If the goal of a referee is to go unnoticed, the two referees in Sunday's MLS conference finals failed miserably. One dominated the post-game conversation for the cards he handed out; the other for
the card he didn't use. MLS Conference Finals, Second Legs: New England vs. New York Referee:
Baldomero Toledo AR1:
Frank Anderson, AR2:
Ian Anderson 4TH:
Silviu Petrescu Seattle vs. LA Galaxy Referee:
Jair Marrufo AR1:
Eric Boria, AR2:
Corey Rockwell 4TH:
In the New York-New England match, Allen Chapman
handed out 10 yellow cards -- one every six minutes from the 23rd to 83rd minute. Only one MLS playoff match
has ever had more yellow cards, and five of the 11 in the 2007 Houston-FC Dallas came in overtime.
“The referee lost control of the game for both teams," said Red Bulls coach
after his players picked up six of 10 of Chapman's cards. "I almost wanted to get a yellow card because I felt left out.’’
' yellow card for encroachment means he'll be suspended for Saturday's second leg in Foxboro, where the Revs will take a 2-1 lead into
the game. Wright-Phillips claimed he did not know the MLS accumulation rule -- two cards lead an automatic one-game suspension in the next game at all stages of the playoffs except for MLS Cup.
Petke says he went over the Red Bulls went over the rule with their players.
“I know it was talked about," he said on Monday. "At the end of the day, if he didn't know it,
that's my fault. And perhaps he wouldn't have put his foot out in front of the goalie."
In the Seattle-LA Galaxy game, referee Kevin Stott
out four yellow cards, but it was the card he didn't call that had everyone talking.
Galaxy players said Stott told one of their teammates he wasn't going to hand out a second yellow card
-- presumably to Zach Scott
late in the game -- because as Omar Gonzalez
said, "he wants the best players to play in the next game."
Scott received a yellow card in the 37th minute but was not sent off for a second yellow -- that would have carried a one-game suspension -- for any of his three fouls on sub Alan Gordon
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid
admitted the Sounders were fortunate Scott stayed on the field though he
was critical of several of Stott's calls.
"I think we benefit a little there," he said. "I think in most games, the referee would have pulled that second yellow so I’m not going to
pretend I didn’t see that or argue about that." Landon Donovan
predicted an even more physical game in Seattle on Sunday when the Galaxy will
try to protect a 1-0 lead.
“You have to play that way this point of the year," he said. "The officials made it clear that no one is getting sent off. We have to make sure we are
aware of that next weekend, and we play that with that in mind. I’m sure they will as well. It’s going to be even more physical next week. That’s OK. We can play that way.”