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Let’s visit quickly about Nat Borchers’ red card for RSL

FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake

SANDY, UT - MAY 26: Nat Borchers #6 of Real Salt Lake celebrates a goal during a game against FC Dallas during the second half of an MLS soccer game May 26, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real salt Lake beat FC Dallas 3-2. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

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Real Salt Lake’s important center back was red carded in the 58th minute last night, reducing his team’s chances of rallying from a 1-0 deficit in their CONCACAF Champions League loss to Costa Rica’s Herediano.

This is where inferior, overly lenient quality of MLS refereeing hurts players from the league.

Borchers and some RSL backers thought the red card was soft. And perhaps it was – but here comes the caveat – by MLS standards.

Yes, Borchers probably gets away with that in MLS, where officials still too happily avert their eyes at overly physical and reckless challenges. It’s getting better, but it isn’t there yet.

(MORE: Why RSL need not panic over last night’s CCL loss.)

So MLS players instincts and tendencies are trained one way while the international game is often called another way. You can judge for yourself, but when I saw it full speed, saw Borchers lunge in with his cleats up, I thought, “Uh-oh!”

At the very least, even RSL backers must permit this: on the road, at a place on the field where Borchers absolutely didn’t need to be so aggressive, it was a mistake to give the referee an opportunity to make a game-changing call.

That’s what I say; you make up your own mind. Here are last night’s highlights, which include three quality stops from RSL goalkeeper Nick RImando, plus some opportunities that RSL simply must convert if they want to be CONCACAF big dogs.