Gary Mackay-Steven is tackled by Pablo Arboine. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — If one thing was evident during New York City FC’s victory over AD San Carlos on Wednesday, it was the passion shown by head coach Ronny Deila during a sideline skirmish.
He takes his soccer seriously and he protects his players as well.
Translated: do not make a wild tackle of any of his players, especially in front of the team bench.
Case in point: In the 81st minute of the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 encounter at Red Bull Arena, San Carlos defender Pablo Arboine tackled an onrushing Gary Mackay-Steven in front of the NYCFC bench.
An incensed Deila shoved Arboine and said something to the offending player as well. Both benches emptied on the sideline, but nothing more transpired.
Arboine and Deila received yellow cards.
Deila admitted what transpired was out of character for him.
“I overreacted a little of course,” he said. “I reacted because of the tackle. It was three, four seconds too late. It was for me, my instinct. I wanted to protect my player. I was scared that he would get injured.
“I calmed down quite quick. It was a little bit South American emotion there. But again, maybe I overreacted a little bit. It was good to have some energy out there.”