Emotions are high and athletes are competitive. So things will be said to each other and to referees that may defy logic or reason.
Still, that’s really no excuse for simply not knowing the rules and how they are generally applied.
As you watch the full NBC Sports Network highlights (at the bottom of this post) from last night’s late 1-0 Timbers win at Jeld-Wen Field, check out how many times the Earthquakes are protesting calls that are clearly correct.
Alan Gordon argues about his first-half yellow even though his sliding challenge was way late, way too high and quite dangerous. This is a textbook cautionable offense.
Later, Gordon gets his second booking (and subsequent ejection) when he gets his elbow up too high and too aggressively while jumping into Timbers defender Mikael Sivestre. Sivestre is left with a bloody mouth; Gordon and the Earthquakes cannot seem to understand.
There was also an incident where Gordon clearly doesn’t remember two MLS players getting suspended for homophobic clurs.
Later, Ramiro Corrales cuts down Portland’s Kalif Alhassan. It’s a clear foul, and anyone who argues it simply does not understand the rules. (Corrales certainly does; in watching the video later, the respected veteran would surely cop to his offense and agree that this is a foul.)
That violation turned into Will Johnson’s game-winning free kick strike.
By the way, the San Jose players gathered around referee Hilario Grajeda – that became a big no-no when Major League Soccer issued a preseason emphasis on this very issue, which the league has termed “mass confrontation.”
On this subject, I have frequently lamented the “It’s my first foul!” cry when players are presented with a yellow card; There is absolutely nothing in the rules about “first fouls” and how they should affect a referee’s decision on cautions or ejections. (San Jose was not guilty of this one Sunday, at least. Not that I know of.)
Here are the full NBC Sports Network highlight package:
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