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USSF: D.C. United goal shouldn't have counted

In their formal weekly review of MLS officiating, U.S. Soccer Federation supervisors said Thursday that the tying goal scored by D.C. United's Jaime Moreno in the second half against the Philadelphia Union last weekend should have been disallowed. Moreno was shadowing goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who inexplicably didn't follow through with a kick after dropping the ball at the top of the penalty area.

The Union ended up winning, 3-2.

After the match, Seitz said that .....

Moreno "stepped in front of me. ... The ball dropped and things happen." Seitz immediately retrieved the ball from the net and did not appear to complain to the game officials about the incident. In the days since, he has been ridiculed by fans and media alike for what, at the time, looked like a massive blunder.

But according to the USSF, "The referee [Terry Vaughn] is faced with an attacker who uses trickery (feigning or simulating) to interfere with and negatively influence the goalkeeper's release of the ball from his hands. On the replay, carefully observe the attacker's action. He steps toward the keeper twice. The second attempt is calculated and timed precisely to correspond to the goalkeeper's release of the ball from his hands."

FIFA rules state that "it is an offense for a player to prevent a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands. A player must be penalized for playing in a dangerous manner if he kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it. It is an offense to restrict the movement of the goalkeeper by unfairly impeding him."

The USSF also notes that "contact with the ball or the goalkeeper is not needed for an offense to occur. The mere act of attempting to play the ball or influence the goalkeeper's actions as the goalkeeper releases the ball is a violation."

On Wednesday, Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner wrote: "I realize it is considered rather bad form to actually criticize a goalkeeper, but I'd have to say that Seitz made a mess of this. His assertion that Moreno stepped in front of him is inaccurate. Moreno did nothing wrong."

Read the complete review and watch the video replay here.

What do you think?


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By Steve Goff  |  April 15, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: Chris Seitz, D.C. United, Jaime Moreno, Major League Soccer, Paul Gardner, Philadelphia Union, Soccer, Soccer America, Terry Vaughn, United States Soccer Federation  
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Next: D.C. United news & notes

Comments

Who cares? We stink.

Posted by: Hoost | April 15, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Hoost. Somehow that goal is indicative of our season (thus far).

Posted by: nairbsod | April 15, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I think goals will be few and far between this year..might as well enjoy the ones we get that shouldn't have counted!

Posted by: DCU_VW | April 15, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I wish there was some DCU acquisition news. NYRB seems to be improving its roster every day.

Posted by: hoyanick1 | April 15, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It looked iffy at the time. If what Moreno did was kosher, we'd see it a lot more often in an attempt to get a result similar to the one Jaime got.

I was surprised there weren't more complaints from the Philly players and bench.

Of course, seeing as Philly still won and United still sucks, none of this matters much.

Posted by: mercedeskk | April 15, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If Seitz whines about that, he's pathetic. He's a big boy, right? Then he should be able to concentrate enough to kick a ball, right?

Posted by: delantero | April 15, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I would rather score good goals and win games than score off something crappy like that. It doesn't bode well for anyone involved: Jaime, Seitz, Vaughn, DCU, MLS.

Bell it did count and it doesn't matter. Not like the recent Henry goal that also counted and DID matter very much.

Posted by: SeanWG | April 15, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

i agree Hoyanick everyone else is signing professionals and we are signing kids. if the team is waiting until the summer window it might be to late for us. i dont see us winning to many points this year

Posted by: choppenup | April 15, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Let me make my point that Vaughn's decision is the only difference between 0 points and a -8 goal differential and 0 points and a -7 goal differential.

Now if we had 1 point or 3 points at this point, it would be a point of contention.

Point taken, we have no points, so what's the big point at this point?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 15, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

What Hoost said.
Any info on DCU signing anyone worth mentioning or where Emilio is going?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 15, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The goal should stand because gamesmanship is part of the game. Moreno's steps towards the keeper didn't prevent Seitz from playing the ball--he could have kicked it if only he had tried. Instead, Seitz worried about a danger that didn't really exist. Rookie mistake

Is the USSF going to rule that Moreno must, from now on, put every PK into one corner or the other--as if it were unethical to shoot softly where the goalie is standing? Of course not.

Tricking an opponent is an accepted part of every game worth playing. Tricking the referee (feigning foul or injury) is another story, but we have none of that here.

Posted by: hungrypug | April 15, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone else is improving their squads or at least attempting too. I guess we've decided to tank the season prior to the world cup and then make our moves afterwards?

Posted by: ihillvt | April 15, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Of course we stink. We stunk last year. Is that all we're gonna talk about all year...we stink?

Et tu Dad?

How bout a big group Vamos United? Ok? On three. Ready? One-Two-Three

VAMOS UNITED!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | April 15, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Is someone hard at work to figure out a way to prove Santinos goal shouldn't have counted? I mean, really, if you're going to kick us while we're down, why do it half as*ed. We know we suck, there's no need to prove we can only score goals by cheating. The points already been made; not sure our GD (or philly's either) is going to be impacting playoff spots...

Posted by: daandre3 | April 15, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Is someone hard at work to figure out a way to prove Santinos goal shouldn't have counted? I mean, really, if you're going to kick us while we're down, why do it half as*ed. We know we suck, there's no need to prove we can only score goals by cheating. The points already been made; not sure our GD (or philly's either) is going to be impacting playoff spots...

Posted by: daandre3 | April 15, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see we have a nice bit of juicy controversy to discuss during the week in MLS. Makes for a fun league discussion! (Not that I have anything against simple "Team/player X is better than Team/player Y")

Posted by: VercengetorixII | April 15, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Laws prohibit preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands. Originally, I was going to argue that Jaime "impeded" Seitz, which it can be argued he did. However, the Laws don't say anything about "impeding."

That said, gamesmanship and trickery may be "part of the game," but nowhere are they mentioned in the Laws, so that's a weak argument, like saying "they do it, so why can't we?"

I love Jaime, but he does sometimes do stuff that really ain't kosher. No one can argue with a straight face that he doesn't dive.

A lot of this "gamesmanship and trickery" should be addressed by the refs as "unsporting behavior." For some reason, though, soccer refs seems to be afraid to do so. I know people argue that soccer is the beautiful game and that players should be allowed to express themselves, but the line between artful play and cheating really isn't all that fine.

Posted by: loosek | April 15, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES! Philadelphia won anyway!

Posted by: YNOT1970 | April 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I get USSF's ruling but I agree with delantero: Sietz should have been able to concentrate enough to punt the ball away. I still do not understand why he dropped it.

Posted by: grubbsbl | April 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

When we scored that goal I wasn't sure of the rule, but I thought it maybe should have been disallowed. Either way, my feeling is that the little fake move that Jaime did is playground stuff (don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of Jaime) and I was glad that it didn't end up gaining us a point we didn't deserve.

Posted by: gasdorian | April 15, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Seitz is a crybaby.

Now THIS is interference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D8IW_3_6D8

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | April 15, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

when do the salaries get leaked by the players' union?

i am really interested to see how far under the cap this team is. there's absolutely no justification for them to be saving hundreds of thousands of cap space - as has been pointed out several times, salaries are paid by MLS so it's not like it's saving money in Will Chang's pocketbook.

I would think we deserve some kind of response from the front office about the direction of the team, why there could be about $500-600k in unused space. (depending on how much they are paying or overpaying Pena)

Posted by: joe_hill | April 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was surprised Jaime wasn't carded at the time. Seemed like a pretty clear infraction to me. I've seen stuff exactly like that called before.

But what the heck. Things happen. In the end it didn't matter, as Philly went on to notch the winner. And as daandre3 said, I don't think either team is going to even be in the playoff hunt for GD to be a factor.

Posted by: Matte | April 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Meh. How many times did the USSF rule last season that DC United had goals scored againt it that should not have counted or had goals ruled out for a wrong offside call?

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | April 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Grr...nice try, Almeria.

Posted by: Reignking | April 15, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It was a BS goal, but I laughed. I hope that's not the high point of the season.

I'm curious about how much we have to spend, but if they ARE looking to sign somebody it would not be a good negotiating strategy to say how much money they have.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | April 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES! Philadelphia won anyway!

Posted by: YNOT1970 | April 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

===========================

Thank you! My sentiments exactly.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Who taught Seitz how to play? I was always taught if a forward's messing around and trying to act "cheeky", go forward, punt the ball, and crash into him. Call goes the goalie's way every time.

Posted by: Josh86 | April 15, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@9nine9: Vamos United!

I'm just saying game over, who cares. As others have pointed out United has come out with the crap end of the stick with many blown calls. So have other teams. As my mother in law loves to say, "Oh Well!"...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 15, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

It's a Goal, not because the ball went under the bar and between the pipes but because THE REFEREE SAYS it's a goal! PERIOD!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | April 15, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

i agree Hoyanick everyone else is signing professionals and we are signing kids. if the team is waiting until the summer window it might be to late for us. i dont see us winning to many points this year

Posted by: choppenup | April 15, 2010 3:31 PM |
--------------------------------------------------------

Actually, San Jose just signed a 17 y.o., Gambian. He's not even an Academy signing, so he's on the 24-man regular roster. So, we've got that going for us...

Posted by: fischy | April 15, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The USSF should review anything from that game it's the red card given to Jakovic concerning the foul on the AlejandrA Moreno dive. If the USSF wants to review the game then they should address diving and the overly physical nature of the MLS.

Posted by: no_recess | April 15, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Even if the goal had been disallowed, it would not change the fact that Jaime pwned Seitz in the incident. Hahahahaha. We should take our jollies where we can get them this season, I think.

Posted by: dccal | April 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

From Goff's twitter -- Bedoya strikes again, in a 1-0 win.

Posted by: fischy | April 15, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

pffft (last post)

Posted by: Reignking | April 15, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Please Uncle Ted Leonsis, please buy our team and bring in management who knows what they are doing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/capitals/interactive-caps-rebuilt/?hpid=topnews

Posted by: dsheon1 | April 15, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Does the Toronto-Philly game tonight start right at 7 or is there a lengthy pre-game?

On Jaime's goal:

Seitz is the main person at fault for putting the ball on the ground. If he had just hung onto the ball and pointed at Jaime for being too close its unlikely that either Vaughn or the AR would have penalized Seitz for holding the ball too long. Once the ball was on the ground it was in play and available to anyone on the field.

It's an unusual play and Vaughn seemed a bit uncertain about it. He was in midfield (where he should have been) since that's where the ball was likely to be after the keeper punted it. Vaughn ran over to the AR to confer before awarding the goal. Neither one seemed too sure - they just kind of shrugged their shoulders and then Vaughn pointed to the center circle for the kickoff.

There are dozens of judgment calls throughout a game that can be critiqued and second guessed. The goal could have been disallowed but Seitz knows there's no guarantee - especially once he relinquished possession.

In spite of all the complaints from my fellow DC fans and critiques from the USSF I thought Vaughn was pretty evenhanded and didn't affect the game's outcome.

Jakovic's red card could have been a yellow but Vaughn was justified in going with the stricter verdict.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 15, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

For a team that played a man down almost the whole game in its franchise opener, I'm sure Seitz was a bit weary of following through and cleaning Moreno had he tried to complete the punt. Moreno's shenanigans is better suited for FIFA 97 (scored every time!), not MLS, and certainly not allowed according to the rules. That said, Seitz is having a huge issue allowing soft goals (see Toronto game tonight).

Posted by: dahx4 | April 15, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Moreno makes a very deliberate move towards Seitz just as the keeper is dropping the ball. A pro should still be able to kick it away, but by the rulebook, Moreno is guilty and the goal should have been disallowed. Sorry to see that we are having to rely on those types of goals.

Posted by: macheath | April 15, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Seitz with two huge mistakes vs. Toronto leading to two goals.

Posted by: edgeonyou | April 15, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Moreno has done this type of thing in almost every game since he came to MLS, he's probably been doing it since he was a kid at Tauhichi.

Posted by: owendylan | April 15, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

A lot of posters seem to assume that the DCU front office will sign competent players in the mid-summer. Is there any basis for this -- or is it wishful thinking?

The time to build the roster is preseason, not when the season is half over and -- based on current form -- with the club headed for relegation in most any other league except for MLS.

On paper, at least, the money is there. Big-bucks contracts were not renewed, but the front office seemingly is not interested in spending it on quality players for fill obvious needs, especially central midfield.

Where are the signs that DCU is ready to splurge in mid-summer? Is the front office beating the European bush for decent players who will become free transfers when their contracts expire in June? If they are, they should communicate this to fans. If not, they should communicate this, also. Instead, the honchos sit silent and provide their fans with an at-best mediocre team.

One explanation for the situation is that DCU, unless a stadium suddenly materializes, is headed elsewhere to a city that provides a stadium where DCU, not the DC Stadium Authority, pockets the profits on $10 beer and other game-day revenues. If DCU is headed elsewhere, it matters little that the new town gets an expansion-quality team. This is only a theory, but it can explain management's seeming refusal to try to field a decent team for its longstanding supporters.

There is something rotten in DC beyond the level of play on the field. There is something wrong in the overall direction of the club and its management. Fans can only view the situation as outsiders, but league and futball insiders must know something. There is a reason why DCU had to settle for a Curt Onalfo as coach instead of someone with a proven record of success. There was a time when a coach with at least a modicum of stature would join DCU -- and attract proven players who could add something beyond age to the roster. Sadly, it seems those days are past -- and the front office seems to be doing nothing to return them for the fans.

Posted by: runningcloud | April 16, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Is someone hard at work to figure out a way to prove Santinos goal shouldn't have counted? We know we suck, there's no need to prove we can only score goals by cheating. The points already been made."

It's important to bring it up because clearly it was not in the spirit of the game (if not technically illegal), and if that isn't mentioned and made public, then you'll have players at all levels continuing to harass gk's (and who knows how far it would go), and you'll have refs continuing to botch the call. It does suck to hear it, because it's like salt on the now gaping DC United wound, but it's necessary. MLS and USSF need to hold up the proper example of how the game should be played.

Posted by: PattersonPark76 | April 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Is someone hard at work to figure out a way to prove Santinos goal shouldn't have counted? We know we suck, there's no need to prove we can only score goals by cheating. The points already been made."

It's important to bring it up because clearly it was not in the spirit of the game (if not technically illegal), and if that isn't mentioned and made public, then you'll have players at all levels continuing to harass gk's (and who knows how far it would go), and you'll have refs continuing to botch the call. It does suck to hear it, because it's like salt on the now gaping DC United wound, but it's necessary. MLS and USSF need to hold up the proper example of how the game should be played.

Posted by: PattersonPark76 | April 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Is someone hard at work to figure out a way to prove Santinos goal shouldn't have counted? We know we suck, there's no need to prove we can only score goals by cheating. The points already been made."

It's important to bring it up because clearly it was not in the spirit of the game (if not technically illegal), and if that isn't mentioned and made public, then you'll have players at all levels continuing to harass gk's (and who knows how far it would go), and you'll have refs continuing to botch the call. It does suck to hear it, because it's like salt on the now gaping DC United wound, but it's necessary. MLS and USSF need to hold up the proper example of how the game should be played.

Posted by: PattersonPark76 | April 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jaime's actions were unlawful and unsporting at the time, and I'm glad to see this confirmed by USSF. Everyone whining about "Waah, who cares?" should notice that the whole point of USSF posting this is not to dis United or try to take our (cheap, tawdry, undeserved) goal away from us but to provide a learning point for referees. Believe it or not, people, it's not about *us*; stunning as it may be to learn, not everything is.

As for the team... bah. Again the front office seem to think they can just muddle through the year and figure out something as they go. Bzzzt. Professional clubs need to be able to put a respectable team on the field at the start of the season. Yes, one hopes to make improvements as time goes on, but there should be an effort to put a respectable team together *well before* the season starts, so they have time to train together. Half of the dumb, er, stuff that players are doing now is because they've not had proper time to prepare and work together.

If runningcloud is right and DCU is being shopped for a new home, I hope they clear house in the front office when they move. It seems to me there is more deadwood there than on the bench...

Posted by: janspoor | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jaime's actions were unlawful and unsporting at the time, and I'm glad to see this confirmed by USSF. Everyone whining about "Waah, who cares?" should notice that the whole point of USSF posting this is not to dis United or try to take our (cheap, tawdry, undeserved) goal away from us but to provide a learning point for referees. Believe it or not, people, it's not about *us*; stunning as it may be to learn, not everything is.

As for the team... bah. Again the front office seem to think they can just muddle through the year and figure out something as they go. Bzzzt. Professional clubs need to be able to put a respectable team on the field at the start of the season. Yes, one hopes to make improvements as time goes on, but there should be an effort to put a respectable team together *well before* the season starts, so they have time to train together. Half of the dumb, er, stuff that players are doing now is because they've not had proper time to prepare and work together.

If runningcloud is right and DCU is being shopped for a new home, I hope they clear house in the front office when they move. It seems to me there is more deadwood there than on the bench...

Posted by: janspoor | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jaime's actions were unlawful and unsporting at the time, and I'm glad to see this confirmed by USSF. Everyone whining about "Waah, who cares?" should notice that the whole point of USSF posting this is not to dis United or try to take our (cheap, tawdry, undeserved) goal away from us but to provide a learning point for referees. Believe it or not, people, it's not about *us*; stunning as it may be to learn, not everything is.

As for the team... bah. Again the front office seem to think they can just muddle through the year and figure out something as they go. Bzzzt. Professional clubs need to be able to put a respectable team on the field at the start of the season. Yes, one hopes to make improvements as time goes on, but there should be an effort to put a respectable team together *well before* the season starts, so they have time to train together. Half of the dumb, er, stuff that players are doing now is because they've not had proper time to prepare and work together.

If runningcloud is right and DCU is being shopped for a new home, I hope they clear house in the front office when they move. It seems to me there is more deadwood there than on the bench...

Posted by: janspoor | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jaime's actions were unlawful and unsporting at the time, and I'm glad to see this confirmed by USSF. Everyone whining about "Waah, who cares?" should notice that the whole point of USSF posting this is not to dis United or try to take our (cheap, tawdry, undeserved) goal away from us but to provide a learning point for referees. Believe it or not, people, it's not about *us*; stunning as it may be to learn, not everything is.

As for the team... bah. Again the front office seem to think they can just muddle through the year and figure out something as they go. Bzzzt. Professional clubs need to be able to put a respectable team on the field at the start of the season. Yes, one hopes to make improvements as time goes on, but there should be an effort to put a respectable team together *well before* the season starts, so they have time to train together. Half of the dumb, er, stuff that players are doing now is because they've not had proper time to prepare and work together.

If runningcloud is right and DCU is being shopped for a new home, I hope they clear house in the front office when they move. It seems to me there is more deadwood there than on the bench...

Posted by: janspoor | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"Is someone hard at work to figure out a way to prove Santinos goal shouldn't have counted? We know we suck, there's no need to prove we can only score goals by cheating. The points already been made."

It's important to bring it up because clearly it was not in the spirit of the game (if not technically illegal), and if that isn't mentioned and made public, then you'll have players at all levels continuing to harass gk's (and who knows how far it would go), and you'll have refs continuing to botch the call. It does suck to hear it, because it's like salt on the now gaping DC United wound, but it's necessary. MLS and USSF need to hold up the proper example of how the game should be played.

Posted by: PattersonPark76 | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I thought Jaime's actions were unlawful and unsporting at the time, and I'm glad to see this confirmed by USSF. Everyone whining about "Waah, who cares?" should notice that the whole point of USSF posting this is not to dis United or try to take our (cheap, tawdry, undeserved) goal away from us but to provide a learning point for referees. Believe it or not, people, it's not about *us*; stunning as it may be to learn, not everything is.

As for the team... bah. Again the front office seem to think they can just muddle through the year and figure out something as they go. Bzzzt. Professional clubs need to be able to put a respectable team on the field at the start of the season. Yes, one hopes to make improvements as time goes on, but there should be an effort to put a respectable team together *well before* the season starts, so they have time to train together. Half of the dumb, er, stuff that players are doing now is because they've not had proper time to prepare and work together.

If runningcloud is right and DCU is being shopped for a new home, I hope they clear house in the front office when they move. It seems to me there is more deadwood there than on the bench...

Posted by: janspoor | April 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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