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Donovan plays down Gonzalez, Dempsey, Yedlin all-USA altercation


SEATTLE — A little over a month removed from their time together as teammates for the United States at the World Cup, Omar Gonzalez, DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey were involved in a small altercation on Monday night.

In first-half stoppage time of the L.A. Galaxy’s 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, Gonzalez gave Yedlin a shove after the whistle, sending the young fullback toppling to the turf. Dempsey was the first player to come to his defense, and a small shoving match ensued.

Gonzalez received a yellow card for initiating the confrontation, and he told reporters after the match that he saw Yedlin go into a tackle with fellow Galaxy center back A.J. DeLaGarza with a high elbow. After pushing Yedlin over, Gonzalez clearly had a heated discussion, first with Yedlin and then with Dempsey as he rushed over.

However, nobody seemed too incensed by the incident after the match. In fact, it was barely addressed.

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“We don't want to be stupid, but we want to be competitive, and Seattle is the same way,” said Landon Donovan, who walked over to diffuse the situation as it occurred. “Sigi [Schmid] is an excellent coach, and he always has them ready to go. All that stuff happens, [but] after the game, you shake hands and you move on. It was a good game; it was a competitive game, but a clean game.”

It likely wasn’t the reunion anybody had in mind, but Dempsey, Yedlin and Gonzalez showed that professionals hardly think farther than the current moment when they’re in match situations. Their competitiveness takes over, and that can lead to any sort of altercation, no matter the opponent.