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MLS Ticker: PRO defends Week 2 red cards; Espinoza called up for Gold Cup qualifier; and more


Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports


The Professional Referees Organization is fully content with the results of last week’s controversial calls.

PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer said Thursday that the red cards issued to the New England Revolution’s Jose Goncalves and Toronto FC’s Justin Morrow were correct calls as both incidents were considered to be denials of obvious goalscoring opportunities.

“(Forward Khiry Shelton) has control of the ball, he is advancing towards the penalty area and the closest defender, Andrew Farrell, is trailing behind when Shelton is fouled by Jose Goncalves,” Rejer said via PRO’s website. “Also, it is an offense that incurs a free kick. Therefore, this meets all the criteria laid down in law and the referee Mark Geiger was correct to issue the red card to Goncalves.

“In the Columbus Crew versus Toronto FC game, Crew’s Ethan Finlay is the player moving goalwards with the likelihood of keeping control of the ball and advancing towards the penalty area, thus fulfilling the requirement of ‘distance between the offense and the goal’…it is clear that it was a foul and the final criteria is satisfied with this being an offense that incurs a free kick. Therefore, this also meets the requirements laid down in law and referee Dave Gantar was correct to send off Justin Morrow.”

Here are some more of Thursday’s MLS news and notes:


Honduras is one step away from earning a spot in this summer’s Gold Cup, and midfielder Roger Espinoza is set to be a part of the fray.

Espinoza has been called up by the Honduras National Team to take on French Guiana in a two-leg series to determine which team will earn a spot in this summer’s Gold Cup. The opening leg is set for March 25 in French Guiana before the return leg in Honduras on March 29.

As a result, Espnioza will miss time for Sporting KC, as the midfielder will not be available for March 28’s matchup with NYCFC.


Some of Canada’s brightest young prospects are set to feature in the national team’s upcoming friendlies.

Canada is set to take on Guatemala and Puerto Rico on March 25 and 29, respectively. Head coach Benito Floro has called in 23 players to camp, nine from MLS, including Orlando City’s Cyle Larin, the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Samuel Adekugbe and Russel Teibert and FC Dallas’ Kyle Bekker.

“We have two priorities for this camp. The first is to work hard on tactical concepts like pressing, combined attacks, defense, and our offensive and defensive set pieces,” said Floro. “At the same time, we need the psychological attitudes to get results. We need to have a good mentality.

“Every day we are together is very important to us because it is the best way we have to practice our game situations,” Floro added. “Speaking about this camp, this is very important because it is the last one before official games so we need to use it to practice several things.”

Here’s a closer look at Canada’s roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Milan Borjan (FK Radnicki Nis), Quillan Roberts (Toronto FC), Kenny Stamatopoulos (AIK)

DEFENDERS (8): Sam Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps), Andre Hainault (VfR Aalen), Luca Gasparotto (Rangers FC, on loan at Airdrionians), Dejan Jakovic (Shimizu S-Pulse), Manjrekar James (Pecsi MFC), Karl W. Ouimette (New York Red Bulls), Marcel de Jong (Sporting Kansas City), David Edgar (Birmingham City FC, on loan at Huddersfield Town)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Nik Ledgerwood (Energie Cottbus), Maxim Tissot (Montreal Impact), Kyle Bekker (FC Dallas), Julian de Guzman (unattached), Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Stuttgarter Kickers), Simeon Jackson (Coventry City), Christopher Mannellla (Toronto FC), Samuel Piette (Deportivo la Coruña), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps)

FORWARDS (3): Tosaint Ricketts (Hapoel Haifa), Marcus Haber (Crewe Alexandra), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC)


Orlando City filled the bowl for the team’s inaugural home game, and the club is continuing to add tickets for the team’s sophomore effort at the Citrus Bowl.

After previously announcing that the club would cap seats at 23,000, Orlando City have sold 24,000 tickets and counting for Saturday’s matchup with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The club, which is still gauging interest before officially deciding on a seating capacity for the team’s new stadium set to open next year, previously capped seating at 20,000, but increased the cap due to ticket demand. Orlando City sold out the Citrus Bowl with 62,000 tickets sold for the club’s inaugural home game against NYCFC.

What do you think of PRO’s assessment of the calls? How will Espinoza and Honduras fare? What do you think of Canada’s roster?

Share your thoughts below


  1. I’m a Revs fan, but I honestly don’t see the foul by Goncalves. I don’t see their legs getting tangled and I don’t see any push that would knock him over. It looks to me like Shelton just took a dive.

  2. Based off team selection percentage for fantasy I’ve come up with these two
    Overrated pick
    Dan Gargan
    Sleeper pick
    Mika Vayrynen

  3. It’s a sad day when they have to defend two perfectly good calls. Maybe they should hold refereeing classes for the fans.

    • At least there should be classes for the coaches and players. Maybe they’d learn something since they have such trouble with the Laws usually.

      Oh and the commentators, who don’t know the Laws at all.

  4. “…obvious goalscoring opportunities” is a little too subjective.
    There were clear photos of Morrow’s legs on the ball where there was no contact with the player.
    PRO needs to give their collective heads a shake!


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