There were a lot of fouls in the first leg of Los Angeles and Seattle’s Western Conference final, and some were so serious that Sounders coach Sigi Schmid admitted he was baffled to not see his players carded.
If you believe Omar Gonzalez, that’s because referee Mark Stott wasn’t going to give out a second yellow… and he told the players as much.
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“It’s tough when Stott says to one of your players that he’s not going to give another yellow because he wants the best players to play in the next game,” Gonzalez said after the game. ” I think it’s not his job to focus on the next game. It’s his job to focus on the game tonight, the game at hand. For him to say that to one of our players is pretty ridiculous.”
Unsurprisingly, Stott denies saying it.
Peter Walton, the general manager of the Professional Referees Organization that oversees MLS referees, says that referee Kevin Stott has no recollection of telling L.A. Galaxy players that he wasn’t going to hand out a second yellow card to players in last Sunday’s Western Conference semifinal first leg against the Seattle Sounders.
The match, won by L.A. 1-0, saw some increasingly physical play in the latter stages, with Seattle center back Zach Scott — who was already playing with a yellow card — fouling Galaxy substitute forward Alan Gordon three times after the 80th minute.
Then again, Gonzalez only received a yellow card from Stott for this foul on Steven Lenhart back in 2012, so perhaps it’s soccer karma.