MLS- New York Red Bulls

Osorio falsely accused of implying MLS refs are racially biased

Juan Carlos Osorio 5 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                        Photo by ISIphotos.com

Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio had his issues with Saturday night's match vs. Houston, and his issues with referee Baldomero Toledo, but none of those issues had to do with race and whether Toledo and other MLS referees are targeting Hispanic players.

Contrary to this report from the New York Post soccer blog, which stated that Osorio accused MLS referees of being racially biased, Osorio never made a comment relating to referees and their perceived mistreatment of Hispanic players.

What Osorio did do was make a comment about all four of the Red Bulls players receiving red cards this year being Hispanic, but he did so in acknowledgment of a trend he wasn't necessarily happy with. Jorge Rojas, who drew a red card for an arm to the face of Brian Mullan, fell into the stereotype of the hot-tempered Hispanic player, something Osorio wasn't happy about.

"Right, I know, all Hispanic players, eh," Osorio said when asked about his team's four red cards this season. "Today I told my team what I thought coming into this game and unfortunately we were too quick to react a couple of times."

Osorio believed that Rojas allowed himself to get caught up in the Dynamo's physical game, then pointed out Seth Stammler's own reaction to a rough challenge as evidence that being upset with the Dynamo's play wasn't something limited to Hispanic players.

"To be fair to everybody, I don't know if you guys saw what happened just prior to their goal. There's an incident, there's a bad tackle to Seth (Stammler), and Seth is not Hispanic, and he reacted, and that's all my comments. I'm not going to say anything else."

The incident in question with Stammler occurred in the second half when Stuart Holden came in hard with a studs-up challenge that Stammler had to jump to avoid. Stammler responded by grabbing Holden's jersey as the players ran up field. Holden's challenge was one of a handful of harsh challenges throughout the night, including the first-half tackle that led to Carlos Johnson suffering a broken left foot, a tackle that failed to draw a card from Toledo.

Holden's challenges, along with the Dynamo's overall physical approach to the match (Houston out-fouled the Red Bulls 17-8) didn't surprise Osorio, but the Red Bulls coach did sound disappointed with Toledo's failure to issue any yellow cards to Houston for its physical play (aside from one to forward Ade Akinbiyi)_.

"All I can say is I saw it coming," Osorio said. "Not the red card, but something, and not necessarily with Jorge, but it's just the nature of the game when you play against Houston."

So why the confusion in Osorio's statement? His "all Hispanic players" comment was clearly misunderstood by some, especially since Osorio was trying hard not to be critical of the referee. The comment was also misunderstood even though Osorios follow-up comment about Seth Stammler's reaction to a Stuart Holden tackle provided some context.

Osorio accusing MLS refs of being racist against Hispanics because of Rojas' red card wouldn't exactly make sense consider A) Baldomero Toledo is Hispanic and B) Hispanic referees have issued three of the four red cards the Red Bulls have received this year.

  • aristotle

    I am so tired of this garbage. Everything is racism. If Osorio wasn’t making a case for racism, how do you explain such comments? Is it possible you are being influenced by race Ives? I especially love racism when it’s a person of the same race being racist against his own race! I can just imagine a white guy calling another white guy a racist for singling him out! That’s it for me. Osorio is an absolute a*s. He needs to go. Then he can say he was fired because of his race!


  • inkedAG

    The fact that Houston did a DC-style hack job on Saturday and received only one yellow card and RBNY gets a Red and a yellow (both of which were questionable), there is some sort of bias against RBNY. Clint Mathis’ career in a Metro/RBNY jersey is a prime example. I can’t say what or where the bias stems from, but refs seem to be quite card happy when it comes to the NY/NJ team.


  • spartak

    Red carding Rojas was a blessing in disguise; we played better 10 without him; he tends to slow down the game and is constantly caught up in dribbling. Guevara is gone but his deeds are still with us. Hispanic players constantly overreact, to the faults and to referee’s decisions, sorry, but this is obvious.


  • Sean Monaghan

    LOL wow Kahlva. How can you even try to say that was an accident? That was a UFC style elbow


  • Haig

    I don’t really whine about referees. If you’re good enough to deserve to win, a bad call or two shouldn’t be enough to stop you. But a bunch of MLS refs are doing a terrible job of managing the game prior to the point where NY players stupidly retaliate.

    Fact is, Rojas deserved a red. But the rep on NY is obviously that they can’t handle physical play, so opponents are tackling very hard and often late, and refs aren’t doing much about it.

    Easiest solution for NY would be for Osorio to get his players under control. Smartest solution for MLS would be to get refs to warn/eject players early for their crude tactics. I wouldn’t bet on either thing happening.


  • kofix5

    In the first game against houston, which was johnson’s first game, holden and the other left sided player were ganign up on him the whole game. they never got carded. then near the end of the game johnson gave that doosh bag holden a nice hard tackle ( deserving of a foul ) and he got red carded. then in this last game holden breaks johnson’s foot. hmmmm…..there might be a connection there.
    i think holden is still making up for getting his butt kicked in england and he’s trying to play the enforcers role.


  • Nickname 428/J

    Haig: you can go further. There’s no referee in this league for whom I’m confident of their ability to maintain control of the physicality of a match over the full 90 minutes. Thus, you see a lot of matches where play gets progressively more and more physical until things get so bad that the referee goes berserk and starts carding anything and everything. Tim Weyland is emblematic of this; but his games are far from the only examples. And you’re certainly right that since it’s been this way for quite a while, there’s no reason to think it’s going to change anytime soon.


  • HM

    The beat goes on…

    (1) Hispanic players commit fouls and draw cards, but none of the Hispanics who received cards deserved them

    (2) Hispanic coach claims racism, but then says its not his fault he’s playing the race card

    (3) Hispanic writer assures us that no Hispanic is guilty


  • CT

    Three points:

    Rojas deserved the red. He was frustrated and deliberately swung his elbow at the tackler, making contact with the side of Mullen’s head. Any objective observer viewing the video would agree and would have noticed that the AR and 4th official were both indicating to the CR that a red card was the proper punishment.

    A player being injured as a result of a fair challenge is not grounds for a card. Carlos Johnson is a hackmeister (Carlos leads the league in red cards) and got his foot stepped on.

    If Houston plays physically then what does NY do? NY is the fourth worst team in discipline on the leagues fair play table – worse than the Dynamo.


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