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MLS Playoff Race

EASTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Columbus (24) 11-4-9, 42 points
Chicago (25) 10-6-9, 39
WESTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Houston (26) 11-8-7, 40 points
Los Angeles (25) 9-5-11, 38
WILD-CARD BERTHS
Seattle (25) 9-6-10, 37 points
Chivas USA (23) 11-9-3, 36
Colorado (24) 10-8-6, 36
D.C. United (26) 8-6-12, 36
----------
Real Salt Lake (25) 9-9-7, 34
Toronto (25) 9-9-7, 34
New England (23) 9-8-6, 33
Dallas (24) 7-11-6, 27
Kansas City (24) 7-11-6, 27
San Jose (22) 5-12-5, 20
U. of Akron men (Despite Zakuani's early exit, Zips are No. 1 in nation)
New York (25) 4-17-4, 16

For our purposes, the first tiebreaker goes to the club that has played the fewest matches. Next is head-to-head and then goal differential.

FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS
Eastern
Columbus vs. Colorado
Chicago vs. DCU
Western
Houston vs. Chivas USA
Los Angeles vs. Seattle

Is this a penalty? And if so, shouldn't it be a red card?

By Steve Goff  |  September 14, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Americans Abroad
Next: DCU's Mixed Messages

Comments

That was not a foul..... no penalty, no card... except a yellow to the forward for the dive. This is why FIFA should mandate instant replay be used in critical situations (and only in critcal game-char=nging situations)i.e. penalty kicks, red or yellow cards, ofside calls, whether the entire ball actually crossed the line etc. A goal in soccer is too diificult to earn so replay should be usd in these situations.

Posted by: gattipost | September 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

No penalty. Yellow for diving. However, this was only apparent from one of the camera angles.

Posted by: lmorin | September 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

In slow motion with multiple angles there should be a yellow card given for simulation to Lillingston. However, from the center referee's perspective, if it was a penalty it should have been an ejection for Reis for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity... and also for being Matt Reis.

What I don't understand is if you're the attacker in that situation, you're going to score if you stay on your feet, so why take the risk that the referee either a) doesn't call anything or b) cautions you for simulation?

Posted by: DCU_Rick | September 14, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

So, according to the game report, there was a PK awarded, and NO CARD. The worst of all possible calls you would expect in that situation. Other options: No call, yellow for dive, yellow for keeper, red for keeper. (I guess to be fair, there was a defender behind Reis.)

Appalling.

Posted by: JkR- | September 14, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

1. When both arms go up stick-em-up like, elbows bent and palms facing the front, and both knees are bent with the toes dragging, it's a dive.

2. When the attacker gets up with a self-congratulatory smile, it's a dive.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 14, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

That sure seems like a dive to me. The call should have been a yellow to Lilliingston for simulation. It seems like he knew his touch past Reis was too strong and that he had no chance of catching up to the ball.

However, since the penalty was given, I don't think the ref had any choice over whether or not to give a red card to Reis.

Posted by: mmathai1 | September 14, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

JkR is right. If the penalty is called than it should be a card. Of course, FIFA has an escape clause in the rule book that says all cards are up to the referee's discretion.

This appears to be a dive, but you can't fault the referee for this. From all angles (except slow-motion replay) there appears to be contact. Lillingston deserves a yellow and an Academy Award.

Posted by: davidconnell | September 14, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a dive to me.

But the reason why it's not a send off is that the ball was played too far away by the forward. So, when it comes to "The 4 D's" the "distance to the ball" D is not close enough to justify the send off. Keep in mind also that this is the same referee who just got yelled at in the Week in Review over the send off on the Quaranta play.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The call definitely shows the officiating inconsistency in the MLS. The ref got it wrong and right all at the same time. It'll be interesting to see if the USSF reviews the play.

Penalty: Yes...not because of any contact, but because Reis was silly enough to stick his hand out as the forward went by and the linesman didn't have enough time to get back into a good position. The ref isn't to blame on this one.

Red Card: Absolutely. Given the awarding of a foul for impeding and the forward's scoring position, Reis should have been gone.

Yellow Card for Simulation: Nah. Someone made the point when Tino went down last week that when momentum is carrying you, the smallest thing can bring you down. In this case, Lillingston could have been making a legitimate attempt to dodge Reis, throwing off his stride, and causing him to stumble.

Of course, I do think that it was a dive. But credit him with making a good run and giving his team a chance. The NE defense seemed to have forgotten that an offside trap requires all of the defenders, not just most of them.

Posted by: figgy_va | September 14, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

If you are bored, you can watch all of this weekend's La Liga goals on here (on the right side) http://www.elmundo.es/

Posted by: Reignking | September 14, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Update: Argy Bargy MLS Fantasy Standings (Even if some of us stopped managing our teams weeks ago):


Rank Team Total Points Overall Rank

1. A Wing and A Prayer 3049 634
2. Buckingham Bombers 2730 1374
3. Just For Kicks 2643 1630
4. JkR- United 2628 1686
5. Team reignking 2616 1729
6. jermWV 2192 4142
7. Barra Brava FC 2179 4245
8. go dips! 2120 4758
9. Sin City FC 2021 5718
10. Annandale United 816 13597

Posted by: JkR- | September 14, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for the day when MLS will issue fines to players for diving. I'd prefer post-match red cards, but I'd accept fines.

Posted by: TCompton | September 14, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

High scorer this week...

Posted by: Reignking | September 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

A quick slightly unrelated note; for those curious about The Damned United, I watched it over the weekend and it's not bad, a little surprising to some degree and slightly incomplete, but fun to watch nevertheless. Michael Sheen is turning into the Gary Oldman of this generation when it comes to playing characters in dramatically enhanced biopics.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

If we make the playoffs, Soehn keeps his job. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!

Posted by: UnitedDemon | September 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

How on earth are we in a playoff spot? And we still have a very slim chance at the Supporters Shield?

Sorry, but our league is embarrassingly mediocre.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but our league is embarrassingly mediocre.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse


As long as MLS insists on a cripplingly low salary cap, parity will reign in this league. There will be no dominant teams because, even with the DP, there isn't enough room under the salary cap to make the smart moves...you have to stock 7-10 of your roster spots with 2d division caliber players.

Posted by: combedge | September 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, combedge

Posted by: Kev29 | September 14, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Look, at least we have something to complain about. Right now, I think that the USSF needs to focus on the league versus the individual team, and the salary cap is a key part of that. The league is growing, but still on tenuous ground. Geez, the most storied team in the league isn't making any money despite having one of the largest average attendance figures each year.

Let's focus on the long-term rather than whine about the short-term struggles. MLS has TV coverage and an expanding team/fan base. That has led to more kids staying in soccer as a potential career. Good talent has begun to be attracted to the league because the US has a lot to offer post career.

Parity is not bad when MLS is in the position that it's in. And while DCU has been mediocre lately, it actually did pretty well in the beginning of the season.

Posted by: figgy_va | September 14, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

How on earth are we in a playoff spot? And we still have a very slim chance at the Supporters Shield?

Posted by: Kev29
---------------------
Well, all things come to those who wait. Given that RSL and Toronto have an extra game to play and NE has 3 (!) more to play, DCU's hold on that last spot is tenuous at best.

Has anyone crunched the numbers on a Supporters Shield? If DCU wins out, they would indeed have more points than the current first place team, but is it possible for all other teams to fail to earn more points than DCU?

Posted by: troy6 | September 14, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Red card probably was not given because of the proximity of the arriving defender. It was not absolutely clear that the attacker who was "fouled" had an "obvious goal scoring opportunity" because of the arrival of that defender. Other observers may disagree, but the decision as to what is or is not "obvious" is up to the referee.

Posted by: lmorin | September 14, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

as for the red card, among the factors to take into account are direction of attacker, distance from the ball and positioning of other defenders...

With the final touch around gk, the attacking player basically pushed the ball too far away from himself, too close to the defender, and in a direction away from goal...so no DOGSO.

However, if the ref saw Reiss trip the defender, a foul in the box is a foul in the box. So pk without card is arguably the right call. Funny, I don't feel sorry for the Revs at all.

Posted by: teo_68 | September 14, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, I was with a Revs fan at that game, and even he didn't cry much over the call.

Far more intriguing was the mystery red card earlier in the match to the big #10 for the Revs. Nobody we were sitting with could figure out what the heck that was for.

Posted by: vivzig | September 14, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Shoot Reignking, way to nudge me out of the top points for week 26! So are we going to get an Argy Bargy Cup made for this competition or what?;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | September 14, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

CL starts tomorrow. Get your UEFA.com teams in...

Posted by: Reignking | September 14, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

ABC (Anyone But Chicago)

Posted by: joedoc1 | September 14, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Chicago is in UEFA? Obama and his pro-gloabilization administration. Don't say Joe Doc didn't warn us.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 14, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

g-l-o-b-a-l-i-z-a-t-i-o-n.
I need a speed governor on my keyboard.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 14, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

So why was Reis sticking his arm out in that direction? It looks to me like he reached back to play the attacker and not the ball. I have no problem with the PK. I can understand no red card because of the closeness of the defender.

Posted by: csd1 | September 14, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

That was not a foul..... no penalty, no card... except a yellow to the forward for the dive. This is why FIFA should mandate instant replay be used in critical situations (and only in critcal game-char=nging situations)i.e. penalty kicks, red or yellow cards, ofside calls, whether the entire ball actually crossed the line etc. A goal in soccer is too diificult to earn so replay should be usd in these situations.

Posted by: gattipost

Hell No

Posted by: csd1 | September 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Report from Miami (Not as interesting as my report from England but...)

Coming back from Key West yesterday transferring through Miami we saw several young men dressed in United gear. We figured they must be heading to San Juan for Tuesday's match. Now, I'm very good at face recognition -- and despite being a Mancosnob I am an avid and loyal DCU fan-- but I will tell you I didn't recognize a soul. Hope that means we are focuing on the league and sending the unknowns to San Juan.

Sorry, 270, there will be no juicy report from the Miami Herald crime report.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | September 14, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It was a dive all they way but if the ref calls the foul he also has to show red because it didn't look like there was another defender capable of preventing the goal. The definition is Denies Obvious Goal Scoring Chance...and it is a sending off offense.

It will be interesting to see what USSF has to say about this performance...in this week's evaluation of all things referee!

Ironically, if he had called Lillingstone for the dive...he would have received a card accumulation suspension.

Posted by: tim21 | September 14, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

It was not a foul, should have been a card on Lillingstone for a dive.

Posted by: dogboy | September 14, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

There was no penalty, but a red card should have been shown...to Livingstone. That level of "simulation", on that play...it deserves a straight red.

Posted by: fischy | September 14, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Reignking, UEFA.com teams? Are you starting a Argy Bargy Champs League Fantasy League somewhere? I've already signed up on ESPN.com. Are you talking about one elsewhere?

Posted by: DadRyan | September 14, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll defend the ref on the no-red. In addition to the possibility that the defender could catch up (I disagree with tim21), there's also the possibility the ball rolls out of play before Lillingston gets to it.

Now, as to the PK, looks like a dive, but then what can Reis really say about it, given that he did slap his hand towards Lillingston's thigh after the ball was long gone?

Posted by: stancollins | September 14, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I love the MLS nominated Rolfe's handball goal for GOTW, you have to love the fact that each week you think the officials can't do a worse job than the week before but they do.

Shame is that this along with plenty of their own mistakes is the difference right now between being in and being out of the playoffs. With the win this weekend they would have been at 36 and hold the tiebreaker over DC United, and Chivas.

Shame that so many teams have had clear bad calls end up impacting matches that will end up being the determining factor on who is in or out of the playoffs.

Posted by: f4denz | September 14, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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