back at the players,’ Karlgren said. ‘But none of us did that, so it was no problem.’ McIntyre said the team was left frustrated because Canisius is 0-5 this season, and the Orange did not dominate play, let alone win the game. Syracuse itself has only one win so far this year. It has yet to score more than one goal in a game. This game seemed like a chance to change that. When the skirmish occurred, more than 70 minutes had passed, and Syracuse only had three really close chances aside from Nick Roydhouse’s goal on a free kick. Players had been getting into arguments throughout the game with members of the other team and the officials. Over the entire game plus two overtimes, the two teams combined for 18 fouls called. And though the Orange was unable to execute crisp play for most of the game, the confrontations with Canisius kept the game exciting. Exciting enough to have Agreda explicitly state that, yes, he wanted in on some of the action. He wanted a real fight after a bunch of smaller soccer ones with the Canisius defenders. ‘In the first half, the first 10 minutes, I was getting in fights with the defender,’ Agreda said. ‘So the whole game, (I) was fired up. It was a war. They had a bad record, and we needed a win. It wasn’t completely bad the whole game, but it fired us up.’ [email protected] Published on September 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+
Mediation between players and management has failed, with little or no possibility of the parties agreeing on the next step, after a vote of no confidence from the players last month. The issue will be before a County Board meeting on Monday, with the Independent reporting that a two-thirds majority will decide Cunningham’s fate.