The final moments of a 2-2 draw between Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls was marred by the behavior of Alejandro Romero Gamarra, better known as Kaku. In the 93rd minute, out of apparent frustration, Kaku intentionally kicks a ball full force into the crowd and hit a fan in the first row.
First, it appears the fan is okay according to our own Jimmy Mack and the KC Star’s Sam McDowell. Jimmy’s tweet read:
“Ilie said the man who was hit by Kaku didn’t see the ball coming and was bleeding. #SportingKC said the fan is doing well and was taken to a conference room for immediate medical treatment. #SKCvRBNY“ — @jcmack03
McDowell added, “[the fan] was treated for a bloody nose, according to team spokesperson.”
Here is the video of the incident:
Kaku was given a red card in extra time after intentionally kicking the ball into the stands at close range and hitting a fan. pic.twitter.com/QxjmBz5fV8— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 15, 2019
And not that you asked, but here it is in slo-motion.
As you can see in the video Graham Zusi and Matt Besler are the first players to get to Kaku to confront him for his behavior before basically everyone else on the field arrives and the pushing and shoving continues.
Bizarrely Kaku smiles after getting the red card and kind of shrugs as though he doesn’t understand why he’s been sent off. The above video doesn’t capture it but as he’s exiting the field he starts by holding his hands up and clapping before later holding his hands out, appearing to apologize to the stadium/cameras. Later in his walk-off he seems more remorseful (as you can see in the James Justice tweet at the bottom of the story).
Immediately after the game players went over to check on the fan. Andreu Fontas was reportedly one of the first ones there and he gave his jersey to the fan. To their credit, other members of the Red Bulls, including head coach Chris Armas, came over and apologized to the fan as well.
Social media is full of comments from RBNY fans calling for the team to release or transfer Kaku. Ironically the team was reported to be selling him before the season but that deal fell through when New York asked for more money.
Instead, he’ll likely serve a very long suspension when the MLS Disciplinary Committee weighs in this week. This isn’t the first time a player has behaved violently towards fans. Marseille’s Patrice Evra received a seven month ban for kicking a fan during the 2017/2018 Europa League. For his part, Kaku sent several apology tweets after the game.
I want to take the time and apologize for my actions during tonight’s match. As a competitor, I was frustrated with myself and took out my frustrations in a way that is not acceptable. I love this game and would never want to disrespect it. pic.twitter.com/0f1ufcXyJ4— kaku (@kakuromero17) April 15, 2019
“I want to take the time and apologize for my actions during tonight’s match,” Kaku started. “As a competitor, I was frustrated with myself and took out my frustrations in a way that is not acceptable. I love this game and would never want to disrespect it.”
We’ll leave you with this bizarre and poor apology from Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles. You should really read some of the comments, they are quite amusing. Good job Kansas City.
Luis Robles on Kaku: "I know that he’s remorseful about it. I know that he didn’t mean to do it. We all checked in with the guy. I guess that’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?"— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) April 15, 2019
Luis Robles on Kaku: “I know that he’s remorseful about it. I know that he didn’t mean to do it. We all checked in with the guy. I guess that’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?”
No Luis. And please stop talking. The Swope Park Rangers GK coach, Ross Cain, didn’t take kindly to Robles’ remarks either.
The Blue Testament will follow-up on this story when further punishment is announced for Alejandro Romero Gamarra.
Update 4/15/19: The Red Bulls released a statement this morning.
“The New York Red Bulls organization does not condone the type of behavior displayed near the end of Sunday night’s match in Kansas City.
We hold everyone in our organization to a high standard of conduct.
The matter will continue to be discussed internally and we will have no further comment at this time.”