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
Much ado about penalties
by Ridge Mahoney, September 23rd, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[REF WATCH] A former MLS head coach who shall remain nameless once uttered these words in regards to penalty kicks and the amount of time spent discussing them by players, coaches, and journalists: "Every week, in every league and every competition in every part of the world, you're going to see penalties called and not called. All of us - coaches, players, the media, the fans, everybody - spend way too much time talking about penalties given and not given. They're almost always critical moments in the game, so it makes sense. ...

"But let me tell you something: Unless it's 100 percent a penalty that doesn't get called, or 100 percent not a penalty that does get called, we should all just shut up, and do our jobs."

Well, sometimes when the referee does his job, he still gets ripped, as occurred last Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium when Edvin Jurisevic called a "100 percent" penalty.

San Jose players and staff members launched a three-pronged attack on Jurisevic after he whistled for a penalty kick deep into stoppage time with the Quakes clinging to a 1-0 lead against Colorado. A partially cleared Colorado corner kick was lobbed back into the penalty area and as it was flicked on Rapids' defender Drew Moor crashed to the ground heavily.

Furious protests ensued, with Chris Leitch and Brandon McDonald both cautioned for their protests. The three points of contention were: a) Whether a foul had truly been committed or Moor had taken a dive; b) whether Moor was offside; and c) how a referee could possibly decide the game with such a call at that point in the match.

Viewings of television replays showed that, a) Ryan Johnson, whose goal had given San Jose its lead, clearly grabbed Moor by the shoulder and hauled him down as the ball bounced through the goalmouth; b) Shea Salinas probably played Moor on-side, though no replay had caught the play at the ideal angle, and c) the referee by most accounts had a poor game but had the courage to make the right call in a rowdy environment and chaotic situation.

ESPN2 commentator John Harkes called it "a stupid foul." It certainly was. Naturally, the Quakes vented their anger and frustration at the referee.

When it comes to dealing with crowds, referees can't win.

 

They are supposed to withstand pressure and abuse and intimidation from home fans, players and coaches, yet a few weeks ago, when Ricardo Salazar sent off David Beckham for a dangerous, over-the-ball foul on Pete Vagenas, among the criticisms leveled at him ran along the lines of, "If I'm a fan and I've paid good money for my ticket, I want to see David Beckham play, not sent off." Accusations of Salazar "making a name for himself by sending off David Beckham' were also issued.

I hope referees will use discretion and common sense in all circumstances, not just those involving the most famous or glamorous players. Whether Beckham's foul merited a red card wasn't nearly as clear-cut a decision as that of Johnson pulling down Moor, but had the offender not been Beckham, less controversy would have ensued.

On the other hand, Mark Geiger's awarding of a penalty kick when Steven Lenhart and Wilman Conde lifted their cleats high for the same ball in the Fire-Crew game last Sunday just looked like overzealous refereeing.

Lenhart took the worst of the incident and hit the ground but it didn't seem as if Conde, who may have got a piece of the ball, clocked him illegally. Since no broadcast replay approximated Geiger's view or showed the incident clearly - unlike the case of Johnson -- it's difficult to assess his call, but the Fire players protested just as virulently as did the Quakes, though the incidents were hardly comparable.

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Thierry Henry    
"Now teams have their own stadiums. You see the fans wearing the jerseys of their teams. ...
Youth Report: U.S. U-20s sweep, U-18s split    
The U.S. under-20 national team wrapped up its trip to San Pedro Sula with a second ...
ODP Boys Winter Interregional all-stars named    
All-Star teams were named for the 2014 U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Boys Winter Interregional that wrapped ...
Tottenham edges New England prep stars for IMG Cup title    
Tottenham's U-18s won the Super Group in the fifth annual IMG Cup with a 1-0 win ...
Houston switches USL PRO partners for 2015 season    
The Houston Dynamo will team up with the Charleston Battery as its USL PRO affiliate in ...
Bradenton and Austin to host MLS preseason events    
Eight clubs will take part in the inaugural IMG Suncoast Pro Classic Feb. 16-28 at IMG ...
TV Report: EPL Breakaway set for New Year's Day    
NBCSN will present its first-ever Premier League Breakaway --  a special two-hour show featuring RedZone-like live ...
MLS Trade Central: Monday's deals    
The Chicago Fire signed Indiana University defender Patrick Doody as the club's sixth Homegrown Player. In ...
No time to end the one thing I love to do    
Taylor Leach, a two-time first-team All-SEC defender, led the University of South Carolina to the quarterfinals ...
The Good, the Bad and -- holiday greeting cards    
Europe in a nutshell: A goal of the month volley from Italy, a dive of the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives