Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Ref Watch
October 11th, 2006 5:37PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Two critical refereeing decisions went against Colorado in its 3-1 loss to New England Sept. 30, yet in both cases, the right call was made.

Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo complained when a penalty kick was called after defender Aitor Karanka, attempting to clear a ball, kicked Jay Heaps in the face as Heaps headed a shot at goal.

Usually, when a player lifts his foot that high with an opponent nearby, the call is dangerous play and an indirect free kick. And usually in those situations the opposing player backs off and no contact is made, hence, dangerous play.

But Karanka, regardless of what his intent was, did kick Heaps in the face as he played the ball, and under such circumstances - when a player simultaneously commits two fouls of different severity - the rules clearly specify the referee is directed to punish the more serious foul. In this case, the direct-kick infraction of kicking an opponent.

And this was not a case in which a player stooped low to head a ball, in which case the player heading the ball would be guilty of dangerous play; Karanka's foot was shoulder-height when it made contact with Heaps.

Referee Kevin Stott, who yellow-carded Karanka, sent off Clint Mathis in the second half for elbowing Avery John and in this case, the decision really can't be argued. Mathis had just lost the ball to John, chased after him, and in challenging for the ball cranked his elbow into John's jaw.

In addition to the automatic one-game suspension and $250 fine for the red card, the MLS disciplinary committee tacked on an additional one-game suspension and $750 in fines for the incident and Mathis' arguing as he left the field. This means Mathis will miss the final game of the season at Houston after sitting out Saturday's 1-1 tie with Red Bull New York.

Not every such incident has been handled properly, but at least the league is taking significant action to punish players who use their elbows and forearms as weapons. New England midfielder Clint Dempsey was suspended for two games and fined $1,000 for an elbowing incident that injured Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad in August. While Dempsey's elbow seemed more reckless than malicious, it cost Conrad a fractured jaw and seven matches on the sidelines nonetheless.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Quakes put down roots, ending more than 40 years of homelessness    
Homeless no more, San Jose joins the ranks of pro soccer teams with their own place ...
More to MLS labor imbalance than no free agency    
As negotiators meet in Washington in attempt to reach an agreement that will avert MLS's first ...
Can these U-17s be the new 99ers?     
In 1999, the USA, with a team that included Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, finished fourth ...
Soccer and labor strife: It's never about the money    
As American sports go, pro soccer has had relative labor peace. Since the only work stoppage ...
Solo still has chance to prove people wrong    
Just how much more rope is U.S. Soccer willing to give Hope Solo?
Hamid becomes a student of the game    
Like for most good goalkeepers, D.C. United's Bill Hamid will tell you the biggest improvement he ...
Three takeaways from Southampton-Liverpool    
A match rife with refereeing controversies ended in a vital 2-0 victory for Liverpool over Southampton ...
Late call from U.S. is no problem for Hedges    
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges reached a milestone last year when named team captain and he ...
Three takeaways from Schalke 04-Real Madrid     
Real Madrid's Champions League title defense remained on course with a 2-0 away win against Schalke ...
Three takeaways from PSG-Chelsea    
Chelsea returned to its pragmatic ways and rode the goalkeeping of Thibaut Courtois to tie Paris ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives