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Evening Ticker: Red Bulls GM hits out at officials, Rossi could stay at Villareal and more

Soler - Getty


MLS officials simply cannot escape the spotlight. 

New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler is the most recent addition to a growing number of people voicing their concern over the level of officiating in the MLS.  

Soler released a statement Monday regarding the level of officiating in the club's last match against Portland, a level he believes to be "unacceptable".  In that same match, Portland head coach John Spencer was forced to watch from the sidelines after being reprimanded for his own criticism of MLS officials. 

The statement was prompted by the controversial dismissal of Thierry Henry and the heavily lopsided statistic of "fouls committed" in the match on Sunday evening  (NYRB 25 – 5 Timbers).  

Here are some other stories to keep your Monday rolling:


American-born winger/forward Giuseppe Rossi could remain at Villareal next season as a potential transfer to Barcelona seems to have stalled after the Catalans refused to meet Villareal's valuation of Rossi.

With Barcelona's impending capture of Alexis Sanchez from Udinese, Rossi's own transfer has now been cast into doubt.  

Federico Pastorello, Rossi's agent, says that the player wanted the move to Barca, but the move never materialized and now refuses to rule out another year at Villareal.

If Rossi stays, it may affect the playing time of the USMNT's Jozy Altidore, who has struggled to make much of an impact at the La Liga club.  Altidore has been loaned out three times in as many seasons to Xerez in Spain's second division, Hull City (then in the Premier League) and most recently Bursaspor of the Turkish Süper Lig.


Michael Ballack, the midfield talisman for the German National Team has been extended another offer to end his International career with a farewell game, but the long-time German captain is having none of it.

After having been told that he no longer features in the plans of current manager Joachim Low, Ballack has been very vocal about his frustration with having been forced into retirement at age 34.  

The former Bayern Munich and Chelsea player has even labelled the most recent attempt at a final game "a farce" (August 10th v Brazil).

However, Ballack insists that even before Low told him that his International career was finished, he had decided to quit.


Teenage prodigy Neymar has long been the subject of Real Madrid's admiration, and the La Liga giants have reportedly upped their interest in the Brazilian striker, says Santos president Luis Alfaro Ribeiro.  

Neymar has been linked with a host of clubs as his reputation continues to climb, but Ribeiro insists that Madrid is not the only club seriously interested in securing the 19-year-old's services with Chelsea and Manchester City said to be looking.

Ribeiro holds out hope that Neymar will stay at Santos, especially if it wins the Copa Libertadores Final against Uruguayan outfit C.A. Peñarol.  The two clubs played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg, and Santos will play host to Peñarol this Wednesday to settle the tie.  Ribeiro stated that interested clubs will have permission to talk to the player then.

Neymar himself has decided not to comment on the transfer speculation, opting to focus on the Copa Libertadores Final. 


President Obama will welcome the MLS Champions to Washington D.C. on Monday the 27th to honor the team with a ceremony, a tradition he has begun recently.  

The Rapids will also put on a clinic for the families of the military on the South Lawn as a part of its visit to the nation's capital.  


Did Henry deserve his red?  Where do you see the future of Rossi?  Is Ballack being reasonable with his refusal to play a farewell match?

Share your thoughts below


  1. No. Players pat or tap each other on the head ALL THE TIME. Refs have to be able to use their discretion lest they turn their games into a farce.

  2. The key line in the above directive from US Soccer is “Depending upon the intent and the force used to the back of the head,

    referees may exercise reasonable discretion/tolerance in the selection of the most appropriate sanction.”

    In other words, there was nothing preventing Salazar from using common sense (ie, reasonable discretion) and not issue the red card. And there is no such thing as an “automatic” red card for contact above the shoulders.

  3. Golfing nearly 100 times during a presidency when the economy is in tatters says it all to me. If you support the guy, that’s fine. However, he will be slaughtered at the polls. After that I can live happy knowing the while I earn 6 figures, and your wife shatters glass ceilings, some of my friends can maybe have a “hope” of a brighter future under the leadership of someone who cares about this country.

  4. Two things. One, does not having central defending depth prohibit one from noticing horrendous officiating? Two, it is a big unusual to have both central defenders missing.

  5. I agree with Lorenzo. Jozy is young and they have him for 6 years. It doesn’t really hurt them to loan him out for another year.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  6. not even a yellow card.

    The players did what refs DREAM about. They solved the problem on their own. The whole point of officiating in soccer is to keep the game flowing and the ref was just so strung up on steroids he prob was seeing dragons flying.

  7. Moffat’s push back was far more aggressive than Henry’s taps to the back of the head. If Henry goes, then Moffat should as well. Or perhaps we should just get the guys some skirts and inform them not to touch each other anymore.

  8. On the Henry call – It was stoppage time, it was back of the head not face and it lacked excessive force. The red card was a poor decision in my opinion. Had the AR missed the action does anyone believe that on post game review the Discipline Committee would issue a suspension for violent conduct? I don’t think so. If it is not severe enough for a post game suspension it shouldn’t be a red card in the game.

    On the refereeing situation in general – if you are going to brook no comment or adverse criticism and publicly hold your referees sacrosanct then your referees better produce on the field. Everyone and their blind dog knows that call are missed and bad decisions made. It is and always has been, part of the game. It is the failure by MLS, USSF and the ref crews themselves to acknowledge this that irritates coaches, fans and players. The SFA used have a column on their website where refs would comment on their decisions and explain what they saw or didn’t see and why they made the call they did. It was useful and informative and went a long way to explain controversial decisions. It did not lead to anarchy! At present, a referee can have a terrible game and although he may get reamed by the assessors afterwards there is no public acknowledgement that anything went wrong. That does lead to disrespect!

  9. Unfortunately the post above is proof that referees are more concerned with the Letter of the Law than the Spirit of the Game.

    The Rules of the Game are very, very simple and the one rule above all others is to apply the subsequent rules within the Spirit of the Game.

    In this case Henry and Moffit deserved a talking to…cards were ridiculous.

  10. This is direct from the US Soccer website:

    Contact Above the Shoulder: Dead Ball Situations
    The following involves premeditated and deliberate contact with an opponent’s
    face during dead ball situations – a stoppage in play. Key is “contact above the
    Intentional and deliberate contact in the area of the face is not permitted with any
    part of the hand. Deliberate facial contact cannot be tolerated. Players who
    intentionally make contact with an opponent’s face must be issued a red card
    for violent conduct.
    Actions aimed at the face of an opponent must be dealt with severely
    REGARDLESS OF THE FORCE USED if the actions are:
    – Deliberate
    – Intended to intimidate
    – Endangering the safety of an opponent
    – Insulting and/or offensive in nature
    – Potentially inciting further action on the part of opponents
    – Done in a provocative, inciteful manner
    The above is not intended to address friendly contact that is not confrontational.
    The following lists some specific (but not all) examples of the manner in which
    the contact can be initiated:
    – Use of the backhand
    – Open handed slap
    – A push/slap to the face
    – The jabbing of a finger(s) to the face
    – Grabbing hair
    – Use of a fist
    Contact with the back of the head: When applying the aforementioned
    examples, the use of force becomes increasingly important when it involves
    contact with the back of the player’s head. Although the likelihood for injury is
    somewhat lessened as compared to contact with the face, referees must be
    aware of the danger to injure that “excessive force” to the back of the neck may cause. Depending upon the intent and the force used to the back of the head,
    referees may exercise reasonable discretion/tolerance in the selection of the most appropriate sanction.

    Referees have a tough job to enforce mandates even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. Players have to adjust and not do stupid things like slap people in the back of the head. Red card was way harsh, but Henry still isn’t innocent.

  11. Zomg the mls is in trouble because teams are organized and don’t leak goals…. Seriously chicken little, just stop

  12. My college educated wife is gainfully employed and shattered our houses glass ceiling. Our success doesnt hinge on the government, to even bring this up on this blog might signal that someone needs to look in the mirror for the cause of ones problems. Our countries lack of an industrial or educational policy that would help grow the economy isn’t isolated to a party or leader, it’s grossly systemic. “Golfing” was simply environment for a meeting regardless.

  13. Hate to break it to you in a rivalry teams and fans compare the teams to each other.

    Glad to read that you don’t think anything in seattle is reachable. Guess you will be fine not winning and giving points away at home. Wins in this league are way to valuable to keep choking games away in the last 5 minutes.

    If you aren’t comparing yourself to another team that has had success then enjoy just being here. I would love the Sounders to become the team that DC United was in the early days

  14. Ignorance alert… Is your college educated wife out of work for the past two years plus? Jobs seem more important to me than golfing and hosting the mls champions. Sont know why that would make me a tea party supporter, but see how it shakes out come election time troll.

  15. Instead of complaining about the refs, Soler should be getting some Central D depth because they have been lost without Marquez and Ream…Mendes is a joke

  16. Given the guy a concussion? There was no backswing. Try cuffing yourself on the back of the head with wrist action, doesn’t feel good but a concussion?

  17. “Seattle isn’t much better, but at least they get results on the road.”

    Right, nobody in Seattle cares,…

    Stop fixating.. just stop

  18. “In Portland all we need to say is at least we aren’t Sounders! ”

    Nobody in Seattle cares,…

    stop fixating.. start winning

  19. Ridiculous. I’m a Galaxy fan, and I effin hate Kraft because of how he treats the Revs like a goddamn tax write off. I really can’t think of any other reason he owns the team. He clearly doesn’t care about the team, which he shows by letting his son run the team and not investing any money in players (save for Benny Feilhaber, suprised the Kraft family let Stevie Nicol take him ). This organization is stuck in MLS 1.0. Almost every other MLS team is embracing the Season Ticket Holder and Supporter Group movement. It’s a really sad effin joke because this team is gonna get left in the dust if they don’t start putting more money in this team for players and getting a SSS, which I feel won’t happen unless somebody else buys this team from him.

  20. Would I be alone in thinking that MLS is imploding? The USSF seems to be doing the same thing too. I really don’t care about managers or GM’s talking about the officiating. So what? Where do we live anyway, China? If you don’t want people to talk about the horrible officiating so much then do something about improving it!

    More importantly, the leagues has much bigger problems. A lot of us thought that expanding the league so much, and so quickly, was a bad idea. Now it would appear that our fears that the expansion would dilute the league’s talent are being realized.

    Garber took over the league and did a good job and the change was just in the nick of time and desperately needed. Now it would seem that U.S. soccer officials everywhere have become clueless. Garber needs to go before things get really bad. (Bradley needs to go too!) The league is quickly becoming a mess. There is so little offensive talent to go around that nearly all the teams seem to have decided that since they can’t really score they will concentrate on defense and achieving 1-0 wins. The league has made great strides but MLS needs to inject some offensive talent into the league soon. In the meantime we need to see some coaches have the guts to decide they are going to play offensively and try to score. How long will MLS fans continue watching 1-0 wins and 0-0 and 1-1 ties?

    On the up side, this seems like a great time to bet on MLS. I can easily predict most of the scores right now.

  21. Who said trophies don’t matter? I am saying the standards created by some other team’s fans don’t matter. There is always someone who will be better than you in some way, so you create your own standards and live up to them instead of blindly reaching for another’s.

  22. I think it’s a red-card. You’re not allowed to hit someone in the back of the head in boxing, which is a sport that encourages punching. It was unnecessary on Henry’s part, and he could have given the guy a concussion. It doesn’t take much when it comes to blows to the back of the head.

  23. dont slap people up side the back of the head.. easy as that.. you get dealt wif in my hood quickly for acting a fool like that…

    seriously though, while soft, stop acting like thats just a pat or tap on the head, and i dont like Portland at all

  24. And when Portland gets a result on the road it will we “at least we won a cup.” After Portland wins a cup it will be “at least we have a bigger stadium.” If Portland matches that there will be another unreachable mark that Seattle sets to pretend they are better than Portland.

    In Portland all we need to say is at least we aren’t Sounders!


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