The general manager of the Professional Referees Organization, the governing body that oversees referees and assistants in North American pro soccer, admitted that referee Ricardo Salazar erred in not issuing a caution on a takedown of D.C. United’s Raphael Augusto late in the first half of the first-leg playoff match against the Houston Dynamo last weekend.
Peter Walton, PRO’s GM, issued a statement regarding the non-call on Wednesday, four days ahead of the MLS Eastern Conference final second leg in Washington D.C. Walton said Salazar should have issued a red card to the Dynamo’s Andrew Hainault for his takedown of Augusto for clear denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.
Initially, Walton told NBC Sports during halftime of the first leg that the play should have resulted in a yellow card. But Walton changed his mind after reviewing replays of the incident, which came with DCU up 1-0.
Houston came back for a 3-1 win, but the play in question could have changed the outcome of the game, as the Dynamo could have played with 10 men for the next 45 minutes.
“I made the initial statement on my real time opinion without having the advantage of a replay. Having reviewed the replay, it is clear it ticks all the boxes for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity and a send-off should have been the outcome,” Walton said on the PRO website.
More news from around MLS after the jump…
Earthquakes retain Hernandez, Cronin
The San Jose Earthquakes re-signed a pair of key contributors to their Supporters Shield run in 2012, defender Jason Hernandez and midfielder Sam Cronin.
Hernandez and Cronin received new contracts — terms of the deals were not disclosed — and will be back with the Quakes next season. As regular starters, Hernandez played in 25 games, with Cronin appearing in 31 (30 starts) and scoring a goal with six assists.
Hernandez is an original Quake from the re- rebirth of the franchise in 2008. Cronin came over from Toronto FC in 2010.
Sounders say Galaxy is best offense in MLS
On Tuesday it was defender Jeff Parke, then Wednesday, Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid suggested the L.A. Galaxy has the best offense in MLS.
Parke told the Tacoma News Tribune that the Galaxy “didn’t take their foot off the pedal” in last weekend’s 3-0 first leg win in the Western Conference final. Schmid said Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are “very sharp” and “on form.”
That spells trouble for Seattle, who is down 3-0 already with the second leg in Seattle this weekend.
Residents of Queens, N.Y. back construction of soccer stadium
Major League Soccer surveyed 650 residents of the borough of Queens in New York recently, and according to a report in the New York Daily News, 71 percent of those who responded favor a soccer stadium built for an MLS team.
Two-thirds of those surveyed would like to see the stadium built in the Corona Park area of Flushing Meadows. That’s near the U.S. Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open, and Citi Field, home of baseball’s New York Mets.
A new stadium would create around 3,000 new jobs in all, which spurred support for the plan. An MLS spokesperson said in a statement that the league “can’t wait to bring a team home that Queens can be proud of.”
But opponents of the idea say the site isn’t fit for a stadium because of the location near a polluted river, and are concerned with the loss of park land.
What are your thoughts on the refereeing in that Houston-DCU series? Are the Galaxy the most dangerous offense in the league? And what about an MLS stadium in Queens, good or bad idea? Share your thoughts below.