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Should Bravo have been granted a PK?


Photo by Bill Barrett/

Thursday night's debut of Livestrong Sporting Park had almost everything.

Between Sporting Kansas City finally having a home game in its sparkling new stadium, a keeper sent off for deliberately handling the ball outside his own area, nine minutes of second-half stoppage time — not to mention a pitch invader dressed as a cow — the 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire wasn't a garden-variety scoreless draw.

The one thing the opener lacked was goals. Sporting Kansas City thought it would have a golden opportunity for a goal when Chicago's Bratislav Ristic went into a challenge on Omar Bravo from behind inside Chicago's penalty area in the 85th minute.

Bravo got undercut and fell to the ground where he appeared to have some serious lower-back pain, but referee Michael Kennedy ruled that Ristic's tackle was clean and did not warrant a penalty call.

What do you think? Watch video of the challenge after the jump:


Do you think Kennedy should have given a PK? Cast your vote here:


What do you think – PK or no PK? Did Kennedy make a major blunder, or did he get it right?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Don’t blame the man for going for that tackle, but he got the man first. As a lifetime defender, it’s hard for me to say this…but that was a penalty.

  2. damn it your right. I’ve calmed down a bit. I realized that arguing on the internet is just dumb.

    And FYI, I’m a former defender so you would think I would side with Chicago in this case. But no, I’m a bigger fan of the right calls being made.

  3. As a Sporting fan who attended the game and has seen SKC get more than its fair share of bad calls on the road, I was excited to finally get a home game in. Not calling that penalty was the wrong call, regardless of home or away. But it seems that those 50/50 type calls usually go in favor of the home team in MLS, and it was frustrating not to get it.

  4. Any who suggest that Kennedy should have considered the occasion in deciding to award the PK must agree that Howard Webb was right to allow Nigel DeJong to stay on the field in the WC final.

    I’d buy either call, but if it’s a PK then it is definitely a caution, though I think it is enough from the side that it is not a send off.

  5. Thank goodness someone is saying this. After reading the top twenty or so comments I was about to say this myself.

    There are rules against dangerous play that are supposed to trump getting the ball first. Where did those rules go? Classic MLS officiating.

  6. Don’t bet on it… the refs don’t have much love for LA so far this season. Last few games I’d say they’ve been distressingly neutral in LA, to be fair.


    That was an incredibly rash and ill advised tackle that should have been a PK and a card.

    MLS needs to clean this crap up. The getting a piece of the ball BS has to stop. Harkes is pathetic anyway. I would never expect him to get it right either way.

    Logic and the laws of the game, as stated prior, don’t coincide with anyone that thinks that if you get a piece of the ball you can justify just about anything else that happens?

    I touched the ball, so I can kick you right in the face!

  8. I’m a Fire fan, glad they didn’t lose but I agree with the sentiment. I guarauntee if it was the Galaxy or Red Metros opening a stadium it would be a Pk

  9. My personaly opinion — you can clearly disregard anyone on this board who claims it is clear-cut either way.

    To me there are only two clear-cut things:

    1) Kennedy was going to be the center of a mess no matter what he did

    2) Ristic *judgement* in making that tackle was poor (unless the ends justify the means, in which case he was brilliant)

    My view — Ristic comes in from the side (not behind or “through”) and Bravo actually ends up kicking Ristic’s foot and running over top of him. With the slide executed studs down, one footed the question comes down to “recklessness”, and I think Ristic’ control on his slide demonstrated he was in control and Omar’s attempt to dramatize it crated the tailbone pitch bounce . . .

    But hey, I’m a Fire fan so I might be biased /wink

  10. ” up to the discretion of the referee”. Enough said !!!
    That’s what every ref is told! Did u see it? Yes/no? It your discretion. Just be consistent. Thats all I ask of a referee.

  11. Too many people are seeing what they want to see as an excuse to b*tch about the refs in the MLS more. Deal with D-2 refs for 5 years, and you’ll get some perspective.

    Johnny’s got it right. Not only does he hit the ball first, Bravo then makes contact with Ristic, not the other way around. And yes, it’s clearly there at :27 seconds in the replay, so please stop repeating that folks. We’re all looking at the same tape.

  12. Sure like to see how one finds this “reckless.” Also, nice stealing that “Bravo had to jump to avoid broken bones” claim from Ives (which is total drama, btw). That was a textbook slide tackle. If we want refs to call that “reckless,” then we might as well say any player going to ground gets a card. I definitely don’t want to watch that kind of elementary school rec-league soccer.

  13. I thought was a foul. The tackle of the ball did not result in bring the player down. The angle he took, looks like the foot got the ball, and his body got the player.

    That that was how they were supposed to call it in that instance.

  14. Nope. Portland fan, actually. And y’all must have seen a different match, as he’s not coming at him from behind, and he clearly gets all ball first, then makes contact with Bravo. If he goes through the player afterwards (and his cleats aren’t up at his knees), so what? That’s good defensive football.
    Too many folks trying to rewrite the rules of sports when someone gets injured (see Buster Posey, Zakkuani, etc.). If that’s what you want, fine, but then you have to change the rules of the game first. Now, I’d never want to take that risk, as 99% of the time, the ref will call that because of the violence of the collision, even though it’s within the rules. It was a gutsy move, but it paid off. Don’t penalize him for making a great play.


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