Dax McCarty certainly has a point when he says he wants consistency from Major League Soccer referees.
It’s a point that players and coaches have been making in MLS for going on two decades now.
(In all honesty, I see some improvement all the way around in MLS refereeing this year, most likely the early returns on Peter Walton’s efforts through the Professional Referee Organization; Walton heads up the new operation, which is less than a year old. Still miles to go for the MLS men in the middle … but I do recognize some encouraging signs.)
The problem here is that McCarty, the Red Bulls’ energetic holding midfielder, has chosen a bad example on which to build his appeal.
He was speaking of referee Ricardo Salazar’s choice last night to order a re-kick after Chris Wondolowski had watched his penalty kick saved against New York. What McCarty said:
We can’t make excuses. If he was in the box, he was in the box and the ref decided to call it. But at the end of the day you just want to see consistency and have it called on every single penalty kick that’s taken.”
Roy Miller was the guilty party. And honestly, what was the man thinking? The Red Bulls left back was in so far into the 18 on Wondolowski’s PK that he left Salazar no choice. You could even see what Salazar appeared to be saying as Red Bulls players appealed passionately. He seemed to telling them, “Go ask that guy why he just did what he did!”
Here’s the sequence. You decide.