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Controversial Hernandez penalty lifts Dallas past Toronto

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 Toronto FC Logo


Captain Daniel Hernandez was on point to convert a penalty and give FC Dallas the win and three points at Pizza Hut Park in Texas.  The call was a debatable one from referee Yader Reyes and it has, once more, called attention to the standard of officiating in the MLS.

In a depressingly vacant venue (due mainly to thunderstorms that subsided before kickoff), FC Dallas subdued a Toronto FC side that lacked offensive bite and ideas in the final third.

With Joao Plata coming off a flying week, many Reds fans were expecting big things from the Ecuadorian attacker.  However, Plata did not emulate his Man of the Match performance from the game with Houston.

TFC midfielder got things going offensively for the Reds by forcing a smart save from goalkeeper Kevin Hartman early in the seventh minute.

It would, however, be largely uneventful until the 31st minute when Toronto defender Danleigh Borman almost put a Brek Shea cross into his own net.

Dallas began to apply pressure, primarily through the play of Shea and Marvin Chavez, that almost had Eric Alexander connecting with a cross right in front of goal but pressure from TFC Dicoy Williams prevented any threat.  

Despite enjoying the majority of possession, Dallas was unable to click in the final third and could not find that killer ball into the area to break the deadlock.  But as the first half began to come to a close, an Eric Alexander free kick was lofted into Toronto area that saw George John brought to ground by Adrian Cann as he attempted to meet the ball in the air.

While Cann clearly had a hold of the Dallas defender, the severity of the punishment could be argued to have been a little harsh for the foul committed.  

Daniel Hernandez stepped up and had Frei diving the wrong way as he netted his first goal of the season to give Dallas the lead going into the break.

Following halftime, it was Toronto who again started the half more brightly as Tony Tchani had a long range effort that was well saved by Hartman.

But it was Dallas who responded with their own pressure for the majority of the half, the highlight of which was a clever run from Chavez which led to his blasted shot cannoning off the chest of Frei.

Chavez was easily one of the more productive players for Dallas and caused the Toronto back line all sorts of problems for the duration of the match.

In a very gritty clash, Dallas and Daniel Hernandez will be happy to take the spoils from a mediocre Toronto side.  FC Dallas has remained unbeaten by TFC since their first meeting in 2007.


  1. I love when controversy how haters jump right on and say MLS sucks. Like there has never been a controversial call in any other league.

    To anyone with a brain, they realize these guys don’t know what they are talking about.

    What they should be talking about is whether FIFA is a joke and whether there should be more refs to cover a field that big and 11 players all trying to gain an advantage somehow/someway.

  2. neither team looked like a winner (im a tfc supporter)and that penalty was disgusting. we coulda walked away with 1 point (neither team really earning 3) but instead got screwed. oddly not the first time (check the penalty wynne got us in 2009). Why do i get the sinking feeling this will never be dealt with? Please keep bringing this up as a blog!

  3. Toro

    You are so RIGHT. The Refs will single handedly bring down the MLS. The incompetence is such that you would think that these guys are on the take – which I sincerely believe that they are not.

    Fans are turned off and foreign talent, by the post game discussion from the Dutch coach in Toronto, I will be surprised if he lasts the year.

  4. The only thing that made this a penalty was that George John had a chance to head that ball on goal. He attempted to jump but was held down by Cann. Good service on the free kick, and terrible defending by Cann. He got turned around and decided to prevent John from jumping by pulling down on his shoulder. I wish more refs would call these fouls in the box, so defenders would keep their damn hands to themselves. Also, refs need to start calling fouls on players dribbling with the ball that use their arms to push and create distance between themselves and the defender. Although, handsy defenders in the box are more common.

  5. He did not get tossed for knocking his hand away. He was already getting tossed. The 4th official had already summoned the center official by ear bud to kick him out. The minor touching happened after that. Your assumptions are lame.

  6. the same type call was also made against Seattle last week so at least they are being consistant with the soft pk calls.

  7. Diving and refs are determining games more than the players skill and tactics – that is a problem. If I want contrived endings I will go watch something else.

  8. So knocking a hand away is assault? Maybe the rule book is the problem. Do refs ever go back and watch their own games to see how they did? If they saw how many of these fouls they call are actually dives maybe they would begin to recognize what is really a foul.

  9. The assistant coach got tossed for walking about 15 yards on to the field once the penalty was called to mock the ref. As for the penalty it was a soft call but the TFC players had been warded multiple times to stop holding.

  10. Don’t be naive. Holding happens on almost all of these plays, and it is rarely called. So while it may be a foul by the letter of the rule, we all know that isn’t how it is called in reality. It really becomes a question of severity, and although I haven’t seen this one, it sounds like there wasn’t much in it.

  11. “While Cann clearly had a hold of the Dallas defender, the severity of the punishment could be argued to have been a little harsh for the foul committed.”

    Um…wheres the controversy? You just said he had a hold of him. Holding is a foul. It happened in the penalty area.

  12. Harsh based on what we couldn’t hear him say? Honestly stop guessing you have no evidence to overturn the decision. He could’ve said anything to get himself sent off.

  13. Not sure what the big deal is. Maybe you guys are just a bunch of angry Canadians. I didn’t watch the game, but from the highlights it seemed like a fair penalty to me. The ejection of TFC’s assistant coach seemed a bit harsh, but I guess them’s the rules. If anything it was kind of an overreaction by de Klerk.

  14. George John certainly went down easy, but ya know, one way to avoid penalties like that is to not grope somebody’s chest. Soccer–not just in MLS–seems to have gotten even worse with the jersey pulling and things like that.

  15. I completely agree. I didn’t see this match, but every other that I’ve watched this season has involved at least a handful of bad calls, some of which have been shocking.

    In any league, dodgy penalties are going to happen once in a while until there’s some sort of replay or retroactive punishment for diving. However, there have been a few given so far this year where the ref had to have been guessing. More worrying to me though is how often refs are either completely losing control of the game or dishing out cards unnecessarily.

    It really is a big problem and the league needs to address it.

  16. Soft foul but I can see where the ref though he was dragged down. dallas player sold it.
    Looks like the assistant coach got what he deserved as well.
    the refs are not a major issue. Cry about something else.

  17. Ummm no it’s not Lame. Assaulting a referee is a serious offense. If a player does it it’s an automatic red card. As in if a player converges on a referee and the referee puts his hand out to keep the player at a distance and the player knocks it down…it’s assault according to the USSF.

  18. did anyone else think it was lame the TFC assistant coach got tossed? he got tossed for telling the lines ref to not touch him and smacking his hand away. totally lame!

  19. I hope SBI and every other soccer website continue to criticize MLS officiating every week. I wish an officiating expert would go back and review every PK given in the last 3 years in MLS. I would say much less than half of them were deserving. In my opinion, it’s the biggest problem the league is facing right now.

  20. another joke of a call by an MLS ref. There was almost no contact, and the ball wasn’t anywhere near the Dallas player who pretty much fell down all by himself.

    Then later, the ref gives Martina of TFC a yellow for diving, when clearly the Dallas player made contact with Martina’s feet when Martina was running full bore.

    Joke MLS refs. Bring in a designated referee or two from Europe.


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