MLS- Seattle Sounders

Schmid suspended one match for ref rant

Photo by ISIphotos.com

When Sigi Schmid ripped referee Ricardo Salazar both at halftime and after the Seattle Sounders’ draw with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, you knew it was inevitable that he would draw a large fine.

Major League Soccer gave Schmid more than a fine.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber suspended and fined Schmid $2,000 for his public comments about match officials during and after Seattles’ scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake, the league announced Friday. The suspension is for one game, meaning Schmid will not be on the sidelines for this weekend’s tilt against FC Dallas.

“Sigi Schmid’s comments earlier this week about the officiating were unacceptable,” Garber said via a press release. “MLS requires that its players, coaches, and club leadership maintain proper respect for the officials at all times.”

Schmid was critical of match official Ricardo Salazar after the game with media and during a halftime interview where he accused Salazar of being Real Salt Lake’s 12th man.

Salazar drew Schmid’s ire after issuing a second yellow card to Sounders defender Zach Scott in the first half of their match last Wednesday. While the yellow cards he issued to Burch on Wednesday looked legitimate, Salazar does have a history of making controversial calls against the Sounders, including during Seattle’s U.S. Open Cup final loss to Sporting Kansas City.

What do you think of Schmid’s punishment? Should it have been more/less severe? Did Schmid have a point with his comments?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Travis

    Not surprised but until the MLS gets real refs this will be an ongoing issue. The moment he said it I think everyone knew what was coming.


    • Da trufth

      Sigi made the comment during half time interview

      He said we have the advantage of having the 12th man “the fans” and RSL has the advantage of having the 12 man “ricardo salizar” (the Official)

      He said something along the lines that ricardo salizar always makes bad calls against the sounders and he shouldnt be an officiating their games.

      If that got him fined and suspended, I would decline to interview every game!


      • Travis

        I was watching the game, I knew the moment he said it he was going to get suspended. Understand the frustration and why he said it but he had to know it was going to happen.


    • eric wild

      Why? I’m sick of this holyer than thou attitude. Who do these sports beurocracies think they are, the Vatican? Nazis?

      Garber talks about “maintaing proper respect at all times”. What is he, the mafia? Get out of line and you get whacked?

      Hey Garber, you’re supposed to take the criticisim and get better, not kill the messenger.


      • bryan

        I’m with you. If the ref sucks they should be called out for it. Not protected. Garber comes if like a dictator in this


      • ThaDeuce

        yes. it’s not like he cussed him out, which to be honest wouldn’t bother me personally. But this indirect honest critique isn’t allowed? He must keep his opinions, even if they are not foul, to himself? What happened to freedom and honesty? Coaches must lie? Why can’t he, in a non-vulgar manner such as this, be open to speak the truth or convey how he honestly feels? Ridiculous.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    I thought “suspension” as soon as he said that.

    I also thought that MLS allows broadcasters to stick a microphone in the coach’s face when he isn’t even off the field at a hotly contested half and then blames the guy for his completely predictable reaction. I wonder if Sigi had the option NOT to speak, or if he is contractually obligated – no matter how angry he is.


    • Dinho

      I never understood that, either. The last thing I would want to do, AT HALFTIME, is talk to the media about what’s going on, DURING THE GAME THAT’S NOT OVER YET.

      I think it’s stupid. And, yes, I’m taking my ball and going home.


    • divers suck

      I’m not so sure that the “hometown” reporters even knew their entire hometown feed was picked up nationally by the NBC Sports Network.


    • Bluenblack

      Good point, Tony. Watching my Quakes, there is a segment in the first half of the broadcast where Yallop is given a headset and banters with the announcers. Having this access to a coach in the early parts of the match is better than half time or even after a game. I wonder what MLS’ rules call for. Could this be a topic for a future column?


  • Patrick

    I hope they take all the fines from people complaining about refs and put it into the USAF referee education fund


  • Krimsonyx

    I didn’t realize they suspended people for comments, although I did know they fined guys. Does this have any precedent? It seems a bit harsh…


  • Steve

    The two big calls he was complaining about were both good calls. Definite USB second yellow card and definitely not handling in the box. But as was pointed out above, at half-time in a game where he’s just seen his team reduced to ten men, did you really expect him to say anything different?


    • Lassidawg

      They are probably yellows, but he has seen Rosales get pummeled on worse tackles with no punishment (not Wednesday). Salazar has a habit of following the letter of the law against Seattle, but not for them. See open cup final and last man back tackle Wednesday.


  • Hans Hoffmann

    I was at the game – I cannot fault the MLS. In any major sport you know at the least you will get a fine for such comments. The fact that he did it on TV..there is your suspension. But the list of grievances Sounder fans have against Salazar just continues to grow.


  • jp992751

    While I agree MLS refs suck (Salazar is one of the worst) it was pretty sad how Sigi was so off base on his complaints. I watched the game and his complaints hold very little merit. The two yellow cards were merited (the only thing he might have a complaint about is that Salazar should have warned the player before pulling the first yellow). The other call that set him off (I can’t recall exactly what it was, offsides maybe) was also legit. Keller mentioned on the air after a camera shot of Sigi pissed off that it was the correct call. MLS refs suck but Sigi chose the wrong call to complain about.


    • smokeminside

      Perhaps, but Keller had the benefit of replay to show the calls were okay. Still, his comments were beyond the pale.

      Do any professional sports allow teams to reject a refereeing crew?


  • Dillon Gilbert

    As a Sounders support, Sigi deserved every bit of this. I personally didn’t even think the yellows were all that terrible. As far as poor decisions from Salazar go, this was hardly the worst that has been done to the Sounders.


    • Travis

      He has long been the only ref’s name I know and that is cause he is always mentioned during broadcasts because he gets to involved. Not a fan.


      • Heft

        Salazar usually referees the big games. Typically the more trusted referees are chosen to do this, I thought. But you may be right.

        Toledo, and Anno are some names that we know more of in Houston then Salazar. The last match that I recall he reffed the Dynamo was the 2011 MLS Cup.

        I think that the red card was correct, but not necessary. Another stern warning would’ve been sufficient. Salazar did stay consistent with giving cards for poorly timed challenges.

        The non-call for handball was correct. The player did not handle the ball in my opinion. Sigi had it wrong, and Salazar was correct in not calling that.


      • OneLegged

        Funny, because Salazar called it against the Sounders in the Open Cup Final.


  • Johnny's Big Balls

    Sounders got what they deserved, don’t care if you disagree with the call or not.


  • K61

    I know this won’t surprise most folks, but MLS is guilty of some pretty serious doublespeak on this one…

    When Ricardo Salazar screwed up the 2012 USOC final with various bad and biased calls MLSSoccer.com was more than happy to pile on the Salazar hate fest (link1, fanpoll).

    Now that Salazar’s guilty of similar antics in a league game, they’re singing a completely different tune (or no tune at all, as it were). Instead they just hand out the fine and quietly vindicate Salazar of any wrong doing.

    This is nonsense.


  • Sounder fan

    This has been building up for Sigi. After the calls Salazar has made this year against Seattle, I am sure the slightest controversial call that goes agains Seattle, Sigi was always going to be on Salazar’s case.

    I agree we have to show the ref a certain amount of respect but what I see as a failing of Garber and the league is a lack of punishment or even some common sense initiative where its due.

    Didn’t confirm this by looking it up but I believe this is the second Seattle game Salazar has called since the Open Cup final. Maybe schedules had already been booked, but some common sense and a little initiative on the part of MLS would help. They way I see it, we keep seeing bad calls, then the refs keep coming back and making more bad calls. This so called training by the organization that heads the refs? I don’t see much if any improvement yet and they just keep sending the same guys out to call the games.


    • Eric

      MLS doesn’t assign refs. The USSF does. Not a lot Garber can do about that.

      And in any case, honestly, I’m hoping it ends what has been a common theme this season–every time the Sounders don’t win, Sigi blames the officiating. He’s a better coach than that, it needs to stop.


  • Jake

    Didn’t see the entire game but all of Salazar’s big calls were correct. The first yellow was a professional foul and broke up attacking play. This type of refereeing promotes attacking play and discourages these types of fouls. The second yellow was reckless and the handball was ball to hand. As for the breakaway the play has to be a clear goal scoring opportunity. From 35 yards out with a 2nd defender approaching it was not denying a clear goal scoring opportinity. I applaud Ricardo Salazar!!!


  • Reece

    Salazar was loudly booed when he was announced as the head ref before the game. If 30,000+ fans know the name of just one ref something is wrong. Scott and Toledo have both made questionable calls against us. But Salazar is known by everyone. Casual friends shouldn’t know the names of refs if they are doing their jobs right.


    • Rex

      Bottom line, Salazar was correct on the calls in question. Sigi was the one way off base. Given the mentality of the Seattle fans who tend to think that every ref is out to screw them, Sigi being so irresponsible doesn’t help matters.


      • OneLegged

        Did you listen to the post game interview? Sigi had no problem with the yellows.


  • PD

    While b*tiching about the ref is part of every manager (and fan’s) job description, and while MLS has a right to sanction things like this when they happen in order to encourgae a more classy was of doing business. That said, sanctions and fines do not change the fact that MLS needs to do something about the quality to of the reffing. It at least needs to try to keep up with the curve of improvement everywhere else in the league.

    I say the league should spend some money to send some MLS refs overseas during the offseason, have these guys train and observe and workshop with some of the refs in spain germany and france.

    Or better yet, DP a top rated Champions League ref team to come over here for a year.


  • David

    Did anyone else think that the ball was out of bounds prior to Scott’s first yellow card when he held Espindola? If you watch the replay, you hear the announcer say “it looked like the ball went out of bounds” when Espindola gets to it (1:00 mark on MLSsoccer.com highlights). You can see green between the ball and the white line, if only for a split second.

    Obviously, Scott’s professional foul that followed merited a yellow card, and the 2nd yellow is a yellow card there more often than not.

    But what concerns me with MLS officiating (and globally in general) is that so many times the referee makes a small mistake that ends up having a huge impact on the game.

    If the ball is correctly called out of bounds there (which I thought it was), it’s a throw-in, and Scott never tugs on Espindola and gets his first yellow. Then his 2nd yellow ends up only being his 1st. So the Sounders get to play with 11 men. And of course, that particular play would not be Salazar’s fault since he’s not on the line.

    But, how many times have we seen a referee call a corner kick when it’s really a goal kick, only for the attacking team to score, or seen a referee miss a handball on one end, only for the team to counterattack and score.

    It happens way too often, and is one of the more frustrating parts of the game. The fact that it can totally be fixed is what makes it more frustrating.

    On another note, Salazar refereed many of my games in college back from 2000-2003, and he was an idiot. Missed tons of stuff, and was arrogant as hell, so that’s probably why I’m biased against him.

    Rant over…and no, I’m not a Sounders supporter.


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