Wambach questions referee's intent after yellow cards

The USA lost midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday for Friday's quarterfinal against China when French referee Stephanie Frappart issued them yellow cards -- their second of the tournament -- in the first half of the 2-0 win over Colombia.

Asked about the situation, captain Abby Wambach questioned whether Frappart took the previous cards into account.

"I don't know," Wambach told reporters. "That's definitely a great question. I don't know if they were yellows. It seemed like she was purposefully giving those yellows to, maybe, players that she knew were sitting on yellows. I don't know if that was just a psychological thing, who knows? Who knows?"

Holiday and Rapinoe were the only players issued yellow cards for the USA despite its 22 fouls -- the most any team committed in the seven round-of-16 games to date, more than the combined of three other games and more than double the combined total of 10 fouls issued in Monday's other game, England's 2-1 win over Norway.

Rapinoe told reporters she received her yellow card "for an accumulation of calls, all of which were questionable, I felt," but she added that Holiday "got her yellow on her very first foul of the game so I didn't think that was fair." According to FIFA's account of the game, the foul was Holiday's third in the first 17 minutes.

Frappart's calls, in total, favored the USA more than Colombia, though. Two penalty kicks to the USA -- the first missed by Wambach, the second converted by Carli Lloyd -- and a red card to Colombia keeper Catalina Perez changed the complexion of the game in the second half.

The suspensions will leave Rapinoe and Holiday out of the game against China, considered a much easier game than a potential quarterfinal against France or Germany. They are the only players who have picked up yellow cards, so no players will miss the semifinals or final because of yellow-card accumulation. Slates will be wiped clean after the quarterfinals.

Coach Jill Ellis was not concerned with losing Holiday or Rapinoe.

"We have obviously got some decisions to make but we have invested in players significantly in the last six months," she said after the game. "We have dealt with injuries and so I feel very confident in the players that we have to be able to come on and contribute and I know that they are going to be confident that they can step up and help us advance."
37 comments about "Wambach questions referee's intent after yellow cards".
  1. Gus Keri, June 23, 2015 at 7:47 a.m.

    I think both yellow cards were legitimate. Both players were kind on a mission to stop the Colombian from playing their game at all costs. It looks like Jill told them to take it to the Colombians and not worry about getting yellow card because Jill was planning all-along to rest them next game to have them ready for the semifinals with clean slate.

  2. Kelly Quinn, June 23, 2015 at 9 a.m.

    It looked to me like the Columbians fell every time they lost the ball, or as I say "flopped." The take away for youth soccer players, fall every time someone touches you and you lose the ball.
    Perhaps the Americans didn't foul as much, and the ref could have warned the Columbians for intentionally falling, or made no call. She did not. The red card, was a red for stopping of a goal scoring opportunity. The Americans should have been given a PK for the first foul against Rapinoe, and instead the ref made no call.
    My hope is for the refs, sideline and middle, to review the game tape with another ref for professional development and improvement of the game.

  3. Georges Carraha, June 23, 2015 at 9:36 a.m.

    Wambach's comments were outrageous and uncalled for. Shut-up and play the game. I hope her Coach will make the point.

  4. Matt Cardillo, June 23, 2015 at 9:36 a.m.

    the cards did seem kind of soft to me. and the Colombians went down too easy. Seemed the Colombian game plan was to get into the box, dance on the ball and hope to get fouled.

  5. Matt Cardillo, June 23, 2015 at 9:37 a.m.

    Agree with Georges. Even if you're responding to a question, you don't throw the ref under the bus. Isn't her comment of the type that can draw a fine?

  6. William Anderson, June 23, 2015 at 10:05 a.m.

    The reason we pick up cards is because we are always behind the play. Reaching and stabbing will always result in set plays and yellow cards. Any excuses are just delusional at this point. We are just not very good.

  7. Amos Annan, June 23, 2015 at 10:15 a.m.

    Yellow for Holiday was wrong. Columbia was much better at making fouls look better and several were obvious flops in slow motion and a way of slowing the Americans down. US needs to learn this better or else FIFA has to punish it retroactively.

  8. Wolfgang Woischke, June 23, 2015 at 10:16 a.m.

    I guess it was the Field Turf, that made Wambach miss that penalty kick?......although the ball does not move on a penalty kick......stop complaining about the Field & Ref.......the U.S. team got some lucky brakes.....I was pleasantly surprised, how well Columbia played against a (supposedly) best team in the world (according to the U.S.players)......play your game and keep trash talk among you players.....it will make a positive difference....you will play better.....the talent is on the field.

  9. Eric Shinn, June 23, 2015 at 11:38 a.m.

    A) To the author: saying the ref's calls favored the U.S. is idiotic. Both penalties were CLEAR, unquestionable fouls. Doing her job is hardly "favoring" one side over the other.

    B) The officiating at his cup has been a joke, and last night was no exception. The ref was ATROCIOUS, falling for every cheap trick and dive the Colombians could come up with. FIFA should be embarrassed by that pathetic excuse for an official.

    People pay and tune in to see the players, not some idiot ref blowing her whistle 23 times against one team because the other team falls down if you breathe on them.

  10. Tim Brown, June 23, 2015 at 11:49 a.m.

    Why does a tournament like the WORLD CUP not have the best referees in the world calling the game. Does the game have to be referred by women? It seems to me that the referees would come from a pool of refs who call games in the premier, german, spain etc. Is there a rule in place that men cannot referee a womens world cup game. The refs have truly been bad. Now saying that the USA is not playing at a level that we are used to seeing for sure.

  11. Tim Brown, June 23, 2015 at 11:50 a.m.

    not referred but officiated.

  12. Chris Ahl, June 23, 2015 at 11:53 a.m.

    as Georges Carraha said, Wambach's comments are outrageous; but I take it one step further: questioning the integrity of the referee in public in this way, MUST lead to a suspension! fouls and supposed flopping: the simply reality is that the US players were generally physically stronger, so even a fair shoulder to shoulder would cause a fall, but there were also arms and elbows on many occasion; there should have been more fouls against USA! generally speaking, I am happy that there is less flopping and theater in women's soccer!

  13. Barb Scoles, June 23, 2015 at 12:21 p.m.

    Too much complaining guys. Bottom line is Solo didn't have to make a save, Colombia had nothing to lose as the underdog. They went in reckless on many challenges. There was a lot of off the ball that most in the TV audience didn't see. The complaining about the turf started a year ago with the concerns for player injury. The turf is unforgiving, it is close to 30° hotter on the field and the sole of their cleats are melting. And the Mens World Cup would never be played on turf. As far as Abbys comments, she's a passionate player who is going to defend her team. And however you want to mock them, they had one of the toughest first rounds of anyone still in the tournament. 4 tough games with out substantial recovery time, but they still got the job done. Was it pretty, not really, but they move on and their bench is deep enough to handle personnel changes. Jill has to manage player fitness and fatique so the best team is on the field at every game. So unless you have been a part of the top teams in the world, and understand the commitment and sacrifice it takes to stay there, maybe you sit down and close your mouth and marvel at this beautiful game and all its intricacies.

  14. Raymond Weigand, June 23, 2015 at 12:35 p.m.

    It seemed to me that Rapinoe was begging to be booked each time she was called for a foul ... in this case ... the card could have been for recurring fouls. Holiday came in late / came in hard / and it was a pretty good lick on someone who no longer had the ball.

  15. James Madison, June 23, 2015 at 12:38 p.m.

    Wambach should stop whining and either play or sit. The Rapinoe caution was well-deserved. The Holiday caution less so, unless it was for off-camera dissent. The French referee deserves plus points for calling the foul on Morgan in the area and not 6 inches outside. The Colombian GK earned a DOGSO send-off in either event.

  16. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 1:02 p.m.

    Abby Wambach...Shut Up and Put the Ball in The Back of the #$@& Net..!!!

  17. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 1:18 p.m.

    @Barb,...This is USA... Don't tell anyone to Sit Down and Shut Up..A lot of People have died over the Centuries, so we can Piss and Moan about Soccer, Politics or Whatever we want..(Players/Soldiers are Different, they don't get to MOUTH OFF)(And I do have the Resume/Experience to back it up)(I've been out there with Michelle Akers for Hours, in the 110 degrees)(I've been Pissed On, in the Dugouts of Guatemala, while Representing this Country and Federation)

  18. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 1:24 p.m.

    and @ Barb,.. maybe you miss my Post on the Turf...commented on: June 22, 2015 at 10:49 a.m...Tony D. Is Correcta Mundo On this one...Even Brazil couldn't overcome The Turf Differential... None of these "Technical Teams" will be able to Overcome that (all be It Miniscule) Difference In Speed and Bounce that Turf creates...Fact is; There is just not enough "TWITCHability" to Compensate...Fact is; We are bound to see even Uglier Futbol, as Speed and Athleticism; Will be the Determining factor on This Women's WTF (World TURF Futbol)...THEN, get ready for the FIFA Analysis...TURF is SOOooooo Wonderful, that We are going to play Qatar 2022 On it !!!!...Then you will understand Why they forced the Women to play in it.!?!?!..."If the Women can play on it, Then why not the Men???"... Beautiful Air Conditioned Stadiums with brand Spanking New AstroTurf...Follow the Money... Who is Paying Off WHO, to push AstroTurf???

  19. Bret Newman, June 23, 2015 at 2:03 p.m.

    Abby put the ball in the back of the net 184 times, which is more than any soccer player for their national team in history. Why don't you shut up Santiago, and show some respect for her. She's earned it!

  20. Allan Lindh, June 23, 2015 at 2:13 p.m.

    The ref was atrocious, not favoring anyone, just completely incompetent. The question asked above is the right one, why not men's refs for women's games? The best women players in the world deserve the best refs, and the best fields. But this all goes back to FIFA, and their total bone-headed sense of "fairness." For all world cups, the refs should be drawn from a world-wide pool of the very best, most experienced refs, irrespective of country, ethnicity or gender. And while I'm ranting, who ever heard for the No.s 1, 2, 3, & 5 teams all being placed on one side of a bracket? All teams, and confederations with any brains, or sense of fair play, should leave FIFA, start over again with UEFA as the core organizaton.

  21. Kent James, June 23, 2015 at 4:13 p.m.

    The U.S. got 2 very soft yellows (though if Holiday committed 3 fouls, and was getting hers for persistent infringement, that would make sense). While the French referee might prefer to eliminate the U.S. To benefit France, t given that she awarded two PKs and ejected the Colombian keeper, that suggestion does not stand up under scrutiny. I thought the ref did call fouls on the U.S. when we simply breathed too hard on the Colombians, though this seemed to diminish over time. Bottom line: the better team won, the ref did not have a great game, but got the big calls right.

  22. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 4:17 p.m.

    @Bret,...see Post from 1:18...Remember what Country you are in...Why you trying to Shut down Free Speech???...Everyone Entitled to an Opinion...RESPECT !!! You Respect Whiners and Excuse Makers??? ... I don't care what you did in the past, This is the World Cup...She's the Captain of the Team...No Excuses about Turf...No Excuses about Refs...

  23. Kily Gonzalez, June 23, 2015 at 4:51 p.m.

    Rather than this discussion I would want to see one that hits more to the core problem: The "bigger" more marketable teams have advanced. The teams that are now still in Canada are the ones that stand the most chance to help the tournament be a financial success. So, yes, to be specific, this is what one calls manipulation. Look at the final eight. Including Canada which, did, yes several times already get help to be at this seat at the table still in its own hosted tournament. How often do we have to see host nations "go deep" into a tournament before fans, journalists, and those who have a brain call it all a farce? Need another example? China. Neither of these teams plays that poorly, but they also get help, as China has in one goal margin games, China's second group game (a hand ball PK that was nothing of the kind) and the dead ball corner kick that gave them their slim 1-0 over Cameron. I don't even have to look. Japan will get by the Netherlands. The makeup of the final 8 reveals the underhanded effort to make sure that this event (and to set up future ones) is a financial success. How is this the ethic of "Fair Play?" US fans don't need to worry. Despite a weaker than expect USA team, the dictates of financial success mean the USA team will best China on Friday. Yes, it is just that simple.

  24. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.

    @ Kily,... Didn't you see the earlier article about FIFA admitted to fixing the Groups due to Marketing... Hence, #5 Sweden got Messed over and ended up playing Germany in round of 16

  25. Bret Newman, June 23, 2015 at 6:27 p.m.

    Extactly Santiago! Freedom of speech, so why are you telling her to shut up? She is the veteran on the team, so if she feels the ref is being dishonest, than she has the right to speak up about it. She's on the field, so she has a better feel than you and I, on what is going on. She is In communication with the ref. she feels it is worth the risk to be fined or suspended, so she must feel pretty strong about it.

  26. Chris Sapien , June 23, 2015 at 7:51 p.m.

    This should solve everything ;)!

  27. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 10:17 p.m.

    @Brett,..Players and Soldiers don't get to Talk about these issues Publically, because it breaks the Morale of the Troops and Brings un-Wanted Repercussions...You think the Next Ref, is gonna cut the USA some Slack??? Just the Opposite...

  28. Santiago 1314, June 23, 2015 at 10:23 p.m.

    @ Chris,...DAMN(sorry Kily) RIGHT !!! DON'T TREAD ON THE U.S.A. !!!! Great Link on YouTube... Thanks

  29. Bob Ashpole, June 24, 2015 at 12:55 a.m.

    Showing yellow for persistent infringement on the third foul without a prior warning is harsh. None of the mistakes impacted this match, but I was upset about the studs up late tackle on Johnson (so late the officials were all sprinting in the other direction). There should have been a card issued. Hopefully there was no injury.

  30. James e Chandler, June 24, 2015 at 10:21 a.m.

    Even though the women players oft express their preference to not have women officials, FIFA seems to have taken the stance that it's the women's game, so you get women to officiate.
    There's a lot of logic in that.
    So many complain about the officials, how they should be the "best in the world".
    Guess what? In someone's opinion they often are.
    Of course politics comes into play as well as in most things like who's on the WNT WC roster.
    You want the best officials. I'd like to see the best US Women players in Canada this month.
    Refereeing a soccer match is a challenging task. I'd like to see some of the detractors do the job. With all the complaints, I haven't seen anything as egregious as the Men's 3rd place game. There had to be some nepotism in that assignment.
    Referee's are human, but at that level they know the LOTG inside and out unlike most fans, commentators, players, and coaches who think the referee should blow the whistle every time the ball comes in contact with someone's arm as they scream "handball", that word that's not even included in the rule book.
    The foul is "deliberately handling the ball", not it accidently hit someone's appendage below the point of the shoulder.
    I just laugh.
    I'll say it again, "you just never know from where the entertainment value of the game will come."
    That's why I love it.

  31. Barb Scoles, June 24, 2015 at 2:14 p.m.

    Santiago, you seem to be a very angry person. Maybe you should sit down so you don't have a heart attack. Not sure you really read my post, because if you did, you would have seen that I wasn't making excuses for anyone, on the contrary I was staying a fact of how hard players at this level have to work to stay on top of their game. And that of course abby would defend her players. If you have issues in the locker room, yes leave those there. U.S. has had to work hard to get where they are and everyone wants a peice of those on top. And btw Michelle Akers was an incredible player that kept playing when most others would have stopped given her physical health concerns. She paved the way for players like Boxx and Lloyd and Holiday. She Set a high standard for female athletes when not many were paying a lot of attention. Amazing player!!! And yes this is America and I enjoy the freedom to have and state my opinion. The US will be ready for China! Their goal is to win the world cup and they will gut every game out and do what needs to be done to achieve that goal. God Bless America!

  32. Santiago 1314, June 24, 2015 at 4:27 p.m.

    @ Barb,...Thanks for the Concern about my Health...But, For Abby to say the Referee was Purposefully Yellow Carding those players was Bone Headed,.. and she has since Retracted/Apologized for her Statement...OnWard to the Final...USA All the Way..!!! I am Angry about how The Great US Women's Program has Fallen to the Level of Bash Brothers (Sisters) Soccer... Used to be a Joy to watch... Now, it's like Listening to 8 year old Novice Violinist... PAINFUL, when you have worked 40yrs to develop "The Beautiful Game" and You see it Being "Burned Down" From The Inside..It Hurts.. .Tony Dicco is about to Blow his Top also... There gonna have to Tie him to his chair...

  33. Steve Unger, June 24, 2015 at 9:09 p.m.

    Actually I think the ref did a pretty good job. The USA cautions were deserved -- hasn't Amy heard of Persistant Infringement (PI). It is not the referee's job to be kind to those sitting on yellow cards ... I think it is great that we are using female officials. We were fortunate to win ... what has happened to the beautiful game?

  34. Santiago 1314, June 24, 2015 at 10:07 p.m.

    @Steve,...Correcta Mundo... Ref did nothing Negative to Impact the Game...Her Calls where, WELL WITHIN, Norms and Consistencies of even Premier League Refs... If anything, we should be Glad, she had the Spin to Call the PK, INSIDE THE Area...Most Male Refs would have "Caca en los pantalones" and Called it Outside with only a Yellow Card

  35. Santiago 1314, June 24, 2015 at 10:11 p.m.

    p.s. @Steve,... And our Beautiful Girls Game has gone to the Birds, or should I say; to the Pay-To-Play System that is Stifling Female Creativity and Artistry...I haven't Posted on this Thread, Karl and My Comments for LAST YEAR's u20 team...See Next Post,..

  36. Santiago 1314, June 24, 2015 at 10:14 p.m.

    I found the Post from last years u20 team...There are Basically NO better Players under this group of Older players...**RE-POST from Karl Schreiber commented on: August 6, 2014 at 10:24 a.m.**.There’s a lot of room for improvement on the part of this U20 USWNT! After the strangest kick-off at a World Championship for players who are approaching the age of twenty years, one had to expect more weird stuff. Indeed, the team displayed a bizarre version of kick-and-rush soccer, almost completely void of smart midfield play with tempo changes etc, the basics. Rowland in goal and her left defender did pretty well. Almost all of the attacks in front of the German goal exhibited naïve soccer with no flashes of brilliance, not even from the player with a pro contract from PSG and often highlighted by the TV announcer, Horan. I never thought I would be compelled to be this critical of a US Women’s National Team. Is US college soccer that much out of sync with the international game? Have we become too complacent at the US national level? I sincerely hope our coaching staff can quickly mold this group into a team that can rise to the level of performance we expect from a United States Women’s National Team....***Santiago 1314 commented on: August 6, 2014 at 12:04 p.m.***@Karl, Unfortunately, Our once Dominating, Dynamic Women's Program is a Shadow of itself... Granted that other Countries have improved, BUT, Instead of Developing more Attacking minded players, Over Coaching has Breed Out these players... No more Turning with the Ball("PLAY THE WAY YOU ARE FACING"!!!)..No more Taking On 1v1("PASS THE BALL").. You Watch ... In a few years we will be talking about US Women's team, Like Brazil is talking about there Men's team.. SAD!!!***...6-24-15... Looks Like a few Years has already Arrived... I Repeat Today...SAD !!!

  37. Madeline Hothe, December 22, 2015 at 4:14 a.m.

    I don't think the yellow card on Holiday was fair. It didn't seem intentional. But as for Rapinoe's, when I saw the playback, it looked like she had body slammed the Columbian player, so I agree with the referee for the yellow card. For the Columbian goal keeper, Catalina Perez, I agree with the referee. When Perez tried to clear the ball, she tripped Alex Morgan, so I would have given Perez a red card, and a penalty kick, just like the referee. And the referee was just doing her job.

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