Koevermans sounds off on CCL atmosphere and officiating

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BY ADAM SERRANO

TORONTO – The scenes from Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal were unmistakable and unforgettable. 

The night began with Toronto fans' impressive march to the match down Bremmer Bolverard outside the Rogers Centre. As the game kicked off the 47,658 fans clad in red shook the dome and all but willed TFC to a pair of early goals. 

But next week, the scene will be different –in the stands anyway– at the Home Depot Center as just 7,500 will attend the return leg of the quarterfinal match-up due to a attendance agreement with Cal-State Dominguez Hills over the usage of the university's parking lots during the school year.

When asked, Toronto forward Danny Koevermans was unaware of the issue, but after a quick refresher of the rules that will cap the HDC's attendance from its 27,000 capacity, the TFC striker was flabbergasted.

"That is stupid, that is stupid, LA Galaxy is a big club in LA and they showed it because they have three big name players," said Koevermans. "So when it’s the CONCACAF quarterfinals, I think that it’s a stupid call because you what happens here and I think they can do it too. Especially with the game 2-2, it’s an all or nothing game and I think that it can also be 40k but they made a change so I think that maybe it works to our advantage, you never know."

Never one to mince words, the candid Dutchman had a few choice words for Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell, who awarded Koevermans a yellow card in the 58th minute for starting a scuffle with Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders at the edge of the box. The play seemed innocent enough initially as the Saunders ran to the edge of the box towards a charging Koevermans, but after the goalkeeper scooped up the ball, Koevermans was left incensed.

"[Saunders] put his cleats on our upper leg, so when I bumped into him straight away, I can understand. I was on the side of him. He just put his cleats on my upper leg, and so I was mad at that," said Koevermans, who charged Saunders after the play. "But this referee, these CONCACAF referees are such a joke, so then he gave me a yellow card for my reaction. That's okay, but then he should give him a yellow card too but he didn't do that. Stupid."

Although the veteran striker admitted that his behavior was less than becoming, Koevermans was still not pleased with Campbell's decision.

"My reaction is also not good, but what happens, happens so he has to give me a yellow card, but the keeper also," Koevermans later added. "Then he just waved way and the linesman also said ‘it’s in the game, it’s in the game” so we can’t do anything about it. They’re the boss and even if they’re wrong then they’re right."

Following his feisty moments with Saunders, Koevermans shined in the second half, nearly scoring on two occasions, a shot from midfield that challenged Saunders in the 64th and a chance in the 77th from close range that nearly missed the mark.

For Toronto to pull off the upset against the Galaxy and advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals next week, the Reds will need their talented striker to place shots on frame rather than painfully wide. The job for TFC is simple enough — they must earn either a victory or a 3-3 draw, which will pull the Canadian side ahead on away goals against Galaxy side that went unbeaten at home last season.

Despite the long odds facing his club, the boisterous Dutchman is confident that TFC can pull through.

"I hope we’re going to win. Every game is different. What happens tonight doesn’t change anything for next week. You never know anything can happen," said Koevermans. "A guy can slip away in the second minute and you’re 1-nothing up or 1-nothing down. We’ll see next week, we’re still in the race for a semi-final spot so we need to go in next week to win the game and we’ll see what happens."

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67 Responses to Koevermans sounds off on CCL atmosphere and officiating

  1. DingDong says:

    Is there any prospect for the Galaxy to sort out these ridiculous attendance caps in the future? Can’t they run shuttle buses from some nearby parking lot? Or are there any plans to build a subway line near the stadium?

  2. fischy says:

    He’s right on one point — the attendance cap is foolish. If that’s what the Gals are stuck with, they should be looking to play the game at another facility. Yeah, that would mean additional expenses, but if they sold another 15,000-20,000 tickets, you’d think they could cover it.

  3. fischy says:

    Shuttle buses sounds like a creative solution. The team could limit the number of parking passes they would sell for the game thru advance sales, and then directing everyone else to some other parking options.

  4. KC says:

    I find it hilarious when a MLS player complains about refereeing considering there is not actual referees in the league.

  5. Duneman says:

    With one of the biggest clubs in MLS…the Galaxy need to look at their stadium option.
    It is likely a very cost effective stadium for them to play in….but if they really want to be a serious team something needs to change….it has happened during the playoffs and now for Champ League…that is just crazy. These are not some preseason friendlies.
    1- bus fans in for these big games so they can fill the seats without impacting parking
    2- if they cant afford a new stadium, maybe they can help fund a new parking deck for the school so they can play in the stadium without the same parking limitations
    3- Play these games in a bigger stadium location in LA…there must be a few other venues they could hold a match like this at in LA without needing to play a game with 40+ in Canada and then play at home with less then some development league. They can stay where they are and play most games there…but move it to a new spot in LA rather then follow some parking restriction rule at their current home.
    4- Seriously look at getting a real stadium of their own without needing to run into these silly parking issues. They already have to share with Chivas…they are actually sharing with Chivas and the college….if Houston, KC, NYRB, and others can get a legit stadium in place maybe it is time for LA to have a marque stadium of their own in LA. If they want to share it with some local school at that point fine…but at least they should be able to dictate restrictions that meet their needs and not the other way around.

  6. chupacabra says:

    When you’re Canadian you get easily frustrated.
    When you get easily frustrated you end up throwing streamers at opposing players.
    When you throw streamers at opposing players idiots think it’s okay to throw other things at opposing players.
    When idiots throw other things at opposing players you end up with matches being played in cages like Mexico.
    Don’t end up with matches being played in cages like Mexico.
    Stop throwing crap on the pitch.

  7. josh says:

    Good article, but Adam… Please proof a little better. This read like a Google translation.

  8. Joe says:

    An impressive march to the match down Bremmer Bolverard outside the Rogers Centre, the 47,658 fans clad in red, who shook the dome and all but willed their side to a pair of early goals in the first half, All of which culminated in a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first leg of the quarterfinal match-up.

    Seriously? Is English Adam Serrano’s first language?

  9. nam says:

    Uhh they haven’t even sold out the 7.5k cap so I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  10. CableSubscriber says:

    This is brilliant, one of the best comments I have ever read

  11. CSD says:

    Saunders was in the air with his leg extended toward Danny Koevermans and it looked to me like Saunders intentionally made contact with him. This explanation of the event is lacking. Did you actually watch the play?

    “The play seemed innocent enough initially as the Galaxy goalkeeper ran to the edge of the box towards Koevermans, but after Saunders scooped up the ball, Kovermans was left incensed.”

  12. TommyOC says:

    They’ve run shuttle buses in the past – of note, during last year’s playoffs when a couple of games were midweek.

    But they can’t bus in 20,000 people – that’s a tall order. And remember, busing is done on their dime. The folks who park off-site can’t be contained and thus, can’t be made to pay.

    It’s a pathetic situation and I, for one, would be happy if they’d simply switch the location, but the only location in the area that I’m aware of with capacity is the Coliseum and Rose Bowl: the former sucks and the latter, although the Galaxy’s home up to for 6 years, is just too far away from Carson on a weeknight.

  13. nam says:

    NO ITS NOT YOU RACIST.

  14. CSD says:

    In general the refereeing last night was a little strange to me. In the first match there seemed to be a lot of contact at times and the referee seldom called fouls. In the second match there were multiple yellows in the first half on some plays that need not seem that bad. I didn’t make it through the second half of the second game.

  15. CSD says:

    According to the match report on the MLS website Kovermans didn’t get a yellow card for that incident.

    link to mlssoccer.com

  16. TommyOC says:

    You seem to be under the impression that Galaxy are just tenants at HC. This is not true. Galaxy’s owners built HDC *for* the Galaxy. Land prices in LA made the deal with Cal State Dominguez Hills a good deal at the time.

    When the stadium was built, midweek fixture weren’t a serious concern as the frequency of midweek games wasn’t that high.

    The parking situation sucks, sure, and yes, a parking solution on-site would be lovely, but a parking structure is not needed for the campus, unfortunately, as they have ample parking themselves. Any parking structure would likely be at Galaxy’s sole expense and those things don’t come cheap.

    Galaxy’s best option is to renegotiate with the school to add a few more thousand spots, encourage carpooling (which could double total attendance), or work an offsite system into their permanent plans.

  17. Aaron says:

    That doesn’t make him racist nam you twit

  18. CSD says:

    But CONCACAF says he did:

    link to concacafchampions.com,,12856,00.html

  19. RLW2020 says:

    never been, just a question, what is wrong with playing at the Coluseum? its not too far from the HD Center and its huge. I understand its in the hood but would that really stop LA fans from putting 20-40k in the stadium for a quarter final game?

  20. Mike says:

    I’m not familiar with Koeverman for the most part. But I have to say I love the fact that he is so bluntly honest. If for nothing else it is entertaining. Was he always like this?

  21. Northzax says:

    Yes, how dare a university reserve parking on campus for students? What do they think they are?

    This will affect seven or eight matches a year, if the team continues its long runs into tournaments. Not a big problem. And frankly, Toronto isn’t the draw In LA that LA is in Toronto.

  22. Judging Amy says:

    agreed. i don’t usually complain about proofing errors but the ones in this article were pretty distracting.

  23. detroitFiRe says:

    they should play at the Coliseum

  24. Landon Donovan says:

    Um, who’s Danny Koevermans?

  25. The Imperative Voice says:

    But is there an exclusivity clause in the lease? Like, there was a fuss about one of the NFL teams playing in the London game because its lease basically says Thou Shalt Play All Your Homegames Here.

    If not, it’s an idea, after all, Toronto usually plays at BMO but played at Rogers, Houston’s played at Reliant, etc.

  26. The Imperative Voice says:

    The handball at the end of the Seattle game (in a 2-1 game) was 20x more pivotal and controversial than handbags at 3 paces over people running into each other in the box on a play that decided nothing. That call — and the explanation that I saw it but am not going to call it at this juncture in the game — raised far greater concerns than Koevermans’ gripes.

  27. Duneman says:

    Thanks for the info…yes…they should have had some better contract so if there was some playoff or CONCACAF match they would not have to cut tickets in half or more for big matches like this. Some bus option would be great. they dont need chartered buses. I am sure just some local school district would work….fans can park at some near by public school and buss them in on yellow school buses or something. Fans get to see the game, the school could get some money for the bus or parking on these big matches, and the drivers get a few hours of extra pay. It does not seem like it happens often but I recall it in a play off game last year and now this….just seems sad to happen to some big games like this. even if LA breaks even with tickets vs bus cost at least the stadium can get filled and maybe a few extra food/drink sales.

  28. Steve C says:

    He complained about CONCACAF referees. Did you miss that part?

  29. primoone says:

    I would prefer the Galaxy sort out their posesssion game first. It’s attrociuos. Just like my spelling.

  30. epablo says:

    “stupid, stupid, stupid stupid, everything is stupid” – Danny Koevermans

  31. peterjh says:

    To be fair, I think the draw for Toronto fans was Toronto playing in the CCL quarterfinals, not playing LA. They could have been playing Joe Public and they still would have gotten the crowd they did.

  32. DingDong says:

    According to Google, the Metro Silver Line ends 1.8 miles away from the Home Depot Center. I wonder if they couldn’t work something out to have that line extended on game days. On the other hand, the Silver Line only carries around 10,000 people each weekday, so I imagine it couldn’t handle thousands more going to a game. But it could be a start — along with shuttle buses from nearby parking lots and renegotiating for more spots.

  33. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Embarrassing that the biggest club in MLS can’t have more than 7,500 fans attend a game on a weeknight during the schol year. Embarrassing

  34. prizby says:

    learn the rules…streamers are allowed in CCL

  35. Air Jordanz says:

    The bus riders could easily be made to pay. Give out a shuttle pass when you pay for official Galaxy off site parking.

  36. Air Jordanz says:

    I agree. Simply capping attendance for parking reasons with possible solutions is what people are taking issue with.

  37. Waterlewd says:

    The ball definitely hit the defender in the elbow, but to call it handling…I don’t think so. The defender’s head was turned so he couldn’t have seen the ball coming and his elbow was close to his body. No intent. No handball. Good block of a cross by being in the right position. Surrounding the referee asking for a penalty for that showed the desparation from the Santos Laguna players towards the end of the game. The referee probably saw what happened and made the correct call. I think the referee had a good game, let the physical stuff play and let the game flow. I didn’t watch the other CCL game but Courtney Campbell is typical pretty terrible. It’s usually not a good thing when people remember the referee’s name.

  38. Air Jordanz says:

    *RAYCESS

  39. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think they like to play a wall-pass combination game countering off the strong defense, and I’m not sure skippy astroturf is the place to play their style. I’ll wait and see what they look like fit and on grass….since they are already in the next CCL and have veteran players they have every incentive to ease into the season, and have had a few players out on loan.

    The weakness I see is Boyens in the back, if Arena has to depend on him they might be vulnerable.

  40. The Imperative Voice says:

    I know LAG fans are moaning about the attendance cap but if there is a finite amount of parking primarily dedicated to CSUDH then DH is within its rights to say, woah, that’s a school night. I wouldn’t want to miss my classes because there was no parking because the school allowed itself to be pushed around.

    Also, the gist I’m getting is LA agreed to the school day cap, so it’s a deal. The fact that for several years LA sucked too much to worry about midweek conflicts wouldn’t change the fact that a pre-existing agreement was in place once LA got good enough.

    I do think the solutions suggested seem reasonable, but busing everyone would likely just replace an individualized problem with one in discrete chunks. You still have to move 20K+ people into and out of a college campus on a class night, in addition to the students themselves. IMO playing CCL and other school night games elsewhere seems the better idea but then I’d be interested if HDC has exclusivity. It wouldn’t be as lucrative a stadium ownership/operatorship if the erstwhile home team could just rent someplace else. So depending what the lease says they may be obliged vis a vis HDC to play there and obliged vis a vis CSUDH to keep attendance down if they do. But their actual deal would be interesting to know.

  41. Ricky says:

    Subways in SoCal? That will be the day. The Metro line they do have is a cute little rail system, but will likely never grow up and be a good transit option for most people in SoCal. It’s a car culture dominated by policy that favors motorists and Carson/Dominguez Hills is no man’s land for an infrastructure like that.

  42. Ricky says:

    The HDC arrangement for the Gals, combined with MLS roster rules, is why they won’t be a MLS “super club” forever.

  43. bigprof says:

    educating minorities is not a priorty (Cal state dominguez hills is primarily hispanic, black, and asian). footie is more important. couldnt mls get a bigger crowd allowed is the game were held on Thurs eve after 8pm? i know the state of CA is broke, so maybe they now have classes on fridays too to accommodate, but back in my day there were no classes on Fri. Just thinking here. other then that, yeah Coliseum makes sense

  44. Ricky says:

    Thank AEG for thinking that a SSS in SoCal should be on a university campus.

    It really is baffling. They spend money on infrastructure, Beckham, Donovan, Keane, etc. But then get into a stadium situation where their attendance is capped on a school night. And Gal fans pay more for the DP + attendance cap formula… $25 parking, web service fees, etc.

  45. Chupacabra says:

    And most CONCACAF matches outside the US are played in cages.

    Don’t end up playing matches in cages like Mexico.

    Stop being idiots who throw crap on the pitch and at players. If your team can’t win on their own, they don’t belong in the CCL.

  46. Chupacabra says:

    Learn your geography.

    Canada = North Mexico

  47. Ricky says:

    I’ll add that LA better find another Hollywood loving Euro with the broad appeal of Beckham AND luck out by getting the next great American soccer hero. Otherwise with $25 parking, web service fees, and a lousy location they would be the worst deal in the league for fans.

    Good luck.

  48. Bob says:

    If you want to know what a MLS team would be like at HDC without a celebrity DP and Donovan – with those prices and fees – look no further than Chivas USA.

    Enjoy it while you’ve got it Galaxy supporters.

  49. no says:

    Fack off ya twat.

  50. no says:

    The guy bangin’ your mom.

  51. Kasloco says:

    OK guys here’s what is going to happen since you haven’t realized it yet. AEG is going to build Farmer’s Field in downtown Los Angeles for the Rams. The AEG owned Galaxy will play their bigger more meaningful games and ones that normally would be attendance capped at HDC at the new stadium. If you don’t think this is the future you are not paying attention.

  52. ryan says:

    Wonder why Dodger Stadium wasn’t considered. Smaller than the Coliseum, better neighborhood, and 30-40K in a 56K stadium would have worked.

  53. Javier says:

    Right now there is no good solution to the Galaxy’s mid-week parking problem. There is no good alternative stadium nearby, and public transportation here is a joke. Don’t expect any new bus or rail lines to built either. Public transportation here takes years to build and is extremely expensive to build, and the money is just not there.

    The Rose Bowl and Coliseum could be alternatives but they’re really not good places to watch soccer.

    There is no good solution in the short term. In the long term if Farmer’s Field gets built in downtown the Galaxy will be able to hold games there. That stadium will be owned by AEG which also owns the Galaxy.

  54. RightSaidReds says:

    Maybe 35,000 for Joe Public, but not 47,000. I was there last night and will be in LA for the second leg (enough TFC supporters going that there is a designated section). It will be quite the contrast in atmosphere regardless of the result…

  55. KungFuSoccer says:

    Guess what. The Galaxy game isn’t sold out with the 7500 cap, even including season ticket holders. Im not sure the cap is the problem.

    I’m a season ticket holder, and think its a fantastic bargain. I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on. I can have season tickets for the same price as going to 1 or 2 lakers games. LA just doesn’t have a large hardcore fanbase. If 27K wanted to go to this game, management would find a way to make it happen, there just isn’t a demand.

  56. Bob Dobalina says:

    There probably isn’t demand because the Galaxy don’t give a damn in promoting the match because of the 7500 fan restriction. What a sad situation.

  57. Bac says:

    The colisseum blows

  58. Plato says:

    The Galaxy still has a strong base around the Rose Bowl. They should have played here like they do the friendlies. Awful decision by LA.

  59. MLS says:

    You are correct Mista Dobalina…The marketing for CCL has been horrendous overall, even without the cap. If did any kind of promotion without the cap, there would be much more than 7500.

    What will they do if they make it to the final and have to play during the week???

  60. Ry Cooder says:

    No to Chavez Latrine

  61. Galaxy Supporter says:

    We’re just getting started

  62. Hertz X says:

    regardless, they already are a super club

  63. Dax says:

    Answers:

    No, it was a provision in using the land when HDC was built.

    No, it is an attendance cap, not just parking. The bigger issue is the CSU system doesn’t want that many people on campus during weekdays.

    Hell no.

    The Coliseum Commission is impossible to deal with, and selling an extra 7,000 tickets isn’t worth the hassle (LAG isn’t going to sell a lot of tickets during the weekdays regardless where the match is). The issue will sort itself if the new AEG stadium is built in downtown (projected by 2016).

  64. Blizzard says:

    That’s the key issue I believe. The CCL obviously has limited impact or interest in the LA market. Why is that?

    Koevs being astonished by the cap is one thing. Just how astonished will he be if the Gals can’t even sell 7500?

    I’ve heard that STH’ers all received a free ticket? Was that report correct. If it is in fact correct, it begs the quesiton as to just how many STH’ers the Galaxy have?

    Any estimates?

    Thx
    db

  65. Blizzard says:

    He’s the guy who scored eight goals in ten appearances in 2011.

    Go fellate a drinking fountain Landon. ;)

  66. Nevermind the furthermore the plea is self defence says:

    Rose Bowl?

  67. SW says:

    The Roger’s Centre is a short walk from the central terminus of Toronto’s transit