Monday, June 24 2024
<img class="caas-img has-preview" alt="‘This is marvelous entertainment,’ a commentator said.Photograph: Kyle Ross/USA Today Sports” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/IAHSK98y2nf8QjLI6mO7nw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the_guardian_765/fe8ae257b32a2c349abd9cb2c730811a” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/IAHSK98y2nf8QjLI6mO7nw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the_guardian_765/fe8ae257b32a2c349abd9cb2c730811a”>

‘This is marvelous entertainment,’ a commentator said.Photograph: Kyle Ross/USA Today Sports

Four men, including one with a trash can, were temporarily thwarted in their efforts to capture a wayward raccoon who invaded the soccer pitch during a game between New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on Wednesday night.

The adult raccoon ran almost the length of the pitch, and swerved into the penalty box, as Major League Soccer staff attempted a capture. The furry fugitive was ultimately caught by one of the trash can men, but not before match commentators at the game in Chester, Pennsylvania, signaled their approval.

“We need to find him a ball because he’s moving very well in the center of midfield,” said Callum Williams, an MLS commentator on Apple TV. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite as bizarre as this, particularly given the amount of time he’s remained on the field.

“This is marvelous entertainment. Go on, raccoon! You can get away,” Williams said, before imploring the raccoon catchers: “Don’t hurt him!”

Video of the raccoon chase went viral, with some dubbing the animal “Raquinho” after the Brazilian star Ronaldinho. A commentator on YouTube said the raccoon showed more promise than any Manchester United attacker this season.

In a statement on X, the Philadelphia Union said the raccoon was picked up by a local pest control company and released back into the wild. “Our friend was put in good hands with @HoffmansPest and has been safely released!” it said.

In the comments section, one X user noted that the statement was unlikely to fool anyone, noting the pest control company was called Hoffman Exterminating. “Also this team sucks disband it and start a real club,” they advised. Philadelphia lost the game 2-1, leaving the team in ninth place in the MLS Eastern Conference after 12 games.

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