MLS playoffs nearly dictated by Michael Gspurning blunder

Angela Sun
Yahoo! Sports Minute Blog
MLS playoffs nearly dictated by Michael Gspurning blunder
MLS playoffs nearly dictated by Michael Gspurning blunder

As rivalries go, the MLS has a lot riding on the Pacific Northwest matchup between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers. On November 2, the two teams will meet for the highly anticipated Western Conference semifinals, but a huge blunder by Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning in the knock-out round earlier this week almost spoiled Seattle's hopes of advancing.

While clinging to the narrowest of leads in the 85th minute, the Sounders' Austrian keeper committed the ultimate no-no by snatching a long, uncontested ball out of the air with his hands — outside of his own box. The intentional hand ball not only gave the Colorado Rapids a free kick from short range, but it also resulted in an automatic red card for Gspurning — thereby ejecting him from the game. Seattle was able to overcome the blooper and the Pacific Northwest no doubt breathed a sigh of relief.

A blooper, by design, typically involves a play not going the way the athletes involved intended it to go. So if we told you that a senior placeholder on the Sherwood (Ore.) High football team decided that a 2-point conversion was the proper time to start bouncing on the field like a monkey you would probably assume his next stop would be, say, the school psychiatrist. Perhaps even stranger than a kid doing such a thing in a game is that it was actually a designed part of the play. The bizarre movement successfully distracted the opponent just long enough for the senior kicker they call "Wrecking Ball" to take the snap and throw a crazy Tebow-esque jump pass to a receiver who'd slipped into the back of the endzone.

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After his father Koji won legions of Boston Red Sox fans over with some very intentional pitching down the stretch, Kaz Uehara endeared himself to the nation, rather unintentionally. The 7 year-old — who became a beloved presence during the Red Sox postseason by generally just being an amusing 7 year-old —was asked by Erin Andrews on live TV how proud he was of his father for winning the World Series. The results made postgame interview history.

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