There was reasonably decent game of soccer played between the New York Red Bulls II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, May 7, but it was overshadowed by a late-game scuffle between Karl Ouimette and Romeo Parkes. Whatever passed between the two players, it brought the red card out of the referee's pocket and the worst out of Parkes. As Ouimette took his medicine and wearily trudged toward the bench, Parkes unleashed a kick to the small of the NYRB II defender's back. The Canadian international went down; the Jamaican international went off, seemingly ready to take on all comers.
Whatever incensed Parkes to the point he was ready to inflict grievous bodily harm on an unaware opponent (Ouimette did not see the kick coming), it is hard to think of a valid excuse for an action that would appear to threaten the careers of both players. Ouimette stayed down, motionless, on the turf until a stretcher was found to gingerly wheel him off. It is to be hoped that all he has sustained is a heavy dose of shock and bruising, but Parkes kicked him hard and full in the back - and that is a worrying blow under any circumstances.
Parkes will doubtless be the subject of censure by USL, and will need to be ready with an explanation for what he has done. He struck another player in the back with, if not intent to injure, at least a total lack of concern for the consequences of his actions on the safety of his opponent. A lengthy suspension could be merely the beginning of the trouble he faces as a result.
The outcome of the game was rendered insignificant after the blow that felled Ouimette. Once A Metro waits, in common with anyone aware of the incident, simply to hear if the RBNY man is OK.
H/T to @jerzyiroc for cutting the clip used above from the USL stream.
UPDATE: @jerzyiroc has provided another clip showing the incident that sparked the confrontation between Parkes and Ouimette - an incident that involved neither of them. Tensions had been running high in the game, and while the clip does not show clearly what happened to initiate the argument between the two players who were sent off, it does illustrate the general mood of both sides around the time Parkes and Ouimette clashed.