MacWilliams wants K.C. coach punished

March 06, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Spirit coach Dave MacWilliams urged National Professional Soccer League commissioner Steve Paxsos to take strong action against Kansas City Attack coach Zoran Savic for his actions Saturday night in a 30-minute, bench-clearing melee in the third quarter of an 11-10 loss to the Attack in Kansas City.

The incident was precipitated by Spirit forward Jon Parry's throwing a punch at Attack midfielder Goran Hunjak that resulted in a broken nose for Hunjak.

Parry hit Hunjak after the two players had been exchanging words often during the game.

Parry, a native of Kansas City and former Attack player, was ejected. Hunjak is a former Spirit player.

But, said MacWilliams, what followed should never have happened and should be prevented from occurring again if the NPSL is to maintain a good image.

According to MacWilliams and Spirit vice president Drew Forrester, Savic went on to the floor, through a tunnel and charged the Spirit locker room, banging on the door and hoping to get at Parry.

Savic had to be restrained by police and security personnel at Kemper Arena, but he was not ejected by the game officials.

"When a coach goes to an opposing team's locker room in a rage, something has to be done," said MacWilliams. "I'm mystified that he wasn't thrown out of the game, and now the league has to hand out some kind of punishment like a fine. I can understand him [Savic] being upset over his player's nose being broken, but he should have never charged our locker room."

Forrester said that Savic's actions prompted some of his players to leave the bench, adding to the ugly scene.

"I don't know if they [Kansas City players] were trying to restrain him [Savic] or what, but they were on the floor," said Forrester. "And before too long, Savic, Hunjak and [Attack player] Lee Tschantret were all at our locker room trying to get at Parry. Tschantret was going ballistic and throwing flip flops at Jon."

Tschantret came from the Kansas City locker room to get involved in the incident.

He had been ejected from the game earlier for spitting on the Spirit's Brad Smith.

In addition to Parry, the Spirit had two more players ejected as a result of the fighting, pushing, shoving and angry exchange of words.

Smith and Lance Johnson were in the penalty box when the free-for-all started, and they left the box when the attendant went to join the trouble in the tunnel leading to the Spirit locker room.

MacWilliams found it perplexing that his two players were ejected for a minor infraction during the chaos.

"That might have cost us the game," said the coach. "We had to play two men down for six minutes, and then we made a mistake with 23 seconds left that led to the winning goal. If those players who were ejected would have been on the floor at the time, we might not have made the mistake."

Forrester said he is confident that Paxsos "will make the right decision in this matter."

"We [Spirit] were going to handle Jon Parry for fighting," he said. "We don't condone it. It was an emotional game, words were exchanged, Goran put his hands on Jon's face and pushed him and Jon punched him. It probably wouldn't have become a 30-minute fiasco if Savic hadn't gone to our locker room."

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