The Pittsburgh Riverhounds and (occasionally) Jamaica national team forward Romeo Parkes was having a pretty good season in USL until May 7, when something caused him to lose his mind and kick Karl Ouimette in the back without any apparent restraint.
The 25-year-old has, however, managed to hold down a relatively steady career as a professional soccer player since 2009, in Jamaica, El Salvador, and now the USA. He wouldn't be quite so regularly employed if he was prone to the sort of on-field violence he unleashed on Ouimette.
It was, perhaps, a momentously regrettable lapse of reason, and one for which - one suspects - the player will pay dearly, as soon as USL sets the tone with its disciplinary measures. The Riverhounds have already indicated they will pursue their own action as soon as they get the go-ahead from the league. As reported by Matt Grubba of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"It's an unfortunate situation, and it's embarrassing for the organization, myself and the coaching staff," Riverhounds coach Mark Steffens said. "He'll be dealt with by the USL and by us, as well."
After the match, Riverhounds officials confirmed to the Tribune-Review the team will take its own action regarding Parkes. Releasing the Jamaican international is a strong option, however the club must wait for the USL to review the incident before making any offical move.
The Reggae Boyz will likely take a dim view of the player's actions once word gets back to Jamaica; the New York Red Bulls and Karl Ouimette might have more to say on the matter, particularly if any long-term damage has been done to Ouimette's career.
Romeo Parkes' season changed significantly when he kicked Karl Ouimette. Indeed, it may have ended altogether. Before he lashed out, his story was that of a player who has scored five goals in his last five USL games, building positive momentum for international call-ups and a shot at playing for a club at a higher level. Now, some will consider him fortunate if he plays again this season.
The new reality has dawned on Parkes. He has taken to Twitter to issue a full apology:
To the fans, my teams, the city of PGH, NY Red Bulls 2 and the USL, I recognized that my action was wrong and inappropriate.— Romeo Parkes (@ovando678) May 8, 2016
and I sincerely apologize and regret my actions. Despite the continous altercation throughout the game my further action after I was carded— Romeo Parkes (@ovando678) May 8, 2016
Was unwarrented and i ask for my fans, the league and my teammates as well as the New York Red Bulls to accept my sincere apology.— Romeo Parkes (@ovando678) May 8, 2016
We're sorry too, Romeo. Not up to us as fans to accept or deny your apology: none of us got kicked. But it's clear from this vantage point that there are no winners here; it is a sorry situation for all involved.