We keep saying two things around here. But we keep saying it because it keeps needing to be said.
First, Major League Soccer refereeing is improving. I know that’s hard to buy, especially after nights like Sunday, when the nationally televised evidence seems to say otherwise. But believe me on this one. It was so maddening circa 2008 that it almost drove me out of journalism. Seriously, because it was just so outrageously difficult to watch it week after awful week.
Second, it still isn’t good enough.
The latest case was in Dallas late Sunday, when not one, but two FCD goals were offside.
The referee’s assistant blew two critical calls. One was close – but the guy had two chances to get it right and still managed to get it all wrong. And then he blew another decision that was blatantly offside.
Galaxy manager Bruce Arena wasn’t mincing words – nor should he have been. His team missed an opportunity to grab three important points on the road. As of now, the two-time defending MLS Cup champs are in the playoffs – but only if you look at the standings as a snapshot. That is to say, Seattle has two games in hand and could easily lap the Galaxy. So any missed points from here though Round 34 could be the difference in post-season play or staying home for November.
Here’s what Arena had to say:
Terrible officiating, no question about it. However, we’re still in position to win the game. What more can you say? What more can you say? It’s a shame we can’t get better officiating in these games.
“The guy’s offside. In professional games, you have to assume that the linesman can make those calls. However, I would still say: On the third goal, we’ve got to do a better job. But what can you do? This is the state of officiating. It’s what it is.”