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Red card or yellow card in L.A.? You be the judge

New York Red Bulls v FC Dallas

FRISCO, TX - MARCH 11: Head coach Schellas Hyndman of the FC Dallas calls out a play during the second half of a soccer game against the New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas Stadium on March 11, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. FC Dallas won 2-1. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

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Last night’s Western Conference clash turned, in some eyes, on referee Kevin Stott’s 11th minute decision to caution L.A. Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant rather than show him a red.

It does appear that L.A.'s left back denies Dallas’ Fabian Castillo a clear goal-scoring opportunity. He certainly does not get a bit of the ball, and the only mitigating consideration here is the position of goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who could possible have reached the ball ahead of Castillo. Possibly.

(MORE: analysis of Sunday’s win for the Galaxy)

In fairness, it was a close call. And considering the position from which David Ferreira’s pass originated on the telling sequence, Stott was probably not in the best position. No referee would have been.

FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman certainly had his opinion. What he told reporters after Sunday’s match, a 2-0 win for the Galaxy.

One, is it a foul? Two, if it is a foul, is he the last man on defense? If you’re the last man on defense and you call a foul, I think you’ve got to call a red card. That’s the way the rules read.

“Would [a red card] have made a difference? Absolutely. The facts are that this is a tough place to get the calls.”

If Stott made a mistake here, it was probably in showing Dunivant the yellow so quickly. There’s nothing wrong with a referee taking a moment, considering what he just saw, consulting with the referee’s assistant on the side and then rendering what certainly is going to be a critical verdict.

Watch and see for yourself as the NBC Sports Network team, Arlo White and Kyle Martino, talk about the decision: