Two Major League Soccer games Wednesday yielded just two goals, but plenty more controversy involving the league's referees. In Utah, Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman had a goal against San Jose overturned for offside even though the assistant referee initially failed to raise his flag. In Boston, New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol had some typically forthright views on debutant referee Joe Caroccio after his side's 1-1 tie with New York.
According to a post-game statement issued by referee Jasen Anno, Beckerman's goal was canceled out when the referee consulted his assistant, and the latter said he had allowed the goal because he didn't think Beckerman had touched the ball. The referee told him that Beckerman had in fact touched in Robbie Findley's header off a corner kick. There was some suspicion among players that the referee had watched the video replay on the Rice-Eccles Stadium big screen. He shouldn't have (but then neither should it have been shown), but if he did then his judgment's still up for question - footage at MLSnet.com shows that a San Jose defender covering the corner kick plays Beckerman onside in any case.
Meanwhile, the Revolution's Nicol will no doubt once again find his comments on the game official up for review at MLS headquarters. "I'm not quite sure who was worse, us or the referee," Nicol told the Boston Globe. "Teams are going to continue to come here and defend and make it hard on us, and when we go away, we'll do that as well. But if it gets physical, the referee has to protect players. We didn't know which way he was going, what fouls he was going to give."