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Brad Davis

Fantastic Two All Draw Marred By Atrocious Officiating


What a fantastic match this was down at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas. The action was hot and heavy along with the terrible weather this time of the season and of course the first league match for Thierry Henry with the New York Red Bulls facing the Dynamo.

The action got started in the first ten minutes of the match when Carlos Mendes made a quick pass to Henry and attacked down the near side. With Adrian Serioux marking him, Henry made a few quick moves and a nice cross to an on-coming Juan Pablo Angel who fought off his defender and converts his tenth of the season & for Henry his first assist in Major League Soccer.

But an equalizer came from the Dynamo on the penalty spot as Joseph Ngwenya was taken down in the area by Carlos Mendes. Brad Davis in the 24th minute calmly took the spot kick and converts past Bouna Coundoul. But once again the combination of Angel & Henry teamed up for a second goal in the 58th minute as a nice slotted pass from Henry found Angel on sides and a hard chip shot past Talley Hall for his second of the match and eleventh of the season.

But as the match was getting close to second half stoppage time, a 90th minute equalizer from the Dynamo steals a point when Andrew Hainault made a long cross towards the area and out of nowhere Brian Mullan puts a head on the ball and beats Bouna Coundoul inside the near post. Great action from both sides on this night, but once again ugly & horrendous officiating must be pointed out and US Soccer must be made aware of what’s going on.

Tonight’s match official Paul Ward was just absolutely horrible and made terrible decisions that nearly caused confusion and worse, challenges that were extreme weren’t punished or light challenges that were. Before the call for the Dynamo’s penalty in the 21st minute Danny Cruz made a rash & dangerous studs up tackle on Roy Miller that wasn’t called or carded which kept him down on the ground.

But when that challenge wasn’t shown red a mysterious and typical foul was as Lovel Palmer tried to get the ball in the 44th minute but accidentally got Carlos Mendes as he was clearing the ball. The play was a foul as Mendes got bumped down, but all of a sudden a Red Card came out of the back pocket of Paul Ward and shown towards Palmer.

What has happened throughout the years with the on-field officials within MLS and the lower levels of US Soccer has been a lack of respect to the players and a lack of respect to the laws of the game that they are suppose to be enforcing. As supporters of the game here in North America we expect our on-field officials to improve the quality of play just as much as the players do on the pitch.

For the last several years there has been a lack of quality where the officials assume they are bigger than the game and who pays the price for some of their incompetance, the players, the coaches and the supporters of the game. This was a fabulous two all draw that got disgraced by Paul Ward who can’t tell the difference between a reckless two footed challenge & just bumping down a player to get the ball.

If the quality of play doesn’t get recognized for improvement the incompetency of our officials will be called into question. I understand there will be bad matches, but I’m sorry these referee’s are suppose to be the best that US Soccer has to offer and right now Paul Ward just isn’t good enough in my view.

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  1. MLS Soccer Jerseys

    August 3, 2010 at 2:40 am


  2. Reid

    August 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Nothing could be worse than some of the World Cup calls, farcical. I’m not positive this particular referee should be singled out. Yes, some European leagues supposedly have more foolproof refereeing but look at the Argentina/Mexico game refereed by an Italian crew. I’d just have to say football’s refereeing lacks much to be desired in general. These calls don’t sound nearly as bad as what was seen in the World Cup or even in some recent Champions League games.

  3. Dynamo?

    August 2, 2010 at 5:42 am

    The Dynamo are frequently on the WRONG side of the officiating? Hahahaha. Anybody who has watched them play Real Salt Lake over the last three years has seen call after call after call going the way of the Dynamo, at home in particular. It nearly cost the eventual MLS champions their spot in the playoffs last year. Dynamo fans have nothing to complain about. I’ve seen that team get more calls than they should. Be glad you have a coach with a big personality who has his way with the refs because they feel he is smarter than them so he MUST be right when he gripes.

    • CrewFan

      August 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Seeing the Dynamo the last two years was appalling. As a fan who appreciates “the beautiful game” Houston did all they could to clutch, grab, push, elbow, and generally play dirty each of their last 2 trips to Columbus, including a red card for a deliberate kick to the back of Renteria’s legs. For all the talk of how great the Dynamo have done and the bowing at the feet of Dom Kinnear, their thuggish display is atrocious. Maybe it looks like they’re on the wrong side of calls because they foul so often!

  4. johnny

    August 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

  5. Jedediah

    August 1, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Why no mention of Henry’s atrocious finishing? The NY Times and reports of the game don’t mention it either. He should have had at least two goals, missing one-on-one with the goalkeeper and scuffing a shot from five yards with the goal open in front of him. It was embarrassing.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      August 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

      There will be an article on Henry later in the next two days, but I had to make this article on the match.

  6. primetime

    August 1, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Completely agree about the officiating… and it seems the Dynamo get the short end of the stick most of the time too… but the MLS really needs to do a better job of holding these refs accountable for every questionable call the make or non-call for that matter…. and punish them somehow in order to filter out the worst ones…. I hate to see such a great game get changed by crappy officiating. Robertson was electric tonight!

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      August 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

      The refs are not handled by MLS, that’s US Soccer’s job with the refs. They are assigned matches by US Soccer, like the Referee’s in the Premiership are assigned by the FA.

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