Frank Klopas cries foul when Patrick Nyarko is hit
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media May 24, 2013 11:54PM
Frank Klopas of the Chicago Fire, headshot on Media Day, January 18, 2012 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. | Photo by Brian Kersey
Updated: June 26, 2013 6:19AM
Coach Frank Klopas had kept quiet after a number of questionable calls went against the Fire. But leading up to the game Saturday against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, Klopas, unprompted, finally spoke out.
“I can look at the tapes and give you 20 calls every game that [midfielder] Patrick [Nyarko] gets killed, and he never gets a call,” Klopas said. “He’s the most fouled player in the league, tackled from behind, this or that.”
The Fire has been hit with three red cards, but officials seem to let things go when Nyarko is knocked down.
Klopas scoffed at the idea that the Fire wasn’t getting the “star” calls.
“We’re in a big market,” he said. “This is the Fire, and I think, for me, we have star players. Maybe we don’t have star referees. That’s the problem.”
Klopas is well supported by the number of fouls Nyarko has drawn.
He’s the third-most fouled player in the league (29 fouls drawn). But officials only have handed out six yellow cards for fouls against Nyarko.
Last season, Nyarko was the most fouled player (84 fouls).
“It’s been going on for a while with the fouling and stuff like that,” Nyarko said. “I don’t think there’s an extra emphasis with the referees on how players are going to be playing me. But those fouls definitely look, at least, like hard fouls.
“I’m going to continue not pulling out of tackles, and whatever it takes to retain possession for my team, I think I’m going to do it.”