FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman on Friday said a lack of courage from the referees kept Thierry Henry on the field Thursday night after the incident that led to goalkeeper Kevin Hartman’s injury.
In the seconds following an equalizing goal from New York’s Mehdi Ballouchy during first-half stoppage time, Henry celebrated by attempting to kick a stray ball into the FCD net. Instead his shot slammed off Hartman’s foot, buckling the FCD veteran to the turf with what team officials have confirmed as a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Henry – who received no disciplinary action for the incident – had earned a yellow card for a reckless tackle earlier in the match, and would have been ejected had he been issued a second caution for the incident.
“Henry was sitting on a yellow and the referee didn’t really have the courage to make the call. That’s what it came down to,” Hyndman said. “You can say he kicked the ball, he did this, he did that but would we be in such a predicament as we are now going into these next few games?”
FC Dallas officials have not released an injury update on Hartman, who watched from the bench as the Red Bulls eventually rallied for a 2-2 draw. FCD – who extended their franchise-record unbeaten streak to 15 games with the result – host New England next Wednesday, and will likely lean on veteran backup Dario Sala in that match if Hartman is unable to play.
Hyndman told ESPN.com on Thursday that FCD officials may ask for a review on the incident from league officials.
"I think somebody from our administration probably will do that," Hyndman told ESPN.com. "It’s not just the incident. It’s the weight it’s putting on all of us now. Hartman, I thought, was up for MVP of the league. I thought he was just outstanding. Now, we’re going to have to call in a pool goalkeeper. It was something that was not necessary. So we’ll see what happens.”
Henry, for his part, was apologetic for the incident, which soured what has been an otherwise stellar introduction to the league since his arrival from Barcelona in July.
“The ball was there and like I do sometimes, I just wanted to kick the ball back in the net. He put his foot out there and that’s how he got injured,” Henry said after the match. “That was unfortunate.”
“I went to apologize at halftime because I didn’t mean to hurt him,” Henry added. “He put his foot out there and I just wanted to smash the ball back in the net – a pure accident. I told him I was sorry. He accepted it. It was one of those stupid things.”
Hartman has started 20 of FCD’s 24 games this season, notching nine shutouts and league-leading 0.62 goals-against average.
“I'm not real sure exactly how it happened,” explained Hartman. “We'd given up the goal, obviously, and it was just one of those things where you want to get the ball back to midfield.
“Henry went to hit the ball and I tried to intercede and, unfortunately, I hurt myself or got hurt.”