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Thursday kickaround: MLS conference inequity, Preki doesn't like TV cameras, Garey on Capitol Hill, Open Cup time change, Scurry retires, WPS union

*The 0-0 draw between the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC on Wednesday further jeopardized each club's playoff chances and also enhanced the possibility of six Western Conference teams qualifying for the MLS postseason. As you know, only the top two in each conference receive automatic berths; the other four slots are awarded to the best clubs, regardless of conference affiliation. At the moment, all four are held by the West, which would bolster its position of power tonight should the Seattle Sounders win at home against Real Salt Lake (11 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

*Toronto Coach Preki was frustrated by the draw and upset about two apparent handballs in the box that were not called. "For sure, there was at least two penalty kicks" not awarded. "The one, in the last seconds of the first half was a clear handball." Take a look, and watch Preki swat away the sideline camera:

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*With spare days in Washington last week, Columbus Crew forward Jason Garey put his extra time to good use on Capitol Hill by lobbying to strengthen the Louisiana wetlands.

*Good news for Crew supporters: The U.S. Open Cup final Oct. 5 at Seattle, originally scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. ET, will kick off an hour earlier (Fox Soccer Channel).

For Briana Scurry and WPS news.....

*Washington Freedom goalkeeper Briana Scurry, one of the U.S. heroes from the 1999 Women's World Cup and the most capped goalie in American women's history at 173, announced her retirement. Scurry, 39, will be honored after Saturday's regular season finale against the Atlanta Beat at Maryland SoccerPlex.

*The WPS players' union, based in Washington, has been certified by an arbitrator, making it the exclusive collective bargaining representative in talks with the league. "Having a unified player voice, and the owners recognizing the significance of that voice, is extremely important," Freedom goalkeeper Erin McLeod said in a written statement issued by the WPSPU. "Forming a union is a great opportunity for both the owners and the players to work together in promoting women's soccer, and with the 2011 Women's World Cup less than a year away, the timing couldn't be better."

By Steve Goff  |  September 9, 2010; 9:46 AM ET
Categories:  Freedom , MLS , U.S. Open Cup , Women  | Tags: MLS, WPS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Blatter: World Cup extra time changes possible
Next: Weekend soccer TV listings: England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, MLS, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, WPS, NCAA

Comments

One man's "good use" is another man's "special interest lobbyist" . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | September 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yep. Toronto got hosed and should have had a PK. My fav part of the clip is the Chicago guy (can't see who it is) running with a white streamer stuck to his shoe - looks like he's got some TP stuck on there!

Posted by: nairbsod | September 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what a WPS union has to do with the 2011 WWC. I'm also not sure what a WPS union can do when the league is in debt to the hilt and the tang.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

no way that's a penalty, the defender had no time to react and not only was no advantage gained, he turned a clearance into a shot on goal.

How long from head to arm? .05 seconds?

Posted by: teo_68 | September 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree, no PK. He had his arm down at his side too, so it's not like his arms were in an "unnatural" position.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 9, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

agreed - no pk. the ball definitely hit the defender's arm, but there is a lot more to calling a pk for HANDLING the ball than the ball hitting someone's arm. The law was changed to punish cheaters, not defender's that have the ball bounce off of their arm while they happen to be in the penalty area.

Posted by: asocrlovr | September 9, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

There was no handling of the ball. The ball clearly hit the hand.

Posted by: edmundburke247 | September 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The hand-ball foul has to be the most difficult call to make, and IMO the most over-called foul, especially in youth games. Drives me crazier than a Florida pastor who's off his meds.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Next year, on the anniversaries of the disallowed US goals in WC2010, I'm holding a burning of the Laws of the Game. If I don't get a burning permit, we'll have a recycling instead.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

What if we just read from the Laws of the Game instead?

Posted by: nairbsod | September 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I suppose the WPS Union can try to mute the drastic player pay cuts that are surely coming sooner rather than later.

On handballs, in MLS and international play a lot of handballs, especially in the outfield, are ignored unless ridiculously blatant. They are generally called pretty tight in the box, though.

I agree, in youth games, handball is called WAY too much, and it seems no distinction is made between "ball to hand/hand to ball". Even worse in youth leagues is the overcalling of "fouls" when all it was was incidental contact. Even WORSE in youth games, is the ridiculous, absurd over-protection goalkeepers get. Most of the time in youth games, if the goalkeeper is anywhere NEAR the ball, opposing players who contest for the loose ball are called for interfering with the keeper while entirely legitimately contesting for the loose ball.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It was only a year or two ago that lots of folks on this blog were complaining about how weak the western conference was. Things sure do change fast.

Posted by: hacksaw | September 9, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

nairbsod:

Read the law - a direct kick is awarded if the player "handles the ball deliberately." Seems pretty clear. No call because it wasn't deliberate.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | September 9, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

BigBubba - is that you Clinton? I'm well familiar with the Laws of the Game. I cannot tell whether it was deliberate or not in this instance (and I've watched it over and over) - the slow mo shows me a arm that is slightly stretched out and the ball going off a forearm/hand. Did the player reach out to it on purpose? Probably not, but in the split second decision making of the refs, I think the benefit of the doubt should have gone to Toronto.

Posted by: nairbsod | September 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I gotta disagree. I think Chicago gained a clear advantage. The ball dropped to the keeper instead of bouncing out to the 18 where it was headed. And the arm was clearly not at his siede, but stretched behind him. To me, that's a penalty.

Posted by: Matte | September 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF - you'd rather the wetlands be open for drilling, then? Sheesh, after Katrina and the BP fiasco, you'd think any sane person would be in favor of protecting SOME part of of the bayou.

Posted by: DCRez | September 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

During my referee training this issue was put simply: did the hand play the ball or did the ball play the hand. According to the training any attempt to make it more complicated than that was pure folly and completely inappropriate.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"The WPS players' union"

Really? What are their issues? What are they willing to strike for? People to pay to watch games? Improved highs school facilities? Busses that come equipped with DVD players in stead of VCRS?

Posted by: milevin | September 9, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I gotta disagree. I think Chicago gained a clear advantage. The ball dropped to the keeper instead of bouncing out to the 18 where it was headed. And the arm was clearly not at his side, but stretched behind him. To me, that's a penalty.

Posted by: Matte
----------------------------

It's immaterial whether or not the Chicago player "gained an advantage." Law 12 makes it clear that a PK is awarded only if the player deliberately handles the ball in the box.

Reasonable people will disagree on whether a given instance was deliberate or not (and the ref needs to make that decision in an instant) but even if the ball hits a player's outstretched hand and drops right in front of him for a sitter a PK should still not be awarded as along as it was inadvertent.

In this case I think the ref made the right call.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 9, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Scurry was the best of the best and will be missed.I am glad I was able to see her play.
I would like to know more about the WPSPU.

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

At halftime in the last DCU-Columbus game, as the players came back on the field, I saw Garey approach Hamid, who had let in the goal on the botched clearance attempt, and apparently encourage him; he clapped him on the shoulder; seemed like a real decent human-type gesture.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | September 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh 270 you sure now how to turn a half frown upside down brother.
Cheers!

Posted by: DadRyan | September 9, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Human-type gesture?

Posted by: Reignking | September 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF - you'd rather the wetlands be open for drilling, then? Sheesh, after Katrina and the BP fiasco, you'd think any sane person would be in favor of protecting SOME part of of the bayou.

Posted by: DCRez | September 9, 2010 2:35 PM
===================

Yikes, DCRez! That knee-jerk reaction must have torn your ACL. Without any evidence, you imply OWNTF is insane and in favor of destroying all of the bayou. The conversation you had in your own head to come to that conclusion must have been something to behold.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 9, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Bayou"?

Now, when I was just a little boy,
Standin' to my Daddy's knee,
My poppa said, "Son, don't let the man get you
Do what he done to me."

--Born on the Bayou, CCR.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Really? What are their issues? What are they willing to strike for? People to pay to watch games? Improved highs school facilities? Busses that come equipped with DVD players in stead of VCRS?

Posted by: milevin | September 9, 2010 2:44 PM

______________________________________________

Among other issues, from what I hear the players were rather peeved that the league extended the season from 20 matches to 24 without consulting any of them.

Posted by: kevinwparker | September 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The idea of a WPS union is amazing to me. What will they ask for? More money? It's not there. Guaranteed contracts? Heck, I'll be surprised if the league lasts 2 more years. Insurance? See the "no money" clause above. A unified voice means nothing when there's nothing to gain from the league. Easy for me to say, but I'd suggest they just be happy they've got a "job" for the time being and not necessarily try to get more from the league.

Posted by: DrBeaker | September 9, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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