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Gonzalo Segares' 'Phantom Assist': You be the judge

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Looks like Seagres might be ready to take Rooney, Macheda, Nani and Park on unassisted
Looks like Seagres might be ready to take Rooney, Macheda, Nani and Park on unassisted

In doing research for a story on Chicago Fire goals this season, I came across a couple of irregularities on the assist credits for some tallies. The initial press release after a game might have done something like given a second assist credit to Marco Pappa on Cory Gibbs' header vs. San Jose when he really didn't do that much to set up Baggio Husidic's ball into the box. In that same game, Cristian Nazarit was originally credited with an assist on the infamous 7/10 split where the ball hit both posts before Dominic Oduro slammed the ball in the net. Obviously Nazarit did not plan to get the ball to Oduro by having a shot hit the defender, have the ball deflect to hit the post, have the ball draw Jon Busch over to the wrong side, hit the other post, and then have Oduro be right there for the put-in. At least if Nazarit has that kind of aim, he is really wasting some talent. Just when I thought all these little things were ironed out, I came across the fact that Gonzalo Segares is being credited with 3 assists this year. More on why this is a curious case after the break.

Now the three assists represent a career season high for the 7-year MLS defender. His modest increase in offensive output reflects the role that interim head coach Frank Klopas has given him in pushing up more in the Fire attack. I remembered Segares getting the ball to Oduro in Philadelphia. I remembered his ground cross getting blocked and then sent in again to Oduro against Toronto. I could not think of what the other assist was... apparently they are giving it to him on Marco Pappa's dribbling showcase against Sporting KC at the home opener.

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To me, that looks like an unassisted goal to by Pappa. That is how the original press release had it. That is even how the game recap on MLSSoccer.com still has it. In Gonzalo Segares' game log and the team's stats page, it lives on. What do you think? I think Marco Pappa does all the work to create the goal himself.