New York Red Bulls midfielder Kaku was shown a red card for kicking a ball into the stands that struck a fan late in his team’s 2-2 draw at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night.
Kaku, whose full name is Alejandro Romero Gamarra, fired a ball from close range into the first few rows of seats in the 93rd minute.
The ball struck a fan who was left dazed with a bloody face and received medical attention, a source told ESPN.
Kaku tweeted an apology after the game, writing: “I want to take the time and apologize for my actions during tonight’s match. As a competitor, I was frustrated with myself and took out my frustrations in a way that is not acceptable. I love this game and would never want to disrespect it.”
Kaku was dismissed with a straight red card, and after a scuffle near the sideline, Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and Sporting KC forward Krisztian Nemeth were both issued yellow cards. Sporting KC had tied the game minutes earlier through 16-year-old Gianluca Busio‘s third goal in as many MLS games.
In a gesture of goodwill, many Red Bulls players approached the stands to check on the fan immediately after the game.
“I know that [Kaku’s] remorseful about it. I know that he didn’t mean to do it,” Robles said, as quoted by the Kansas City Star. “We all checked in with the guy. I guess that’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?”
Kaku will most likely face a multigame suspension. In 2017, Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard was suspended for three games following an altercation with a fan. A source told ESPN at the time that Howard grabbed a Sporting KC fan by the arm as players were leaving the field.
Kaku has been at odds with the Red Bulls this season after expressing a desire to leave the team in January, when he was linked with a move to Club America, one of the largest clubs in Mexico.
His agent told ESPN Mexico that the Red Bulls wanted $12 million to sell Kaku — double what the Red Bulls paid Argentinian club Huracan a year earlier to acquire him — and America balked at the price tag. Kaku himself told ESPN Mexico at the time that the Red Bulls’ asking price was “not reasonable.”
Then in March, the Red Bulls unexpectedly left Kaku out of the matchday squad for a game against San Jose, with coach Chris Armas saying only that, “We had a minor internal issue, and we dealt with that quickly.”