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Cahill slams refereeing, yellow card rules following loss to Revs



Ever the competitor, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill has picked up one or two yellow cards in his time.

Cahill is no stranger to hard challenges, as the Australian star has built a reputation for being one of the most hard-hitting players in the league. However, following the Red Bulls loss to the New England Revolution, Cahill was irate at just how many cautions were shown to the pair of Eastern Conference foes, as Allen Chapman issued ten yellow cards in the Red Bulls’ 2-1 loss in a game that Cahill felt was marred by the referee’s decisions.

“I feel sorry for the supporters for having to watch a game that’s broken up, an intense game where you’re going to get challenged,” Cahill said. In my opinion, the game should be reviewed when you look at how many yellows there were. It’s ridiculous.

“You should be able to have a free-flowing game. I got sent off a couple of weeks ago for raising my left foot, not even my right. It’s debatable some of the calls that were made today, but that’s life. We’ve put up with it all season.”

Cahill proceeded to state his gripes with the league’s ruling that star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips will be suspended for yellow card accumulation. Cahill, who used the Champions League rules for suspensions as a basis, was quick to voice his displeasure with MLS’ handling of suspensions.

“I’m surprised the whole team’s not suspended,” Cahill said. “I’m just gobsmacked with how many yellow cards. If you got a yellow in this game and you get a yellow in next game, you’re not suspended. The rules change all the time.”

The Australian, who received a yellow just one minute after being introduced to the game in the 76th minute, continued by saying that he was left confused by the league’s ruling before entering the game, while also expressing his frustration at the card he did receive.

“I was asking on the bench about this rule,” Cahill said. “If I get a yellow card today, and I get one next week, what’s going to happen, and they said I could go on and get a yellow today, so I know I can go in with a bit of force and win the ball. If I know I can’t get one today and another next week, then today I’m taking it easy. I don’t even think I touched him, and that’s why we were laughing afterwards.

“I said to the ref that the game should be about football, not the referee. You shouldn’t be talking about the referee, and that’s the sad part. Watching as a spectator, which I was for 70 minutes, the whole game was about the official.”

What do you think of Cahill’s assessment? Do you agree with the Australian’s views on Sunday’s refereeing?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You have to ref the same way in the playoffs as you do in the regular season. So when two teams came out with more intensity than they usually do, it’s bound to result in more cards. Chapman had a solid game.
    But yeah, I hate the YC accumulation suspensions in the playoffs.

  2. Got nothing against the accumulation rule in a knock out tournament, it is there to prevent players and teams from using overly aggressive and cynical tactics. MLS teams get at least 5 games if they get to final, making sure teams are not rewarded for constant card accumulation through the cup is a good thing. If a star player has to miss a match, too bad, its been that way around the world for as long as i can remember.

    • I think you missed his point.

      If you get a yellow card in the Conference Semi 2nd Leg and Conference Final 1st Leg you are out for the Conference Final 2nd Leg.

      But from a yellow card in each of the Conference Final legs doesn’t disqualify you from the final.

      Thats bull.

      • I understand the rule just fine, its the same one used in the World Cup. Either way, the rules are available to everyone and they all know them (or should) so i don’t get Cahill being pissed about it.

  3. Seems like whining to me. If he didn’t understand when yellow cards accumulate and when they don’t that’s on him and the Red Bulls as an organization. The rules are the same for each team. I’m not sure which yellow cards he thinks were unfair. His was marginal. Eckersley could have gotten a few more for one thing. The ref had to do something with all the hacking and pulling down from behind that was going on.

  4. I’m not saying that was a particularly good job of refereeing but it wasn’t the referee’s fault RBNY conceded those two goals and Cahill in particular was partly at fault for the second goal, when he was nowhere in sight as the MLS MVP ran 30 yards without being challenged and had all day to pick out a pass.

    And no one can complain about the BWP card or suspension. This ain’t rocket science – if you get 2 yellow cards during the playoffs you get suspended. He got one last game. So if you have one, maybe you shouldn’t do something stupid and pointless like kick the ball out of the goalkeeper’s hands How is it that I, some guy sitting in the stands, knew he would be suspended but he didn’t know it himself? Or Mike?

  5. Well, with BWP out, Cahill can play up top and not screw up his defensive responsibilities. The only way he can redeem himself is to score two goals in NE, because the away goal that he abated with his silly positioning is worth two for the Revs.

  6. Cahill: let me tell you what we are going to talk about…NOT the game, the ref….and you know the reffing is bad when we are talking about the ref instead of the game.

    Ok nice logic. I guess the reffing must be bad ?

  7. Cahill: let me tell you what we are going to talk about…the game, the ref….and you know the reffing is bad when we are talking about the ref instead of the game.

    Ok nice logic. I guess the reffing must be bad ?

  8. Spoken like a true hack. Isn’t it funny how the biggest hacks are the ones that complain the loudest when their game is taken away from them.

    Everybody wants to complain about one foul Jones committed but the same people have no probley with the 3 or 4 yellow cards Richard Eckersley should have got

    Play the game, stop fouling, there will be no problems…for either team

    • Yup. And if there were hard challenges, with no yellows handed, he might bitch that the league doesn’t protect its players, yada yada yada.

      Cahill should stop bitching about extraneous things and worry about not being the most overpayed played in the league.

  9. Referees are always the last piece of development process…first players, then coaches….finally referees. Unfortunately this is going to take some time.

  10. The yellow card rules are kinda whack. But Cahill should spend more time thinking about playing his position instead of going rogue and then letting NE motor through the space he vacated for the winning goal.

  11. Cahill already thinking how he is going to spend his yellow card next week. Something wrong when he feels allowed to make dangerous challenges every game.

  12. It was a physical game, and most of those yellows were earned. Cahill’s was pretty BS though, so it’s understandable that he’s upset.

    The Red Bulls also should have thoroughly understood the yellow card situation before the game. The fact that both Petke and BWP didn’t know that BWP would be suspended next week for a yellow today is inexcusable.


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