SAN DIEGO — As the Sockers left the bench and came off the field following Sunday's game, Socker midfielder Juli Veee connected with an open-handed slap that hit assistant coach Johan Aarnio. Aarnio staggered back, and then attempted to hit Veee with a left-handed punch that missed. Veee held Aarnio off. The incident was captured on tape.
"It was an unfortunate accident," said Veee, who would not say what precipitated his action. "Mistaken identity. I thought someone would hit one of our players. I reacted."
When pressed further, Veee did not want to comment. And when he did comment further, he spoke in Hungarian.
Said Aarnio: "No comment. I'll let management handle it. All I can say is he doesn't swing hard enough."
Socker Coach Ron Newman said a fine will probably be forthcoming.