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Dax McCarty wants consistency in MLS refereeing

Mar 11, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT

Roy Miller screen clip

Dax McCarty certainly has a point when he says he wants consistency from Major League Soccer referees.

It’s a point that players and coaches have been making in MLS for going on two decades now.

(In all honesty, I see some improvement all the way around in MLS refereeing this year, most likely the early returns on Peter Walton’s efforts through the Professional Referee Organization; Walton heads up the new operation, which is less than a year old. Still miles to go for the MLS men in the middle … but I do recognize some encouraging signs.)

The problem here is that McCarty, the Red Bulls’ energetic holding midfielder, has chosen a bad example on which to build his appeal.

He was speaking of referee Ricardo Salazar’s choice last night to order a re-kick after Chris Wondolowski had watched his penalty kick saved against New York. What McCarty said:

We can’t make excuses. If he was in the box, he was in the box and the ref decided to call it. But at the end of the day you just want to see consistency and have it called on every single penalty kick that’s taken.”

Roy Miller was the guilty party. And honestly, what was the man thinking? The Red Bulls left back was in so far into the 18 on Wondolowski’s PK that he left Salazar no choice. You could even see what Salazar appeared to be saying as Red Bulls players appealed passionately. He seemed to telling them, “Go ask that guy why he just did what he did!”

Here’s the sequence. You decide.


  1. jsmith80 - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    You are right that Miller gave him no choice. If he puts a foot in the box, I doubt any ref blows the whistle even thgough by the letter of the law they should. But when you are so far in you could take the pk yourself? Easy call.

    Steve: What are the improvements you have seen so far? Just curious on your take becasue I felt the same.

    • djrrockthepitch - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      It’s like driving… do 30 MPH in a 25 MPH zone…. no problem, nobody cares. Do 50 in a 25, you’re getting a ticket. last night Miller was doing 80 in a 25.

    • Steve Davis - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Just little examples here and there, a little less leniency perhaps. But let’s not get carried away … miles to go, you know? (And who knows, maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part.)

  2. mdac1012 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    I would like some consistency in the Red Bulls back line for a change.

  3. the0verheadwire - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Its clear the ref points to Miller even before Wondo takes the kick. He had no choice it was so blatant.

  4. pensfan603 - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    A ref shouldnt call that unless, the player who enters the box early ends up either 1, distracting the goalie or gets an advantage from the rebound, other wise its just ticky tack and things like that have no place in the game, Wondo missed and Alexander did not get the rebound nor did the red bulls get an advantage from his being in the box no, shouldnt of been called, things like this make the game bad. It makes it so now players are tenative to go into the box which you dont want.

    • sluggo271 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Maybe during PK there should be no keepers. Maybe there shouldn’t be referees at all, the players can just police thmselves. Please stop your madness.

      • pensfan603 - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        Well if you want to give them 20 attempts, becuase the players are going into the box maybe you should. And second it would be great if players would ref themselves but they dont.

    • ll8078 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      lets just put all 10 players between the goal and the keeper while we’re at it.

      it’s a simple rule, and there’s no reason to break it. same reason a NFL player can’t be across the line of scrimmage on FG’s, there’s an offside line in hockey, etc.

      • pensfan603 - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:22 AM

        no its really not, In Football if you miss the field goal because of the player you are only losing 3 points out of probably 20 or more being scored and chances are it is affecting the play, In this you are changing a game on something that happens on almost every PK, its stupid. What the refs doing would be more like calling a 50 yard pass interference of a game to put a team into field goal range because he saw some contact, you just dont do it, there is going to be contact if there is a ton or it affects the play you call it other wise you are ruining the game for nothing.

  5. charliej11 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Consistency ?
    Why don’t we have Miller run into the box like that on every PK this year ? I will bet they call it 100% of the time. Someone want the other side of that bet ?

    You out there Dax, take the bet.

    • pensfan603 - Mar 12, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      They dont though in every other league in the world this would never be a call and until Mark Geiber called it last year this never owuld of been called unless the player who entered the box early disrupted the goalie or got the rebound, its like an unwritten rule.

  6. ll8078 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    What constitutes a distraction? You’ve never played if you dont think he noticed a guy right beside him 5 yards away, especally when he’s right footed facing that way and no one should be there

  7. manchestermiracle - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Steve: We need the opportunity to rate comments here just like on the other sections of this site. There are some very good (and some very goofy) comments and those deserve to be acknowledged without having to post something obvious like, “Oh, hey, good comment,” or “Are you blind?”

    • ydj1120 - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Agreed; let’s get some thumbs up/down on PST!

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