June 18, 2012
TFC players busted outside Houston bar
By KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency
Three Toronto FC players walk in to a bar -- and leave in handcuffs.
As first reported by QMI Agency, TFC's Miguel Aceval, Nick Soolsma and Luis Silva were arrested in Houston for public intoxication early Monday morning.
Set to meet the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night, local police confirmed the TFC trio were taken into custody at Club Escobar following what officers described as a drunken altercation outside the establishment.
"There was a large disturbance outside the club," a Houston Police spokesman told QMI. "Our officers tried to disperse the fight at which time (the TFC players) refused to leave. (They) began to have verbal altercations with the officers."
After multiple requests, MLSE issued a brief statement Monday afternoon acknowledging the charges.
"We are aware of the charges filed against Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma in Houston earlier (Monday)," the statement read. "The players are presently with the team and we continue to investigate this matter. As such, the team will not provide any further comment at this time."
Police at the scene said Silva, Aceval and Soolsma were given an opportunity to walk away from the situation before refusing. When officers attempted to handcuff one of the Reds "one of (the players) ran and so the officer ran and "¦ took him into custody," the spokesman said.
Silva was later reported to have been the player that attempted to flee on foot -- something that could have elevated his misdemeanor charge.
Resisting arrest in Texas carries a fine of up to $4,000, as well as a potential prison term. As a result, it's safe to assume the player decided running wasn't the best option. That, or TFC is loaded with players that are so unfit they can't escape the pursuit of an American policeman.
The players, who were released from the Houston Police Department's Central Jail after posting $267.00 bond, later confirmed to police they were in Texas for a match against the Houston Dynamo.
At least they were honest.
But from the looks of Luis Silva's disheveled appearance, this wasn't exactly a one or two-beer night.
While the crime itself is childish and miniscule, the optics couldn't be worse. Professional athletes in the midst of a stretch of three games in a week can't afford to be pie-eyed days before a match during a season that is on the verge of going down as one of the worst in league history.
As details continue to trickle out, there will be questions as to whether Silva, Soolsma and Aceval ignored team curfew and language in their contracts.
Will the club send a strong message, or will they simply brush it under the rug while bewildered supporters watch on in disbelief? Does it even matter this season?
After ditching former head coach Aron Winter two weeks ago, the Reds (1-10-0) failed to show well under Paul Mariner in a 2-0 loss at Kansas City on Saturday -- a defeat that saw them drop an astonishing 29 points behind league-leading Real Salt Lake.
For those who continue to be passionate about soccer and MLS in this city, it's yet another painful reminder of just how bad things are at BMO Field.
If it already isn't an expectation, TFC's dysfunctionality has moved from shocking to depressing. It really can't get any worse.