The league could review the post-game incident at the Dallas-Los Angeles match.LOS ANGELES, Calif.-- Depending on whether league officials investigate what some players on the field saw at the end of the Los Angeles Galaxy versus Dallas FC match, the consequences for the Galaxy may go beyond an embarrassing loss and an knee injury to AJ De La Garza.
Daniel Hernandez, the newly signed FC Dallas player, got into an altercation with Galaxy star Landon Donovan right as the final whistle blew.
Most onlookers believed Hernandez was retaliating to a late tackle that Donovan had landed on goalscorer David Ferreira, but according to Hernandez, the infraction was worse than that and took place immediately after Ferreira bounced up, angry at the foul.
"I just saw they were having some words," Hernandez told Goal.com exclusively. "Landon raised his hand and tried to slap David. He definitely made contact, so I hope the league looks at that, because that was a slap in the face. He definitely made contact."
The sequence of events happened so quickly, just as the match was ending, that it was difficult to see exactly what went on between the players, especially since they were soon surrounded by teammates rushing in to represent for their respective squads. After the match, the game officials released in writing an official response to a question about whether Donovan would receive a card for the initial contact on Ferreira - indicating that no foul was called and neither player would receive any card.
"Well, [Donovan] fouled him, and of course, the ref didn't even give him a card," said Hernandez. "It was a tackle from behind, after the play, and the ref was right there, ten feet away and didn't even him give him a card. It escalated, because they started exchanging words. [Donovan] raised his open hand and put his hand up around [Ferreira's] chin area, the cheek. That's when I stepped in, tried to push Landon back, get him out of the way. That was really about it. It wasn't anything major, but hopefully the league will see that. That's a suspension, putting your hands on someone's face."
The different coaches had varying views on the incident, not surprisingly.
Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman saw only the initial contact.
"The little clip?" Hyndman clarified. "Yeah, I did."
What followed, however, was less clear to the coach, though it was easy for him to diagnose Donovan's motivation.
"It was probably frustration," Hyndman said. "Daniel Hernandez got into it somehow and I had my back to it. I think [Hernandez] was trying to protect his player."
Galaxy coach Arena also asserted that he hadn't seen what took place clearly, but he didn't fault the show of emotion from Donovan.
"It was nice to see that we had a little bit of fight in us at the end of the game," said Arena. "It would have been nice if we saw some of that in the 90 minutes before that incident."
The number of goals allowed was an all-time record for the franchise, something that stung Arena into his default of dry sarcasm.
"That’s great to get in the record books," Arena said when informed of the accomplishment. He then followed up, explaining. "It’s nothing I’m proud of."
If the league reviews the actions by Donovan on video, however, the Galaxy could be without thier star midfielder for some of the important games leading up to the playoffs, as Los Angeles still has not clinched a postseason spot.
Andrea Canales, Goal.com
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