Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Ref Watch
May 8th, 2007 6AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

If the MLS disciplinary committee can review incidents like Andy Herron's elbow into Jay Heaps' face and Sacha Kljestan's tackle from behind on Andy Williams and mete out fines and suspensions after the fact, why can't red cards like the one Terry Vaughn handed out to Shalrie Joseph in last week's Revs-D.C. game be reviewed and perhaps rescinded?

Herron's elbow wasn't seen and Kljestan's tackle wasn't punished with a card, yet the disciplinary committee suspended Herron four games and Kljestan two. And these punishments were justified: Herron clearly cocked his elbow and swung it into Heaps jaw; Kljestan's tackle was an attempt to win the ball but he clearly slid into Williams from behind and caused an injury serious enough to sideline the RSL attacker for at least a month.

MLS rules prohibit the rescinding of cards except if the referee misidentifies the player being disciplined. In that case, it will rescind the incorrect card and transfer it to the player whose name/number should have been taken.

There's certainly an inconsistency inherent in punishing players but not rescinding cards after the fact, but the decision to caution or eject a player is a judgment call, like so many of the decisions referees must make. Perhaps Vaughn saw the Joseph tackle from behind, believed that Joseph had stuck his outstretched foot into Ben Olsen's from the side or thought Joseph had gone over the ball.

Actually, Joseph lunged in front of Olsen and the ball, perhaps anticipating a dribble or pass forward. Instead, when Olsen cut the ball to the side, Joseph either missed it entirely or barely nicked it as Olsen's momentum carried him forward and he tripped over Joseph's leg, as in singular, as in Joseph did not fly in with both feet.

A foul had to be called but nothing about the tackle could be deemed cynical nor violent. Joseph did not clip Olsen's heels as the D.C. midfielder went past him, which would have merited a caution.

Vaughn's awarding of a penalty whenJaime Moreno was shouldered off the ball by James Riley also drew criticism. The players were running side-by-side as a ball rolled into the penalty area and Revs keeper Matt Reis came out to collect it. The contact was shoulder to shoulder and not violent, but Riley, who had inside position on Moreno, did raise his arm somewhat and Moreno crashed to the grass.

Only a severely stretched interpretation of the rules could deem this to be the use of  "unnecessary force," the only possible criteria for a foul to be called, as Riley didn't elbow, grab, trip, or impede Moreno. The ball was within playing distance and thus players are empowered to shoulder charge each other in their attempts to control the ball.

Moreno is certainly one of the more adept divers in MLS, perhaps in retaliation for all times he's hacked and grabbed and kicked. This was a tough, scrappy, hard-fought game and Vaughn, one of the top U.S. refs, tried to call it close yet not too tight.

Top-class attackers should be protected by the referees, but they shouldn't be gifted, and in this case, Terry Vaughn played Santa Claus.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Projecting U.S. roster for September qualifiers -- five changes in 23    
Three group matches and three knockout games in the Copa America Centenario affected the status of ...
Soccer America's Copa Centenario Best XI    
They went undefeated except against each other, so it's natural that players from champion Chile and ...
Is Klinsmann worthy of a remarkably long tenure?    
Next month marks the fifth anniversary of Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as USA head coach.
If the song remains the same, how can it be rewritten?    
Thumped by Argentina in a Copa America Centenario semifinal, the U.S. will nonetheless take positives from ...
Stepping on toes? That's not the solution to improving U.S. soccer    
Do you wonder what kind of advice Jurgen Klinsmann was giving his players during their loss ...
USA reaps benefits of South American opposition    
Reaching a Copa America Centenario semifinal against Argentina to be played on Tuesday is being hailed ...
USA has reason to celebrate but suspensions sure take edge off big win    
First, the good news from Thursday night in Seattle. The USA's 2-1 victory over Ecuador, which ...
Centenario group phase serves up plenty of spectacle, drama, and controversy    
When big teams like Brazil and Uruguay fell prone to lapses, other nations took advantage to ...
Guzan seizes chance for No. 1 shirt    
Seven straight games including all three at the Centenario have featured Brad Guzan in goal; he ...
Berliner John Brooks takes charge of USA's defense    
Just three years ago, John Brooks, born and raised in Berlin but the son of a ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives