When the Vancouver Whitecaps announced Frenchman Eric Hassli as the club's first designated player for their inaugural MLS season, he was a bit of a mystery to fans of the league. But now with three goals and two red cards through his first three matches with the club, he's quickly become one of the league's most wacky and entertaining players.
Take Wednesday night's match against the New England Revolution, for example. After giving Vancouver a 1-0 lead with a 55th minute penalty kick, Hassli whipped off his shirt and tossed it into the crowd, revealing an identical shirt underneath (but with short sleeves instead of long). Hassli was, of course, shown a yellow card for taking off his shirt and since he was already on a yellow, he was sent off.
After the match -- which ended in a 1-1 draw -- Hassli apologized (via the Calgary Herald):
"I feel sorry for the fans," he said. "I had no clue that there was this rule."
Since taking off your shirt is an automatic yellow card all over the world, there's no way he could have been unaware of that rule. So he must have thought that since he was wearing an identical shirt underneath, it would've somehow been OK. And that seems like the kind of thing you'd ask someone about before trying. But the former Metz and FC Zurich striker apparently thought his sneaky plot was so genius that there's no way the ref could ever catch on. Well, he was wrong. Very, very wrong.