Michael C. Jones

By: Michael C. Jones

Your Seattle Sounders FC host FC Dallas in game 2 of the MLS Conference Semifinals on Sunday (Seattle won the first game Sunday 2-1). Fortunately for MLS fans, the league is subjected to far less flopping than the bad behavior that plagues other leagues and international play. (The deficiency of diving in the women’s World Cup is one reason this reporter so enjoys watching that event, that and the fact that the women’s play is inspiring to my daughter.)

Of course, many soccer fans enjoy seeing the histrionics even as they wince because it undermines the sincerity, the authenticity of the sport. For those fans who lament that “the beautiful game” would be even prettier if more players faked grievous injury after the slightest of contact, we present seven shameful soccer flops.

7. It’s Never Too Early To Perfect Your Flop
Who doesn’t appreciate the rivalry between La Roca WR and the Vegas All Boys? Okay, I don’t, because I have no idea who these kids are, but I do know that at least one of the players is way ahead of the curve in flopping ability. It’s hard to tell which team is which in this footage from an international tournament in Las Vegas because one is wearing red and one is wearing orange, but that’s neither here nor there, because all you need to see is what happens at 13 seconds and ponder whether one of the players in red or orange just happens to be invisible.

6. Stop Hitting Yourself! Stop Hitting Yourself!
What do you do if your team is trailing, time is running out, and you’re desperate for a yellow card, a red card, anything that will give your team an advantage? If you said, grab your opponent’s arm and punch yourself in the face, you must be familiar with the strategic genius that is Bryan Carrasco of Chile’s U20 team. As the announcer says, “Por favor Carrasco. Por favor Carrasco.”

5. Ref, Is It Technically Against The Rules To Flop During A PK? It’s Not? Okay Then
Okay, so punching yourself in the face with an opponent’s appendage doesn’t always work (shocking, I know), but that doesn’t mean intentionally appearing to cause yourself harm can’t be effective some of the time. Not sure why this video is reversed (unless the match really was sponsored by ABIHSOT and NOKIN), and I’m also not sure whether this penalty kick would have been successful without phantom interference. Like the secrets behind Donald Trump’s hair, we’ll probably never know.

4. I Crack Myself Up
David Luiz is a very good player. He plays for Brazil, after all, and I’m no soccer expert, but I’m pretty sure they’re not slouches. But even he had to laugh at the ridiculousness of this flop, which was committed by, that’s right, David Luiz.

3. He’s A Maverick In The World Of Soccer
Flopping also is controversial in the NBA. It’s even against the rules! Here we get the best of both worlds, as Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki flops during a celebrity soccer match in Germany.

2. My Favorite Spartan
Since we’re blurring the lines a bit, let’s take a brief foray into the world of the other futbol, football, and observe what happens when mild-mannered Nebraska Cornhusker player Bruce Banner apparently turns, mid-play, into the Incredible Hulk.

1. Shamelessly Cute Flopping
Okay, the only thing shameful about this clip is the exploitation of a kid in order to spread his cuteness to the world, but if you’ve watched the above videos and thought, “I wish I had a future in professional flopping, but I haven’t the foggiest notion of how to go about it,” let this little tyke get you started.