Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Getting Ref-diculous!!!

I have tried not to criticize the refs too much this season, because Kreis was doing it for everybody. I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories because I just don't believe that the referees or the league are against anybody. Plus a conspiracy would require good organization and execution, and I just don't think they are capable of that. I think in general the referees demonstrate equal opportunity incompetence.

However, this season is starting to make one wonder, as we have seen many games decided this year by referee decision. Let's review:
  • Real lost a game 1-0 in Toronto. The team had been putting alot of pressure in the second half, especially in stoppage time. Three minutes of stoppage time was signaled but only a little over a minute and a half was given. At least in this one nothing was taken away from RSL.

  • The next came against DC United which were awarded 2 penalty kicks early in the 2nd half. As with most penalty kicks, these were also debatable. However, again there was no clear effect on the outcome of the game with these calls.

  • The third one, and the one that earned Kreis his 2-game suspension for these comments came at home against the LA Galaxy when two bad calls were made. The first was a goal off of a free-kick that should not have been allowed because the foul that set it up should have resulted in an indirect kick. Later in the game a bad call of offside against Kenny Deuchar after scoring a goal that would have given RSL the win, instead resulted in a tie.

  • The next controversy came at home against San Jose. With RSL up a man after a San Jose red card, Kyle Beckerman scored a goal that originally appeared to be awarded by the referee, but was later called back. Not only was the call a bad one, but the circumstances surrounding them were bizarre. It's starting to look like this call could turn out to have playoff implications for RSL.

  • Last week against the LA Galaxy everybody is talking about Espindola's injury on the backflip after the disallowed goal. What is not being mentioned is that it appears that Espindola was offside. In addition, it appears that the referee overruled the AR only AFTER being badgered by Bruce Arena along the sideline.

  • Finally this week really takes the cake. RSL led 1-0 when Juan Pablo Angel clearly fouled Olave pulling to the ground and then slotting the ball past Rimando. In addition, the second goal scored by New York also was a close offside call.

So why is it that things have seemingly gone in one direction - against RSL - this season? Is it just bad luck? Is it a conspiracy? Is it lack of respect for RSL who have typically been the whipping boys of the league for the prior 3 seasons? Who knows the answer but it's getting ref-diculous.