Aug 7, 2012, 11:07 AM EDT
A few media colleagues have donned their oven mitts this morning, now baking up a fresh round of lesser informed excuse-making about the Norwegian referee’s decision yesterday during the Miracle in Manchester.
The theory goes, the referee’s assistant at the Canadian end “warned” goalkeeper Erin McLeod not to slow down the action. So, this thin line of thought goes, the decision to punish McLeod was wholly justified.
A lot of this is coming from our friends who may not watch soccer as much – and some of them are making apples-to-orange comparisons.
(For the record, I hate that all this detracts from a rousing, brave U.S. win. It really was quite something … which is why we are writing all this other stuff about it.)
If you are relatively unfamiliar to soccer, I promise I’m not judging. My role here is simply to inform, to keep the conversation within the chalk lines of relevancy. Because some of what I’m hearing simply isn’t. Relevant, that is.
To wit: About this warning of “not slowing down the play,” I say “So what?”
It is absolutely immaterial in the context of such a meaningful decision from the woman in the middle, at such a critical time in the contest. Referee assistants and referees are always providing information and communicating in formal and less formal ways. So, there’s that.
But the more important issue here is the context and timing of this massive free kick award. (A decision that, as I’ve already tried to make clear, is never issued.)
So, let me be crystal clear about this:
Only the most egregious, blatant violation of the perennially-ignored six-second rule, one that demonstrated a nakedly overt effort to defy and show up match officials, deserved such harsh treatment.
McLeod’s actions didn’t even approach such a standard.
Warning? Only if referee Christiana Pedersen had pulled McLeod aside and said the following words would a “warning” be considered as such in this case: “Look, you are clearly stalling. You will leave me no choice but to award a free kick if you hold onto the ball for more than six – SIX, you hear? – seconds. Am I being clear?”
Even in that case, I might argue that McLeod got to her feet and released the ball in acceptable time.
By the way, most goalkeepers would hear such a “warning” as McLeod apparently received and reasonably conclude she was being instructed not to dally on goal kicks. (Which McLeod didn’t appear to be doing.)
Want a fair comparison? This would be like a bunch of people heading out of town in a panic over Hurricane warnings. On the way out, police warn drivers almost in passing to “watch your speed.” And then someone gets tagged for going 71 in a 70 – and then gets their vehicle towed because of unpaid parking tickets from back in college.
By letter of the law, yeah, that’s justifiably enforcement. But I think we’d all agree it was pretty silly and utterly unnecessary.
May 20, 2013, 11:58 PM EDT
Expect this one to get worked out.
May 20, 2013, 11:23 PM EDT
If Real Madrid’s going to shake things up, Higuaín could do worse than land at The Emirates.
May 20, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT
Four players were on the original list. None of them may end up at Stamford Bridge.
May 20, 2013, 8:13 PM EDT
Our sympathy continues to grow for a man in a bad spot.
May 20, 2013, 7:21 PM EDT
MLS will not have arrived until it has a high-profile feces incident.
May 20, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT
It probably won’t happen this summer, and if it does … I’m sure we’ll run that into the ground, too.
May 20, 2013, 5:45 PM EDT
For a moment, it looked like Milan had fired their coaching staff … via an open letter from a television show.
May 20, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT
Real Madrid would have been in line for an eight-digit payday had they sold Mourinho to Chelsea.
May 20, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Odds on current U.S. Men’s National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann to become Everton’s next permanent manager have dropped heavily today.
May 20, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
Wherein we justify the selection of a center back, which always seems to be a requirement in these things:
May 20, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Sky Blue FC validates, Ali Krieger resonates, and four teams start to feel the toll of the new season.
May 20, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT
What’s been coming for a long time is now official. Jose Mourinho’s three-year tenure at Real Madrid has a finish line.
May 20, 2013, 2:39 PM EDT
Ben Olsen? Frank Klopas? … Someone else?
May 20, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT
The big, soon-to-be out of contract Galaxy center backs says talks with MLS commenced:
May 20, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT
That’s sarcasm. Ruiz was always bound to cause headaches, one way or the other:
May 20, 2013, 11:57 AM EDT
The first-year Red Bulls center back made a huge imprint on New York’s win over Los Angeles:
May 20, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT
There is still plenty of star appeal as the Europa League champs’ roster for a quick two-game tour of the United States:
May 20, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
Kljestan becomes the fifth American to defend a title in a top league:
May 20, 2013, 10:18 AM EDT
The Scottish striker will hardly be missed around Vancouver:
May 19, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT
Sporting K.C. manager Peter Vermes and defender Ike Opera didn’t appreciate the pivotal offsides call that disallowed a possible winning goal against D.C. United, and they made that very obvious.
- Looking back at Week 6 of the NWSL season 1
- Movement in the LA Galaxy-Omar Gonzalez situation 5
- Premier League managerial pair blast squad and referee following final match 0
- VIDEOS: A brief history of recent “Olimpico” goals in MLS 3
- Where Landon Donovan’s afternoon takes us in the ongoing U.S. national team debate 7
- Wings stun Hawks again, take 2-1 series lead
- Posnanski: Once the best, Pujols now irrelevant
- Sports world keeps eye on Oklahoma tornado
- PFT: Gronk's arm infection clear after surgery
- HBT: Dodgers have 'no plans' to fire Mattingly
- PBT: Brothers assaulted for taking Lillard's photo?
- PBT: Nets reportedly 'hone in' on Grizzlies' Hollins
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team
- Play Video: Red Bulls pull off win on the road
- Play Video: Highlights: Montreal extinguish Chicago