Jesse Marsch, the No Diving Campaign Begins

i-a5aaae207121d2948b8eae048b34015d-marsch.jpg Jesse missed Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Wizards. And he wasn’t happy about it. This is his inaugural post:

I was sitting in my house this week contemplating what to write for my first blog entry. I was thinking about the extra time I had on my hands this week because I had been suspended for yellow card points for the game against the Kansas City Wizards.

I became irritated because my last yellow card was for a tackle on Colorado’s Colin Clark where I not only didn’t foul him, but I didn’t even touch him! He took one and a half more steps and then took a dive that Greg Louganis would have been proud of. The attempt to garner a call from the referee was so pathetic that when he took out the yellow card, I was sure it was fixed on Clark. I actually started clapping and demanding that Clark get off his rump, but the ref then pointed at me indicating that I was the recipient. I couldn’t believe the ref fell for it.

I have a major problem with diving, and an even bigger problem with rolling around on the ground like someone has been shot.

I grew up in Wisconsin, which needless to say is not a soccer state.

We like brats, cheese, beer, and the Packers.

Most of my friends and family back home don’t understand soccer, but they will watch occasionally because they like to see me on TV. (Although I always get the question, “Why don’t you shoot more?”)

The one thing they do know about soccer is that they hate diving! And I mean loathe it. And because of this reason I have never in my career done the ole’ lay on the ground and cry for a card.

It’s pathetic.

I mean we are talking about grown men, with families, lying on the ground grabbing their knees (even though the were kicked in the ankle) moaning and whining. So much so that when I go out and play with my three-year-old son, he kicks the ball and then falls to the ground grabbing his foot. That’s what he absorbs from watching professional soccer.

The biggest problem is that it works.

I’m not sure if Carlos Ruiz or Brian Ching will read this blog. Or if we can forward this article to every Brazilian that comes to play in America, but I am starting a “no diving” campaign.

Let’s get some sponsors and go global with it. Because unless we eliminate diving from our sport, we provide easy fodder for all of the antagonists of soccer in this country.


So now you know who Jesse Marsch thinks are the biggest divers in MLS.

Who do you think are the worst culprits at faking injury?

My nominee: the Galaxy’s Kyle Martino.

If memory serves, he won two penalties in quick sucession by ramping up the drama when he fell in the penalty box. Now referees have caught on and Martino just flails dramatically to no avail.

And looks silly.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • Michoacano

    Great blog!!! I think this “no diving” campaign will be great for soccer. Let’s get it going in order to maintain the integrity of this great sport!

  • Soccer Sammy

    Carlos Ruiz is by far the biggest diver in all of MLS. He will fall to the ground when the nearest player is 5 yards from him.
    He is a shameful, deceitful player.

    The two calls which you refer to regarding Kyle Martino were not dives—he was fouled.

  • Jaime Cardenas

    I don’t know if he still does it, but the best (and most annoying diver) I’ve ever watched is Cuautehmoc Blanco. And every player ever to come out of Portugal.

    Great blog.

  • Brian

    Soccer Sammy got it right. Ruiz makes me want to kick in my TV screen. The disrespect he shows for the game is infuriating. The thing is, if he would cut that aspect out of his game, he’d still be a good player.

  • Peter Wilt

    “Wisconsin isn’t a soccer state”????

    Jesse, Jesse, Jesse…


    (Fan-friendly former Chicago Fire GM Peter Wilt heads up a group seeking to bring an MLS team to Milwaukee, Wis. And apparently has excellent taste in his choice of blogs – Nick).

  • Voros McCracken

    If Jesse gets to start this campaign, does Beckham get to start a “no kicking me in the groin because you’re angry” campaign?

    I don’t like faking injuries as much as the next guy, but falling down is often the attacker’s only defense against the kind of cynical fouling (grabbing jerseys, body checking) that so many American refs refuse to call.

  • Rod La Rocque

    True Carols Ruiz is by far the worst flopper in the league and from what I heard by the Refs at last year’s Supporter Summit the Refs are aware of Ruiz’s flopping.

    On the other hand, Jessie Marsch appears to intentionally injure players, take David Beckham, Marsch should have been fined and gotten suspended for tackling David so hard causing a knee injury.

  • Rodney

    Jessie Marsch should have gotten a RED CARD, suspended and fined a bunch for intentionally injuring David Beckham.

  • TJ

    My vote for worst diver in the league goes to Herculez Gomez. Not only does he flop around for five minutes when he gets touched, he is often on the other end of some of the most vicious fouls in a game.

    I loved the guy when he was in L.A., but when he was moved to Colorado, I finally saw what so many people were talking about. Disgrace to the game.

  • Kenn Tomasch

    As I recall, Beckham wasn’t injured in the confrontation with Marsch.

    I don’t think it was intentional that Marsch got his boot up as high as he did. He obviously struck back. That deserves a card. Not a red. Not a suspension. Not a fine.

    We need more guys who aren’t afraid to play the game hard, and who aren’t going to defer to someone who makes 50 times what they make. That’s different from being a hack and a goon who goes after guys. Marsch takes as good as he gives.

    Oh, and Guevara’s towel-snap thing was the worst, but Martino’s two Olympicesque dives (on the second he’s airborne before the contact) against Chicago on July 4 put him tops among the divers for now.

    It does need to be eradicated from our sport.