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Another MLS referee looks the other way on red card foul

Los Angeles Galaxy v Houston Dynamo

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 26: Referee Silviu Petrescu talks with Bobby Boswell #32 of the Houston Dynamo and David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 26, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Houston defeated Los Angeles 2-1. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Red Bulls performance last night was ridiculous, as I’ve already said. Only thing worse, perhaps, was Silviu Petrescu’s performance in the dying moments as he refused to eject Victor Palsson for an awful tackle on dynamic Houston playmaker Oscar Boniek Garcia.

(MORE: Analysis on Houston’s Friday win)

Let’s hope Major League’s Disciplinary committee won’t be as remiss during the standard review process.

Watch the terrible tackle below and consider:


  • Palsson lunged from behind, appreciably late and with both feet. Classic definition of a red card.
  • It was another example of an MLS hard man taking down one of the league’s talented creators. Let’s just be honest here: if Palsson doesn’t play another minute this year, no one will miss him. Fans do, on the other hand, pay to see the DPs like Boniek Garcia.
  • It looked something like the tackle from behind that kept Dallas playmaker David Ferreira out of MLS for more than a year.
  • It was partially fueled by frustration, as Houston fans chanted “Ole!” while the Dynamo kept possession and tried to see out the final moments.
  • We’ve seen these fouls (reckless or of malicious intent) before from Palsson, even in limited minutes, so there’s no reason to extend benefit of the doubt.

Petruscu (pictured above in a match earlier this year) is another MLS referee who prefers not to call fouls, which leads to moments like this one.

That was a nationally televised match; ratings are looking swell, which means plenty of eyes paying attention to how MLS matches are conducted. What a great chance for Petruscu to demonstrate an intolerance for this kind of wanton action. Don’t forget, since it was the only MLS match a night before 10 teams play, plenty of MLS athletes were in last night, paying attention to this one. What a terrific opportunity lost to remind them that bad fouls will mean red cards.

So how about this: why don’t the Canadian and U.S. federations begin eliminating referees from the pro pool who clearly aren’t up for the job, rather than seeing talented players like Boniek Garcia eliminated by these kinds of tackles?

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