If anything could make what turned out to be a scoreless draw that much worse, it's that French Guiana might have made it irrelevant as soon as the whistle blew to start the game. That's CONCACAF's conundrum following French Guiana's use of an ineligible player. Ineligible according to CONCACAF's rules and common sense, but technically not FIFA's.
The player in question is former France international Florent Malouda. A proud son of French Guiana, he helped them qualify for the Gold Cup. Since French Guiana isn't a member of FIFA, Malouda's 80 caps for France weren't a problem for the qualifying tournament. CONCACAF wasn't having it for their premier national team competition, enforcing FIFA's rules and ruling Malouda ineligible. French Guiana named him to their provisional and final Gold Cup roster anyway. Last night, they started him as their captain against Honduras.
CONCACAF responded with a press statement that in part let us know they were watching and saw Malouda on the field. They're enforcing FIFA rules on player eligibility. Malouda isn't eligible under those rules. They're pushing this over to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Disciplinary Committee. They'll let us know.
Which sort of begs the question why Malouda was fine for the provisional and 23-man roster and why CONCACAF didn't step in sooner. Does it really take French Guiana fielding Malouda to show how silly this is?
Also in Wednesday's soccer news, the US Open Cup quarterfinals continued with Sporting Kansas City scoring all of their goals in extra time to knockout FC Dallas 3-0. Sporting played a man down from the 15th minute when Seth Sinovic denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity. It was Dallas's turn to see red in the 101st with Maxi Urruti sent off for unsporting behavior. Latif Blessing scored in the 108th minute. Dallas's Javier Morales saw red in the 110th for violent conduct. Going down a man to up a man, Blessing doubled Sporting's lead in the 113th. Daniel Salloi finished out the goals in the 118th.
In his postgame comments, Sporting coach Peter Vermes talked about dedicating this game to Neal Patterson, a member of the club's ownership group who died on Sunday. Vermes praised Patterson's work ethic, his dedication to the club, and his understanding of the place for the US Open Cup.
"But I honestly will tell you this," Vermes said. "When Seth got thrown out, for some reason I believed that we were going to win the game. I don't know what it is. Maybe it was Neal, I don't know. I just felt it tonight, I really did."
The Orlando Sentinel's Alicia DelGallo has Orlando City coach Jason Kreis continuing to complain about MLS officiating. The Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg talks to Jack Jewsbury about moving from the field to the front office with the Timbers.
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