Toronto FC lost 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night. Referee Referee Ted Unkel handed out eight yellow cards, with five of those going to Kansas City. Matt Besler was sent off with fifteen minutes remaining, but ten-man Kansas City still managed to find the winning goal.
Toronto manager Ryan Nelsen seemed most appalled by a play that occurred in the 23rd minute. Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin clipped Gilberto’s leg as the striker went clear on goal. Nelsen felt the defender deserved a red: “Collin should have been sent off. I mean an under-12 ref can pick that one. That’s pretty basic.”
It was Michael Bradley, however, who decided to appeal to the league, begging them to take a look at the officiating problems that are often present:
It’s by no means an excuse, it was the same for both teams, but the referee was absolutely awful. The people at the MLS office in New York, when they talk about wanting to improve the league, the first thing that needs to be improved is the refereeing, bottom line.
That shouldn’t come across as sour grapes because that’s just the reality. And it was bad for both teams and I’m sure they’re sitting in their locker room saying the same thing to themselves, but they’ve got three points with them and that certainly makes it a little easier to swallow.
Fans of Major League Soccer have been complaining about the league’s officials for years. But if it’s one of the top USMNT players that voices his concerns, will the league finally take notice?