[REACTION: Seattle Sounders-Tigres] MLS coaches are notorious for lashing out at Concacaf referees, so it was interesting to see how the shoe was on the other foot after the Seattle Sounders' 3-1 win over Mexican leader Tigres that sent the MLS club into the semifinals, 3-2, on aggregate. Tigres coach Tuca Ferretti had no problem with the red card to his captain, Manuel Viniegra, that changed the complexion of the game. But he otherwise blasted Salvadoran referee Elmer Bonilla, saying that it's hard to win when it's 12 against 10.
“There were three factors that caused us to no longer be in the Concacaf,” Ferretti said. “The first one was the red card obviously. But it was deserved because it was the second molestation -- it was a real foul there. The second was two very good goals [by defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Djimi Traore to even the two-leg series at 2-2], especially the second one. I even applauded because it was very impressive. The third reason was how bad the referee was. He allowed the opposing team to be too aggressive against us. He let go many of those fouls that should’ve been punished. I don’t want to take away anything from Seattle’s victory. They didn’t need this kind of help, but playing against 12 is harder than usual.”
Ferretti brought a team of reserves and youth players to Seattle but said all was going well until the red card just before halftime.
“I have plenty of confidence in my whole team and all the different members I have on my roster,” he said. “The proof of that is that during the game before the red card expulsion: We were playing well, we were winning 1-0 and we had an opportunity for 2-0. But something like a red card changes everything. We know that Seattle is a very strong team and 11 against 11, it was going to be a difficult game. But 11 against 12, it becomes even more complicated, so that’s what happened.”
Ferretti's criticism echoed that of MLS coaches in the past. He regretted that "the level of referee that we have in the Concacaf zone doesn’t really match the expectation that a tournament like this should have.”