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MLS Observations

*RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando is scheduled to have X-rays to determine the severity of his injured finger, which was cut to the bone during an incident in Saturday's match at Colorado.

*The Galaxy has scored seven goals this year. Landon Donovan has four goals and three assists. You do the math.

*Chicago (2-0-5) remains unbeaten, though Saturday's 1-1 tie felt like a loss after the Fire yielded the equalizer to 10-man Seattle.

*MLS Cup '08 update: New York and Columbus are now a combined 1-7-7.

*Since Shalrie Joseph's 50th-minute goal at DCU a few weeks ago, the Revs have gone 220 minutes without a goal and been outscored 9-0.

*Attendance watch: 21,000 for the Galaxy and 20,000 for Toronto are admirable, and 14,000 at RFK and 10,000 at San Jose are okay, but 10,000 in Chicago and 9,000 in both Colorado and New England? Consider this: The Revs, in their 14th year, barely outdrew the first-year WPS's Boston Breakers (8,031). Granted, Marta was in town and Harvard Stadium is much more accessible than Foxborough, but still.....

*Perhaps rusty from a four-game absence, Matt Reis lets a long-range shot slip between his hands and legs.

*Is this a penalty kick? Watch the embedded video, and for a closer look on replay, click here.

By Steve Goff  |  May 4, 2009; 11:13 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: United, WPS Brazilian Updates


Nicely done, RSL -- you sent Chris Seitz out to Portland, so of course you need to call on your 3rd-string keeper. Whoops.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Not to excuse things, but Chicago had:
-Game 7 of Bulls v Celtics
-Game 2 of Blackhawks v Canucks
-Cubs home game
-White Sox away game
-Manny Pacquiao fight (big latino population around TP/at Fire matches)
-Club America match three days earlier

Posted by: Logan_Circle | May 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

If it were any team but the Red Bulls-- it is a questionable call. Since it is the Red Bulls-- very clearly a hand ball.

Posted by: jmingus | May 4, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"White Sox away game"????

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Got his hand stepped on? That's nothing. If you want to listen to a nasty keeper story, watch the video of Hope Solo explaining how she got the scar on her forearm. Not for the squeamish.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 4, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The Revs are a disgrace when it comes to putting fans in the stands.

Posted by: davethelad | May 4, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see Donovan and Beckham together again. They are both such prima donnas. It didn't look like a PK opportunity until he appealed to Abby. You know what would have happened if it had been us. What has ever come of Blanco and the shirt he gave the referee in the Officials' Room. Is he God? Why no punishment???? He almost got away with Open Cup last year but the fotos were out for all to see before they could cover them up. I say give him a penalty for encroaching on a spot that is not permitted for players. Come on suits in NY do your job!!!!

Posted by: VirginiaFan | May 4, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Attendance for the Revolution - look at Foxboro on a map. While I've never driven in/around/near Boston - I can only imagine that drives to suburban wastelands for games on average of 20 times a year is bit of problem for attendance.

Colorado - Well, Mr. K is busy buying the Arse. He got a the DSG built, he'll remember he has another club after Tuesday's all important Semi-final with ManYoo.

Chicago - that's just a busy sports town and a stadium that is still not that easy to get to for good portions of the Metro population.

FOOTBALL/THROWBALL - can be located in random locales. It's an in-demand product with a LIMITED supply. So, not only can you charge a boatload for seats, you can expect fans to change their life for you, and when they can't get there - they'll tune in on TV.

BASEBALL/BASKETBALL/SOCCER - have a higher supply of games and thus need to be in the biggest and a decently accessible location in order to attract butts to seats. If the Revs were closer to Boston - I'm sure they would be doing a lot better. But Bob Kraft and other sports owners never got rich building their own stadiums.

Oh yeah - and there's this recession going on too (I've heard too many people around my seats talking lately about layoffs and looking for work).

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | May 4, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

At least that one actually hit an arm, unlike the one the Galaxy were gifted against DC in the opener. So you could look at that as progress ... "Hey, MLS refs are getting better!"
But truthfully, those LA/Landycakes goal numbers at the top are skewed two too high thanks to the officiating.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | May 4, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

In Colorado's defense, it was nasty here. 45 degrees and alternating between rain and sleet during the game. On the other hand, I know teams can pad their attendance with season tickets, but there's no way there were actually 9,000 people at DSG. 2,000 seems more accurate, but even that might be generous.

Posted by: Kenobi | May 4, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

--Terrible call.

--With the players LA has, for them to need to win that way, at home, is ridiculous. RBNY, on the other hand, basically has two class players on its entire roster (Angel, Rojas, and a parade of scrubs).

--Sick early save by Ricketts.

Here's an MLS observation for ya:

The league is once again saddled with a number of truly atrocious teams. NE, NY, Dallas are certain to struggle at the gate as long as their bumbling puts off even the most die-hard soccer fans. 90 minutes is too long to sit through that garbage, much less pay for it. In their day, The Three Stooges generally wrapped things up in a tidy ten minutes or less.

Hemorrhaging rising-star talent yearly and overpaying aging-star talent is clearly diluting the product and also hurting the league financially. Maybe we need to get over the notion that transferring players overseas is always the best thing for everybody.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 4, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

VirginiaFan: Marrufo got a two week suspension for the Blanco jersey issue.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | May 4, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

definitely a PK. defender was in the box with his arm up to his side (IE not protecting himself) to make himself wider.

people who can't see the obvious are just haters.

Posted by: you-dont | May 4, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes he did. What did Blanco get? He knows the rules too.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | May 4, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

If you want some insight into USSF and refereeing with video examples, check out the week in review:

There's a mention of "Acceptance of Gratitude by Officials" towards the end.

There's also an official US Soccer referees blog, but it is mostly behind the scenes type stuff.

Posted by: addick | May 4, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Good penalty call. If you raise your arms in the box, you're asking for trouble.
And to the poster that said, "it didn't look like a PK opportunity until he appealed to Abby.", the penalty was indicated by the Assistant ref...Abby called it as soon as he noticed the assistants signal.

Posted by: icehippo | May 4, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

That referee can expect to get Blanco's jersey after the match if he's ever in Chicago.

Let's be clear though, it was against New York. Therefore it was the right call, and that official deserves a raise.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | May 4, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah looks like a PK to me. Had Emilio kicked that ball, we would have been screaming our lungs out for the call. I totally did not mean to rhyme.

I'm more shocked at Reis. Dear god, that was awful. Has to be the worst save of his career.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 4, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I always struggle when it is NJ v LA. I hate them both so much I guess I usually hope for 0-0 with lots of red cards. But no way is that a PK. The ball was blasted at him from about 2-3 yards away. It is totally a natural instinct to put your hands up to protect yourself. It was the AR who made the call only after Donovan whined to him. And clueless Abbey didn't even blow the whistle until 10 seconds later. Put that one down to the AR's mistake.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 4, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It was the right call, when you have your hands up that high in the box you can expect trouble. Honestly, I have more joy in watching LA suffer than NY so I hate that they won.

Matt Reis... What a clanger!

Posted by: RedDevil1 | May 4, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I've decided to tone down my criticism of teams that are not drawing well at the gate. Columbus, Colorado, Dallas, and other teams might be having problems getting people to the stadium, but at least they have soccer teams. If DCU does not get some kind of stadium agreement going, we are not going to even have a soccer team much less attendance to worry about.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 4, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bad call. If it didn't hit his upheld forearm it would have hit his shoulder or chest. The arm was neither up, out, or in an unnatural, embiggened position.

Obadiah Springfield says no hand ball, the ball most surely played him.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | May 4, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

You protect yourself by keeping your arm in, shielding the body, not by holding it out and up.

Donovan looked for a call after clanging a ball off defender's outstretched arm in the box, and he's the bad guy? Tiresome. Benny works the ref as much as anybody, and we love him for it.

Posted by: JkR- | May 4, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

You protect yourself by pulling "The Morgan". Very effective move.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

While the ball went right into Stammler's arm, he has it be more aware of his body positioning. You can't have your arm up like that while you're trying to stuff an attacker. If you're not sprinting, your arm best be down. Ball may have played him, but his arm was up unnaturally, in penalty territory. Pretty safe call.

Posted by: fischy | May 4, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Like others have said, Chicago had a few excuses going for them.

Posted by: sitruc | May 4, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So...while United is on a pretty good streak -- the have dropped only one of their first eight competitive games -- it would be appropriate to note they've made tough games out of soft opponents. The late collapse in LA, blown lead against Chicago, the goal to the Revs and last minute goal to tie, a squeaker against Houston, the miracle win in NJ, and the comeback against Dallas. Not a single convincing effort in the lot (other than the Open Cup match). Tougher month ahead (May), followed by really tough June. The next 3 matches will give us a better idea about this team (@KC, home vs, TFC, and @ Chivas).

We get an easier match in the Open Cup (home vs. NY), but then home against RSL and then @ the Revs. In June, we host NY, but then it gets brutal: Host the Fire and then a road trip thru Sea., Colorado and Columbus. Seems unlikely that DCU will still be on top of the East, when they get a 2-week break, after the July 4th game in OH.

Posted by: fischy | May 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

You protect yourself by pulling "The Morgan". Very effective move.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Captain Morgan or Katie Morgan?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 4, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The Morgan

In "Chuck Versus the First Kill" Chuck introduces a move he calls "The Morgan." It is performed by twisting the body to the side and raising one knee to cover the groin, while covering both face and groin with his hands. According to Chuck, Morgan used this stance to protect himself from being hit in school, often by girls.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

As one of the only others at DSG for the rapids game, I'll agree that 2000 is more of an accurate number. I did a count and several of the main seating sections had 60 or fewer people in them.

I think word has got out that even the slightest bit of belligerence is not tolerated by the ushers and security. The kind of crowd that would come to a rainy cold game, young 20 to 30 year olds who may drink and get rowdy on occasion, is being told your not welcome. I witnessed a fan drop an F-bomb and imediatly be talked to by the ushers. Funy becuase the only people who could hear him were the other dedicated section 108 fans.

As a dad, I can tell you only the most dedicated family will attend a game in weather like that. And unfortunately the Rapids primarily market only to that crowd.

Combine the above with the fact that the team has played boring football the last several years, has been knocked out early or not qualified for the various cups, no DP draw, and an empty stadium is what you get.

Posted by: 22acacia | May 4, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm hearing a lot of excuses about the attendance but no admission. People there's a problem and MLS needs to get it fixed.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 4, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I think that attendance would be a problem with no admission.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Why is Chris Seitz not getting any playing time as the backup to Rimando? I found that really strange.

Posted by: no_recess | May 4, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Seitz was loaned to Portland for 2 days.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

er 2 games:

Reynish got the nod because back-up Chris Seitz is on a three-day loan with the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues. Seitz started in Portland's 0-0 draw with Carolina on Thursday, and he again got the starting nod for Saturday night's game with Carolina.

Posted by: Reignking | May 4, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I was at the Rapids match, too. Bummer of a turnout; but it was just nasty out and I think that contributed. But I think the earlier poster is right; security is just silly at DSG park. I think there were more folks at the supporters club tailgate outside the stadium than actually in the stadium. They really need to just let people have a good time.

It's also to bad because Colorado is playing good soccer so far under their new coach. It's a good product. Hopefully more folks will come out when the weather improves... we'll see.

Posted by: hacksaw | May 4, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Reignking. Do you think Seitz would be the starter with Rimando out?

Posted by: no_recess | May 4, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Wait... Harvard Stadium can be used for soccer? THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE THE REVS DOING AT MASSIVE GILLETTE, 40 MINUTES FROM THE BIGGEST CITY IN NEW ENGLAND?!! Man, that just seems really stupid. yea, they have to deal with HU football and lax, the Breakers and the NLL Canons, but they're working on a stadium deal anyway, so I think most people would agree that Harvard Stadium would be an temporary upgrade for the Revs.

Posted by: kdiff813 | May 4, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

*The Galaxy has scored seven goals this year. Landon Donovan has four goals and three assists. You do the math.

*Is this a penalty kick? Watch the embedded video, and for a closer look on replay, click here.

By Steve Goff | May 4, 2009; 11:13 AM ET

Math- LA + Donovan - Beckham = $5,000,000 reasons to shed a tear.

PK- It was Abby in Yellow and Landy with the kick, of course it's a penalty. Sez so in the MLS Referee's Handbook.



Posted by: jayrockers | May 4, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Abby didn't make the call, the AR did.



Posted by: JkR- | May 4, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The Revs are owned by the Kraft family. The Krafts also own the Patriots and Gillette Stadium, where only 8-10 NFL games are played per year. The Revs are a second tenant for their facility.

Posted by: Steve Goff | May 4, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

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