Dan Kennedy head shot

Bad weekend for MLS referees; Chivas USA Dan Kennedy ejected, and it looks like the wrong call


Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy definitely tripped Sporting Kansas City’s Paulo Nagamura in the 55th minute of the team’s Sunday evening match in the heartland.

Referee Baldomero Toldedo was absolutely correct in pointing to the penalty spot. (Claudio Bieler converted for his second goal of the afternoon, giving Sporting KC a 2-0 lead.)

But a red card? Toledo got that one wrong. (And weren’t we just saying that Toledo probably needed a little break after last week’s unsatisfactory performance with the whistle? Yep, we sure were.)

Nagamura rounds Kennedy, sure enough, but a trailing Chivas USA defender, Joaquin Velasquez, leaves plenty of cover for Toledo. He could point to the spot, issue a yellow (perhaps) and there would likely be few complaints from the home team.

As it was, the penalty kick was going to leave the game out of reach either way. Chivas never had much of a chance in this one; SKC had three goals in 70 minutes, while the visitors still had not put a shot on goal.

The problem is that Kennedy, one of the Goats’ best players, will now miss the Goats’ trip into Portland in a week’s time.

Of course, it was also a bad day for the men in the middle Saturday at PPL Park. Just ask Philadelphia manager John Hackworth. Meanwhile, you be the judge on the telling sequence from Sporting Park.


Klopp to the Kop: Multiple reports say deal agreed at Liverpool

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp shouts to his players during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund at Juventus Arena on February 24, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.

The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.

[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]

Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.

From the BBC:

No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.

There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.

This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.

Appeal rejected! Lionel Messi will face court trial in Spain

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Lionel Messi looks dejected after the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos on September 23, 2015 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.

Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.

From the BBC:

Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.

Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.

Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.