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MLS Ticker: PRO admits blown call, Quakes sign pair to new deals, and more

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.


  1. A blown call in MLS? Wow, that’s really newsworthy! I suppose that it is newsworthy that someone admitted it, but of course then did nothing about it — ban for Hainault? suspension for Salazar?

    Actually the worst officiating in the Houston-DCU involved a yellow card to a Houston player for time wasting (not sure why) followed by the player slamming the ball to the turf (an automatic yellow card almost anywhere in the world other than in MLS). To be fair to Salazar (why?) anyone can miss a call in the run of play, but no ref should overlook obvious demonstrations of dissent and disrespect.

  2. Why is this guy going out of his way now to call out a ref? Why havent they been calling out refs all year? I still dont believe this ‘miscall’ is as clear cut as everyone makes it out to be. I have seen much worse all year.

  3. DC got Salazr’d BOO HOO. there is still 90 minutes left.

    i am starting to like the idea, more and more, of a team in queens. i was against a second NY area team at first. they would probably get more attendance than NYRB from day one.

    LA is the best offense this year, just like last year. they are the favorites to repeat as champs BUT there is still 90 minurtes left.

  4. Garber and his fixation on Cosmos 2.0 are nothing but bad news for RBNY and their long-suffering fans. He claims to see it as creating a “rivalry” when RBNY already has plenty of good rivals. In reality, he’s kicking one franchise to the side of the road for the promise of one that looks prettier in his imagination. If the same money were spent on truly linking RBNY to the entire NY metro area, and making it easy and fun to get to Red Bull Arena, MLS might have the gleaming success it’s been hoping for.

    • OK, since you’re Brain Guy, I’ll bite. I’m on Long Island and I’ve been to RBA. How do I get there in an ‘easy and fun’ way?

      • You are in the same boat as many americans a 1 – 2.5hr trip to see professional soccer. It sucks but you have to pick and choose which games you really want to see.
        Depending on your work schedule it limits you, just like it does everyone else.
        I feel much worse for people in the south or southwest then anyone in NYC or long island…. this coming from someone that travels 2hrs each way to MLS games and typically goes to 2 – 5 a year.

      • Sorry if it sounded like a complaint; it really wasn’t. I get to the meadowlands for international friendlies, so pretty lucky overall.

        I just meant that a stadium in Queens will have a huge advantage drawing those in Queens, Nassau, Suffolk no matter what you do with RBA (barring jetpacks).

  5. Everyone get ready for a makeup call in dc. It won’t be enough for Houston to lose this series, but they will probably end up losing a player in the final against la. Kinda like last year, when they played without Davis…. Right?

    • ya that’s crazy talk–what in the tri-state area is not next to a polluted river? what, if anything from DC through Jersey on the East Coast is not polluted?

  6. Hmmmm. Think about this:

    “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.”

    Hasn’t the polluted river already “lost” the park land? Or are they talking about building parks on the banks of polluted rivers?

    • I read that as two different observations. I don’t understand the concern over a stadium being built near a polluted river. I doubt a stadium would add to the pollution. Seems like a dubious complaint. The loss of parkland is a real issue, though. Green space is at a premium in NYC, so I don’t blame them for not wanting to lose what little they have.

      • The “parkland” they would lose is mostly a man-made concrete pool of stagnant nasty water. It’s not like anyone is swimming in it…

  7. The correct call results in Houston going down a man and either a free kick or penalty depending on where the official spots it (I don’t remember if it was in the box yet or not). The man sent off ended up scoring for Houston afterward.

    That no-call changed the entire series. In essence, Houston is unfairly through.

    And let’s be really honest here, Walton. Your initial, live-action “assessment” was face-saving nonsense that had nothing to do with the reality on the field. He could have pulled him down by his hair and donkey punched him and you would have gone with “only a yellow.”

    • It would have been a free kick, inside the arc. Oh well, it’s past, and extra motivation for Sunday. And maybe, just maybe, Toledo will feel like the refs owe dc one…

    • It would have been a free kick outside the box and Houston would’ve gone a man down for the entire second half, already down 1-0. It would’ve changed the game for sure, and changed the series since Hainault would be suspended and Taylor (who Hainault was replacing at CB) is out injured, all the while trying to come back from what would likely not be a 3-1 victory over DC.

      Houston can argue that a perfect Salazar would have meant the game was 1-1 at the time of the Hainault foul, because there was a clear handball by DC in the DC box before that. Houston can also ask why Moffat wasn’t protected better when assaulted by Russell earlier in the half.

      You can be sure that the refs will be eyeing Hainault closely in the next leg.

    • “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”…

      sooo… he’s basically saying it’s too difficult to make correct refereeing decisions in “real time” without the “advantage of a replay”. so why should we not use instant replay then? because Sepp Blatter don’t want to???

      • The question to replay is how??? The game is obviously stopped following a goal, replay to confirm/deny offside is easy and can be corrected before kick-off. How does a person decide when a game should be stopped to replay a decision? What circumstances are subject to replay? How do you restart play if stopped? Thank god soccer is not American Football.

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