Right, so the criticism has been dished out and it was deserved. The players should have properly acknowledged the Sunderland support at the end of both games in Sacramento, and didn’t.

But sometimes it’s fair to redress the balance.

Martin Bates is our Toronto man – another member of SAFC North American Supporters`Association that has provided such a great service to Salut! Sunderland during the tour – and has already written about his great sense of anticipation, as a Toronto FCF fan whose Sunderland family roots ensure he’ll be rooting for us, about the last game of the tour.

At Facebook, Martin congratulated our all-American correspondent, Jesse Burch, on his piece describing the match against Pachuca. He said he, too, would have been disappointed by the lack of waves or other acknowledgement. In fairness to Jesse, who has had a little bit of stick as well as a lot of praise for his article, his comments on that aspect formed a relatively small sequence of an excellent account of his day.

But this was how Martin – whose pictures from the get-together first appeared at his Facebook pages – went on:

Jesse Burch – great article. I’m sorry to hear about how the fans were treated at the end of the game as what we experienced here last night with the club staff & the players was polar opposite to your experience. I applaud your honesty in saying what you did. If I had been there I know I would have felt exactly the way you did.

It doesn’t matter whether the flak – Jesse’s article was much-discussed at Ready to Go and attracted several thousands of visitors to Salut! Sunderland – led to the warm welcome extended to fans in Toronto.

Maybe it just showed the players in not only a better light, but also a more representative one. And we can acknowledge that…

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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