Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Americans Abroad: Strengthening Our Reputation for Producing Awesome Goalies Crappy Tourists

Hunter Gilstrap has gone AWOL in South Africa.

Yeah, we had the same reaction: Who the hell is Hunter Gilstrap and why is he playing in South Africa?

He's a former College of Charleston goalkeeper and he doesn't seem to be playing in the PSL anymore.

After conceding five goals and then showing fans the proverbial middle finger, Maritzburg United goalie Hunter Gilstrap failed to attend a disciplinary hearing and has also apparently vanished from the Kwa-Zulu Natal town... "His cell phone is off, he has not been at training since Monday and he failed to show up for the disciplinary hearing," said team manager Quinton Jettoo.
The five-goal one-finger incident occurred two Saturdays ago against Golden Arrows. Gilstrap was supposed to attend a hearing the following Wednesday, but he didn't make it.

And there is suspicion that he tanked the game on purpose. Gilstrap was dropped from the team's number one in favor of Tashrique Goldman earlier in the season, so when Gilstrap was called in late to start in the provincial derby, club boss Farouk Kadodia suspects Gilstrap might have allowed in some howlers to avenge his demotion.

Oh, and get kicked off the team on purpose so he could come home.

"It was a comedy of errors - cheap, cheap goals. It was like sabotage," said Kadodia. "Perhaps the goalkeeper was trying to provoke us into cancelling his contract, so he could leave for home, all because Goldman took his place."
Gilstrap was on a one-season contract that could only be terminated by mutual consent.

Maritzburg is just two points from the bottom of the league, so it's in a relegation battle. On top of that, they just lost their striker (and this name is A) Awesome B) Now ironically more awesome) Lucky Maselesele as he was banned for two years after being caught with cocaine.

Officially, Gilstrap was supposed to appear on two charges: 1) for giving a poor performance, and 2) for bringing the club into disrepute by showing a finger to the fans. The latter was probably a solid case. The former, not so much.

It might be irrelevant if Gilstrap never turns back up in South Africa as speculation is that he's already returned home to Cleveland.


The Fan's Attic said...

Americans coming through. Americans coming through.

Thewaver said...

The lad is only human. I know it is tough to be away from home and all but the boy didn't tank a game so he could come back to the states. Oh, and one more thing. This article failed to mention that Gilstrap was unable to train for an entire month due to an illness. You cannot expect any athlete that has not been able to train for a month to show up and do as good as before. This is a lesson of pressure and time and like any human being, Gilstrap reacted like anyone would.

Jonah Ptak said...

i'm an american living in pietermaritzburg. i went to the games and stood up for gilstrap pointing out to maritzburg united's sorrowful defense (defence). almost got in a few fights for it too. now i'm the fool.
whether or not he threw the match before he disappeared (i heard his landlord's couch disappeared with him), there's no acceptable excuse for any professional bailing on their team like that.