May 2, 2013, 12:02 PM EDT
Major League Soccer, having issued two suspensions this week, really needs to issue one more. The league needs to give referee Baldomero Toledo a break. Maybe a long one.
We told you earlier that New England left back Chris Tierney has been suspended for tonight’s opener for Week 10 in MLS, the Revs’ visit to Portland. Tierney’s challenge on Sebastien Le Toux is a textbook example of a tackle that needs dealing with by the referee; it’s a caution at minimum, and there can certainly be a case made for red. (The disciplinary committee apparently agrees.)
The challenge is late. It’s up high (ending up in Le Toux’s knee). His cleats are showing. And in the collective all of that makes it reckless and potentially injurious.
It’s a card. Period. The fact that it happened right in front of the referee’s assistant makes it more of no-brainer. (Toledo could have consulted with his RA, at least.)
Speaking of “at least,” not even a word with Tierney?
I am sure Toledo is doing his best – but is that going to help when the next guy is injured because Toledo doesn’t recognize a blatant, bad challenge?
In fact, just a minute later the Revolution’s Andrew Farrell was injured. He was hurt when fouled by Philadelphia’s Gabriel Farfan. No whistle! Play on!
Another 30 seconds or so later, the Revs’ Kelyn Rowe fouls Union forward Antoine Hoppenot just outside the penalty area. It’s a classic MLS move: Hit the player to impede his attacking move and then turn and get the ball while the guy is off balance.
No whistle. Play on!
Again, I am sure Toledo is doing his best – but he is frequently overmatched.
By the way, in an admittedly small sample, Toledo was named the league’s worst referee in a Sports Illustrated preseason survey of MLS players.
And this is the second time in three weeks that I, personally, have watched a performance that needed calling into question. Here, Toledo was the man in the middle as a textbook case of persistent infringement was either ignored or unnoticed – and I am not even sure which of those would be a bigger violation.
Here is the Tierney foul. You be the judge.
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