Michael Gspurning: ‘It’s not OK, if somebody is knocked down and he gets booed for being injured’


Mike on the mic. Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning spoke with NBC after the conclusion of the game on Friday before speaking with Prost Amerika in the locker room.

By Liviu Bird

SEATTLE — Goalkeepers are often acknowledged as being different from normal players, and as such, they share a bond that transcends club colors. The Goalkeepers’ Union, as it is often referred to from within the brotherhood, encompasses all players who strap on the gloves, even if they happen to be defending opposite goals in the same game.

Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando and Seattle Sounders FC’s Michael Gspurning found themselves in that situation on Friday night, and both performed admirably for their teams in a 0-0 thriller. Each was given the top mark in their respective teams’ player ratings on Prost Amerika (click here for RSL and Seattle ratings).

After the game, I caught up with Gspurning, and we discussed the game in which he and Rimando starred and, more interestingly, the reception the away goalkeeper received after his collision with Christian Tiffert. Rimando was left with a gash above his right eye and a broken nose.

Gspurning discussed it in an exclusive interview with Prost Amerika.

Prost Amerika: It was a great game from both goalkeepers. How did you see it?

Michael Gspurning: It was a good game from both goalkeepers, I think. We made a couple of saves, especially Rimando made great ones. We left everything out today, as a team, on the field. (We are) a little bit disappointed because in this case, all we missed was shooting at goal. OK, now we have to take a win away — to get a win next week. We will look forward to next week.

Prost Amerika: Rimando’s injury is obviously something you don’t want to see as a fellow goalkeeper.

Michael Gspurning: No. All the best to him. I spoke with him after the game, and he says he’s fine. Hopefully, he is because (even if) also you are a rival, you don’t wish somebody else something like this.

Prost Amerika: But goalkeepers are pretty tough. It takes more than that to knock you out of the game.

Michael Gspurning: Yeah (laughs).

Prost Amerika: Obviously, the fans weren’t happy. They were pretty vocal about it. Do you have any thoughts about their reaction?

Michael Gspurning: What should I say? I mean, in this case, the fans saw a lot of wasting time for us. I saw after (the game) his face, and he really, his nose didn’t look good, so he didn’t do it on purpose. During the game, everybody is focused on the game and not directed to what the fans are doing.

Prost Amerika: So you’re not disappointed at all with the way the fans reacted?

Michael Gspurning: Yeah, for sure. It’s not OK, if somebody is knocked down and he gets booed for being injured. Of course. That’s clear. But I have seen other stuff in Greece. It’s not on me to make the big judgment. He really had something, though. It was not a situation where he played for time. But many times, things happen where players are just wasting time. The fans in the stands, they don’t see if it’s something serious or not.

Prost Amerika: What kinds of things have you seen in Greece in these situations?

Michael Gspurning: The emotions are the same. We should never forget it’s a game. On the other side, the emotions are part of the game, and I think Nick is totally fine with this. We goalkeepers are highly motivated also if you play away and the fans are against you. It gives you an extra push.

More Sounders v RSL Coverage:

Adam Johansson: We Feel Confident for this Game

The Two Star Number 7s Race to be Fit for Second Leg

Nat Borchers: I didn’t think Nick would save Ochoa’s header

Match Report: Bruised, Bloodied but Never Beaten

Match Photo Gallery

Sounders FC Player Ratings

Real Salt Lake Player Ratings



  1. Yeah I was pretty unhappy with all the booing, I think most people were booing because other people around them were booing. ECS capos were leading the “let him die” chant too, which ticked me off even more. People should realize there’s no advantage to gain for a goalkeeper to flop. When they look hurt, they most likely are. They also need to be attended to in order to avoid substitution, which is why it eats up a bunch of time.

  2. “It’s not on me to make the big judgment.”

    That should be the headline. It’s not a big deal. Rimando was hurt, but only to the extent that every hockey player and boxer ever has been hurt, and not one falls down and kicks and flails over a broken nose. Most keep going and worry about it after the shift or bell.

    Soccer players make small injuries look bigger, and no injuries look like injuries. Fans boo that.

    It’s the circle of soccer life.

  3. I might add, the fans at RFK booed Robles last night after he took a shot in the junk. No one commented because “class” was apparently nothing anyone cared about in THAT match.

  4. Let’s not forget how much Espindola was rolling around, trying to getour guys carded. Really that is another reason the ref needs to take charge of diving. It makes subsequent (and in this case) real injuries questionable on whether the player is injured or acting for a card. Plus being near the play you couldn’t see blood, a limb pointing the wrong way so the crowd will get worked up.

    Oh and also, its a game with grown men getting paid to play…they can probably handle a little heckling. It’s not like in some countries where the endure projectiles or worse – explosives.

  5. ECS Capos did not lead the LET HIM DIE chant.

    I did. I’m the drummer, and I made a decision to drum during the chant independent of the capos. Obviously it’s hard to make a distinction, but Matt, your anger should be directed at me, if anything.

    All I can say is I have one of the worst views in the stadium, and once word passed along that he had a broken nose, and a huge bruise on his face, I felt bad for helping that chant while Rimando was down.

    Hope that clarifies the situation.

    • I remember thinking the ECS Capos weren’t twattish enough to do that. Got to be bloody Danforth, I thought. 😉

    • Jon. Thanks for clearing that up, I appreciate your honesty. I was up a bit higher so I only had a view of the upper half capo and it appeared to me that he was enjoying it a bit too much which is why I’ve had some anger over it. I’m over it now.

  6. Maybe it’s something that can be changed… call them a cheat, call them time wasters, call them what we think they are. The problem is that when the chant goes out and they are hurt, ECS looks like d-bags. It’s cute and funny if it’s really time wasting, but the downside publicly isn’t worth it.

    YSA is terse, lacks etiquette and wit, but it doesn’t insult the injured. Hopefully LHD can phase out.

    “Nick Rimando, Always Cheating” sounds a lot better when he’s bleeding, because then you know it’s a mismatch, and not insulting the injured.

    Just my opinion…

  7. jon danforth – as nice as it is of you to fall on your sword, the capos most definitely were at the very least joining in on the chants, if not leading them. Which is fine, you cant really expect much less can you?

    • It’s not so much falling on his sword. It’s honesty. Knowing Jon as well as I do, his motives will be the right ones, not any desire to cover up or protect anyone.

  8. Maybe the let him die chant could be changed to “let him cry”!? And if anyone wants to add their name to my get well soon/ we are so sorry card to nick rimando then let me know its going in the mail tomarrow. The card comes with an angry bird bandage.

  9. Last night, two San Jose players went down with cramps (one needed significant attention off the pitch, with Yallop using all his subs early) and were soundly booed in LA.

    Again, Friday’s situation is neither unusual nor unjustified. It’s simply soccer.

  10. the TA chants “you’re going home in a portland ambulance” and “shoot him like a horse” – never heard anyone complain about those after a game.

    • David,

      Your point is 100% valid but has a shade of deflection about it. Each set of fans is responsible for its own conduct and saying the Timbers Army do something worse, does not get the Seattle fanbase or any other a free pass.

      To the point you do want to talk about though .. No-one else could have known this bar 4 or 5 who were there but after the last Cascadia reserve derby in Portland, a TA Capo joined my table in the bar. I specifically mentioned that ‘ambulance’ chant and told him that in my opinion it reflected poorly on the Timbers support and, as far as he wanted the opinion of a Seattle writer, my view was that they should cut it out.

      To my surprise, he agreed. At that point, I decided it would not be the best thing to write about it the next day, and wait and see it it reoccurred.

      But to repeat the first thought, it still does not act as a valid deflection from discussion of the Nick Rimando booing. All sets of supporters should not forget that it was not that long ago that Fabrice Muamba nearly died on a football pitch and Livorno’s Piermario Morosini actually did.

      I would hope that Capos and fans might use the off season to clean house internally, rather than seek an internet tit-for-tat about which inappropriate chant is ‘worsest’.