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A shaky penalty kick decision in Portland; D.C. United benefits

Referee Michael Kennedy, one of the experienced referees used in Round 30 when most of the experienced guys were, well, somewhere else (What’s up with that?), let his assistant make a critical call.

A cross came in, it was headed away and everyone was playing on, with just one half-hearted appeal from D.C. United. But then Kennedy’s whistle blew and – just like in Columbus, where a controversial goal affected the playoff race – a controversial call further affected it at Jeld-Wen Field.

I say: this is not a penalty kick. David Horst definitely should know better than to defend a cross with arms flailing. So, you can approach it from that angle.

But when players get clubbed and whacked and dragged down on every visit to the penalty area, this is enough for a spot shot? In a game that means so very much to so very many teams?

Not for me, it’s not. If Horst did touch the ball, it’s hard to make any argument that the flight was affected and that a real goal scoring opportunity was quashed. It was the visitors’ only goal in a 1-1 draw.

But you decide for yourself: