Taxi Fountas accused of using racial slurs during DC United’s loss


On the one night that DC United conceded an injury-time winner in a 3-2 loss to Inter Miami at Audi Field, that late meltdown was overshadowed by something much uglier.

After a second-half exchange between United striker Taxi Fontas and Miami defender Damion Lowe led to a lengthy delay and both players received yellow cards, with Fontas being substituted moments later, Miami coach Phil Neville said the confrontation was due to the use of racial insult.

“A word that I think is unacceptable in society has been used,” Neville said. “The word I think is the worst word in the world has been used.”

A United spokesman said Fontas, who scored his team’s 12th goal of the season moments ago, was not available for comment amid an investigation by the club, MLS and the professional referees organisation. Referee Ismail Al-Fath told a reporter that no official had heard racist or offensive language and that nothing was discovered by reviewing the video.

“The referee came and spoke to me and Phil and there was a complaint and I’m sure it will be investigated,” United manager Wayne Rooney said. “So there is nothing more than I can say.”

Spirit overtakes Gotham FC, post-season hopes were dashed soon after

Six weeks later United made Christian Benteke the most expensive player in the club’s historyRooney finally had the chance to publish his signature for his summer award alongside Fontas, the all-star club striker who missed Benteke’s first four games due to a concussion.

Benteke and Fontas sure found the net on Sunday. But Miami got two goals from Leonardo Campana, and after Fontas’ exit, an injury-time goal from Gonzalo Higuain.

For a last-placed DC side (7-19-6) who had failed to score in eight of their past 10 games, the attack rush was a welcome respite before their third straight fall without playoff football. But Fontas’ comeback was affected by the second half incident.

“It’s a really nice moment for us that kind of gets dark,” said Miami defender Deandre Yedlin, a member of the MLS Black Players for Change team. “It’s really unfortunate to see her live.”

Benteke opened his scoring account in the capital in the 22nd minute. Fountas threw a lopsided defense with a zigzag shot into the penalty area before Miami’s Bryce Duke pushed the ball wide. It fell to United midfielder Chris Durkin, who curled a one-time shot into the penalty area that Benteke stabbed at home at the far post.

Miami (12-13-6) tied at 39. Jan Motta’s skewed shot awarded the visitors a corner kick, and United goalkeeper David Ochoa could only have a poor serve touchdown. While the players were scrambling to get the loose ball, Campana turned around and hit the equaliser.

In the 53rd minute, Miami took the lead. Campana’s header pass through the mouth of the goal towards team-mate Alejandro Pozuelo, whose foul rebounded to Campana for the final goal.

Fontas raised United’s level after four minutes. Miami executed a free kick straight to the top of the penalty area, with Fontas firing a one-time shot that took a healthy deflection its way.

Both teams pushed for the win after a long delay and Fontas was substituted in the 66th minute, but it was Miami who broke through. After a quick break with United was thwarted when a ball destined for Benteke was hit by a teammate, Miami hit back. Indiana Vasiliev touched a wide pass to Yedlin, whose low cross was directed by Higuaín.

Here’s what else you need to know about the DC United defeat:

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He meets his former England teammates

The match was the first meeting between Rooney and Inter Miami coach Neville for the second year since Rooney took over as United coach in July. The pair were teammates at Manchester United in 2004-05 and with the England national team from 2003 to 2007.

Neville praised Bruni for his decision to remove Fontas, and Yedlin said Miami had decided “not to continue until something is done with this player.”

“I have to give Wayne Rooney a huge, wide respect for treating him the way he did,” Neville said. “I’ve always known it as a top-notch business.”

International break looms

United will be on hold next weekend as most of the MLS League stops at the final international window ahead of the World Cup in Qatar as the national teams fine-tune their tactics and get a last look at the players before submitting their rosters. DCF visits Montreal on October 1 before hosting FC Cincinnati on October 9 to close out the season.

Benteke, was a candidate for Belgium’s 26-man squad Removed from coach Roberto Martinez’s list For matches against Wales and the Netherlands. Yadlin will report to the US team assembled for the friendlies against Japan in Dusseldorf and Germany and Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.


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