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MLS rescinds Alonso’s red card vs. San Jose

OsvaldoAlonsoSeattleSounders1-SanJoseEarthquakes (SeattleSounders)


With a number of players missing due to injury or suspension, the last thing the Seattle Sounders needed was one of their key players, Osvaldo Alonso, to be unavailable for their next match.

Luckily for the Sounders, they won’t have to worry.

An independent review panel announced on Wednesday that Alonso’s red card in the 95th minute of last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes had been rescinded, leaving the Cuban native eligible for this Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.

It’s the second time in two months that the Sounders have had won a red card appeal. Back in early June, forward Obafemi Martins had his red card rescinded after he was sent off in the second half following an accidental knock to Chivas USA midfielder Gabriel Farfan.

Across the entire league, it’s the fourth successful red-card appeal this season.

What do you think of this news? Did you expect the red card to be rescinded?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Sure, we all benefit from video where refs don’t, and it’s easy to pick apart any ref’s performance with the benefit of hindsight and replay. It would be unfair to do that all the time, or take one call and blow this out of proportion.

    I don’t feel I am at all unreasonable here. While other readers may routinely complain about this or that call, this is, for me, the first complaint. And from there, it’s not just one call that irks me; it’s the rate, the frequency of these corrections that is a problem. The rate suggests that there’s more than a lack of video technology hampering MLS officials.

    Also, while the player talent has drastically improved since I started watching the league regularly (around 2002) the officiating has lagged. This fan wants to see the league make as creative an effort to improve officiating as it did in improving the level of play. I think Garber and Co. can do this and so they should.

    • You make an interesting point about officiating vs. level of play. The level of play has increased dramatically while the officiating has remained stagnant at best. I wonder why that is?

      • It is awfully easy to complain about officiating and very difficult to do it really well. In fact, I did not appreciate that fully until I began to referee games. My mens’ league relies on a system of referee evaluations to weed out referees who are not up to standard. It is a process that takes time and relies on managers completing evaluations, but it has improved the referee pool, albeit slowly.

      • Ummm no it hasn’t. Firstly the level of play is still pretty crap, and this game was a great example of that. Our performance in international play that matters is also another example of how our players aren’t getting better. The best players we have come from other leagues.

        You don’t remember the early days of the MLS when it was basically bench clearing brawls and surrounding the referees constantly. The reffing was terrible in the early days and it’s much better now.

  2. Seriously, when is MLS going to fix the officiating? They’re reversing or adding suspensions on a near-weekly basis. This call was particularly ridiculous.

    For the sake of the quality of play and integrity of the league, instead of adding more retirement-age players, MLS should create DP spots for officials and hire outside the USSF if at all possible.

    We should also expand the talent pool to include women. Even if you (somehow) think that no women refs can run as fast as these male officials, or that women officials can’t stand up to these male athletes, I can’t imagine they’d all make worse calls or lose control of a match faster than guys like Marufo or Salazar. There seem to be plenty of women playing the game at a high level. Can’t imagine there’s that much of a gap in the realm of officiating, if there is a gap at all.

    • Yawn. Another guy complaining after a reversal, where they use video that the ref didn’t have in heat of the moment. Maybe they called the ref and he said yeah reverse it ? Do we know they didn’t ?

      I do agree with your woman refs comment. This not the EPL with Ian D sexist commentator announcing, ( poor lady was only a line judge too ) the US can and should handle having women refs….

    • we need Chinese, Korean, Australian, Chilean, Brazilian, Scandinavian, Slovakian, LGBT, MRT, SLA …

      we need everyone represented. I am upset that every group is not represented.

      • No one said anything about being inclusive of various identities or rising to a “PC” standard. I asked that we expand the talent pool to include people who CAN do the work, since those currently performing it aren’t exactly rising to the minimum standard. Nothing more. Some people see “PC Police” where only common sense exists. Makes you wonder.

  3. For all the complaining about MLS officiating that everyone does (including myself) do I am glad that the league is willing to rescind what are bad calls. It is unfortunate that they have an impact on the game they occur in but beyond that they try to minimize it. Other leagues around the world could learn a lot from that, refs are not almighty, they make mistakes and there is nothing wrong with correcting them.

    • My two cents they should not be reversing accurate calls. They were in the process of shoving and he did kind of pop him. Foul called, card given. If the ref says it’s red, so be it. Otherwise you’re undermining ref authority even when they see the foul.

      I think reversals should be limited to phantom calls where the video shows the ref blew it. Faked trips where there is no contact, etc.

      • How does rescinding calls after a game has ended undermine ref authority? It’s not as if it happens during a game, which most certainly would undermine their authority. I don’t think the refs are thin-skinned enough to not understand the whole point of rescinding a call. It doesn’t mean the ref didn’t react appropriately during the game, after all they can only see what they see and most of refereeing is a judgement call at specific moments in time.

        As long as the process used to rescind cards given in games is transparent and fair and applied evenly, it’s a good thing in my opinion.

      • Thr ref saw it and said it was a red. I see it too. Changing the card color or taking away the card after the fact undermines referees by saying the referee’s decision is merely an interim decision that can easily be overruled after the fact. If you’ve ever ref’d, even at the kids’ level, would you want the league going back through fixing your calls? What am I, a potted plant? I saw the foul and gave out the card I thought appropriate.

        Reversing a phantom call serves the purposes of justice and corrects actual mistakes. But watering down punishment for an actual foul invites endless requests to re-hear every card in each game, to avoid suspensions and card accumulation.

        And at some point it might be prone to abuse, a la letting a marquee player escape punishment for some key game. Oh wait, that was a yellow, Beckham can play this week, so to speak.

      • Oh, you mean like the DC and the Instant Replay segment both ignoring Robbie Keane’s dive against Columbus? Well then.

      • Actually, the ref never saw it. The call came from the Assistant referee, who was too far away to accurately see the sequence. He THOUGHT he saw a punch, but video showed there was none. In this instance it really isn’t the ref being undermined because he was simply relying on his AR’s vantage point, which was pretty far away.

      • Actually the video shows a swing. Which is still Violent Conduct according to the AR, who was selected to do that game. The Independent Community, how many big games do they have under their belts?

        I hope they’re not the same as the PRO Referee Coaches who are largely pathetic excuses for referees.

      • So youd rather have players suspended for games when they were unfairly given a red card to start with? That makes no sense at all, they have already been punished in the game they were sent off, no need to prolong the mistake. Refs arent children, they can get over making a mistake

      • He committed the foul, that part is undeniably “fair.” It has never been soccer’s way to correct that a foul might be retaliatory. You’re taught at 10 they usually catch the guy who fights back. They were pushing in the box and Alonso finally lost it and popped him. It’s not a mistake. Nothing is being compounded. You get a red, you go off, you miss at least one game. This is the way of the world.

        As far as the card, the foul did happen, he popped the guy in the face, whether that is “violent” is a judgment call the ref made. This is not a phantom headbutt or punch. He connected, the ref thought a red was “fair.” You are wanting to re-argue the red and I think when there was a foul to see we shouldn’t re-argue it afterwards.

      • He most certainly did not pop the guy in the face, you should look at the play again. He never made any contact above shoulders.

      • nevermind looks like he made a slight contact pushing off, was fairly clearly not violent and the red card was bs to begin with.

      • Gargan had no reaction whatsoever so I doubt that “popped the guy in the face” is an accurate description. But it did look violent and with intent. I think a week or two ago they suspended a player after the fact for throwing an elbow that didn’t connect. I think that’s a better comparison which does still bring up the point of there being a possible double standard.

      • There was no “popping him.” All Alonso did was try and get Gargan’s arms off him and he whirled his arms to get Gargan’s hands off him. There was never a punch thrown.

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