Americans furious over mystery call

[U.S. REACTION] U.S. players were livid with Malian referee Koman Coulibaly for his call that disallowed Maurice Edu a potential winning goal in its 2-2 tie with Slovenia.


“Honestly I think that the set piece, most of what took place was that Slovenia players were holding our players. One player had his arms around Michael (Bradley), Michael was trying to break loose and a foul was called. I don’t know if that’s accurate. But that’s one version. There are moments when you are frustrated because you feel that situations have not been handled 100 percent correctly or fairly. But that’s how the game works sometimes. You move on.”


“I am assuming it was a foul somewhere. It could not have been offside. We asked him where the foul was but he did not say. I don’t know what to think of the call. To be honest I don’t know how much English he speaks. When we asked him numerous times in a non-controversial manner he ignored us.


"We were the best team in the second half, we scored three goals and I would be really interested to find out what the referee called on that last one. As far as I am concerned we should have been leading 3-2. We are disappointed that we didn’t come up with a win when we scored three goals."

11 comments about "Americans furious over mystery call".
  1. Gus Keri, June 18, 2010 at 6:14 p.m.

    The Slovenian players used some bullying techniques against the referee to influence his decissions. A few minutes before the disallowed goal, they swarmed arround him to complain about the Americans grabing and pulling in the box, when in fact they were doing this to them. It was on a similar situation, where all the players were entangled in the box.
    This technique scared the referee and made him vulnerable to make such bad call.
    He made the call, I believe, on Bocanegra who had pulled the defender down and clear the space behind him for Edu. But he didn't notice that the defender is the one who initiated the foul.

  2. Brian Herbert, June 18, 2010 at 6:27 p.m.

    It just hit me!!! Today's USA - Slovenia 2-2 tie, where what should have been the winning USA goal was incorrectly disallowed, contained a hidden message from God. It took me a while to translate the message, but when I did, here is what it said:


    This is God, so listen up, I have a to-do list for you:
    1. Thou shalt bring thy game into the 21st century.

    2. Thou shalt start using a video review of critical calls (goals disallowed, red cards) if the manager of a side requests it.

    3. Thou shalt actually stop the holy here-be-fore never stopped game clock while a supervisory video review referee consults with the field referee over what the correct ruling should be.

    4. Thou shalt also show sponsor commercials on the tv during this pause in the action, which will help everyone make money, which is a good thing for the game.

    5. Thou will make your fans happy with these pauses in the action, because its unfair to expect fans to wait 45 minutes between bathroom breaks.

    If thou shalt refuse my request, I shall continue to strike referees deaf, dumb, and blind during critical matches, as I did today in the USA-Slovenia match. Yours Truly,
    (by the way, if my fictional letter from God offends anyone in any way, I want you to know that no offense was intended)

  3. James Meyer, June 18, 2010 at 6:44 p.m.

    It was a terrible call but typical of referees defending the defense. The whistle went and the arm raised BEFORE the ball was kicked and before all the wrestling matches began. In my view the only contact before the whistle went was Carlos Bocanegra's left arm into the midsection of Slovenia No. 7, a touch hardly worth a foul call. But, that was where the referee was looking, and it was in his sight line. I have yet to see video or photos from the angle the ref had. (Remember the rant against the American referee in WC France 1998 until someone finally produced a photo from the angle view the ref had which justified his call.) Carlos was next collared around the neck by the No. 7, Carlos' left arm went around the No. 7 waist and they went to ground together, but again that was all after the whistle went. An injustice by any account!

  4. Charles Stamos, June 18, 2010 at 7:49 p.m.

    Gus above has the setup correct. The Slovenian players were initiating the contact, but their complaint got the referee thinking, and he even had his whistle to his lips before the play started. He was out of his league and should not have been on the field for this level of play. Shame on FIFA. No explanation will be suitable except he missed the call and that's it.

  5. David Bristol, June 18, 2010 at 8:13 p.m.

    Unfortunately FIFA is living in the dark ages when it comes to any rules or officiating changes. Brian's message from above is quite truthful, as is Mike Woitalla's column. Even after the injustice the Irish suffered in qualifying FIFA thinks there isn't a problem. If that didn't wake them up nothing will. Other major sports would have long ago done something to improve the situation but FIFA won't. No official is perfect and bad calls will always be made, but the system can be improved to help minimize that

  6. Lenore Brandt, June 19, 2010 at 12:33 a.m.

    I am a novice at this game and only started watching the sport about 2 years ago when a relative started playing; however, it appears that the refs don't have any accountability?? Yes, using current day technology and clock stopping would be best, but without that, why isn't it required for the ref to at least be responsible to explain/justify what was fouled if the ruling is challenged? Without accountability I would think it could lend to favoritism, if even unintentionally.

  7. Manuel Trejo-von Angst, June 19, 2010 at 6:34 a.m.

    Gus set it up well. It was a HORRIBLE call. The video shows Slovenians MURDERING the US. I honestly didn't even see a single US play who initiated a foul or who was even 'borderline' in committing a foul.
    I'm going to assume too it was on Bocanegra and I remember yelling for a penalty watching it real-time as the ball was flying in. It was OBVIOUS he was horse collared and dragged down. I mean, WWE should sign that Slovenian.
    FIFA needs to review the directive. This policy of erring on the side of the defense needs to end because every defender knows they can do what the Slovenian did to Boca and get away with it. It's a joke.

    Oh while I'm ranting, can we PLEASE go back to reconsidering the 'daylight' rule on Offside? I am sick of people being called offside because they are leaning forward while the defender is leaning back but they are otherwise level. It's ludicrous.

  8. Greg Williams, June 19, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.

    I have to add that there very well could be some bias involved here as well, given the previous calls throughout the game. This was not the only ridiculous call...just the most damaging. Findley's yellow for being hit in the face by the ball, which ricocheted slightly against his hand with zero intent anyone...Altidore being brought down by the last defender...did anyone see a red...a blow to the head on Dempsey, by a Slovenian already with a yellow, which would be ar straight red anyway...and the Slovenians need to all be red carded for their girly man gay is that? How much time did they waste lying on the ground pretending to be hurt? How many times did the keeper waste time on goal kicks? He should have been cautioned several times.
    Also, as someone else said...where's teh accountability? This ref should be relegated to u8 games from now on...but I wouldn't want him reffing any of my son's games!!!!

  9. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis, June 19, 2010 at 12:27 p.m.

    Brian Herbert's faith in technology (second comment, above) is touching. For myself, I like the game as it is, warts and all. My only concern -- and it is one hinted at in comments all over -- is the possibility of some match-fixing having taken place. In aid of preventing that, I'm all in favour of useful technology.

  10. Douglas Frey, June 20, 2010 at 7:12 a.m.

    Brian -

    Thanks for the laugh. I needed that.

  11. K L, June 20, 2010 at 5:33 p.m.

    Alven->"this Team has no heart!" The US is not Brazil of days gone by Ok. But They are not this Copas England or (chuckle) france either. That 2nd half proved the US has heart. A scrappy bunch yes but no heart? No.

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