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Mexican referee in charge with 8 U.S. players on warnings, Mexico up next

Sep 5, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

Marco Antonio Rodriguez AP

Eight players on yellow cards loom among other concerns for United States head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s squad heading into Friday’s World Cup qualifier at Costa Rica. Another is Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez, who will officiate the game before the U.S. takes on Mexico.

“I don’t doubt that Marco Antonio Rodríguez is a great referee,” Klinsmann told Radio Fórmula on Wednesday. “Without a doubt, he applies the rules well, but at the same time, it’s something I can’t get out of my head. I have eight players on yellow cards, and four days later, we play Mexico. Truthfully, I don’t like it.”

Klinsmann reiterated to American media on Thursday that he found the assignment “unfortunate.”

Rodríguez — who has come to be known by the nickname Chiquidrácula, or Chiquimarco after the Protestant priest objected to the name because of his Christian faith — is known for his propensity to dish out cards indiscriminately. In four World Cup matches he has officiated, Rodríguez sent off three players, including Australian Tim Cahill in what was a highly questioned decision.

In Liga MX, he was once suspended for five matches after issuing two yellow cards at the same time, one in each hand, during a January 2012 playoff series between Tigres and Santos:

During the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup, Rodríguez took charge of AC Milan’s 4-2 win over Boca Juniors, where he showed five yellows and two red cards.

The knowledgeable site Transfermarkt has Rodríguez handing out a steady five yellow cards per game over 70 games in eight seasons. His 20 straight red cards during that time rank top of the table in Liga MX.

  1. dfstell - Sep 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    It’s a very CONCACAF thing to do. Especially since the Mexico-Honduras game is refed by a Panamanian. I just don’t understand why they can’t apply some common sense. I mean, I’m sure this guy is a good ref and I don’t he’ll be outright biased against us just to help Mexico a few days later……but why risk even the appearance of impropriety? Just get a neutral ref.

  2. hildezero - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    He’s actually a pretty good ref, but what can you say? CONCACAF gonna CONCACAF…

    • notaretard - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      a “pretty good” ref doesn’t indiscriminately hand out cards for no reason. he’s a terrible ref if that’s what he has to resort to to keep control of the game

  3. seppsbladder - Sep 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Hey Liviu how about listing which 8 players are on yellows?! Poorly written to leave out the most important part of the story!

    • konmtu - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      I agree, we should need to know that information.

      FWIW, these are the ones on yellow:
      Jermaine Jones (Of course. He probably doesn’t feel normal without one.)
      Michael Bradley
      Clint Dempsey
      Jozy Altidore
      Geoff Cameron
      Brad Evans
      Tim Howard
      Fabian Johnson

  4. notaretard - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    this is a load of bullshit. he’s going to fuck us like every other mexican ref does. they fuck us when mexico is doing well, i can’t imagine how much he’s going to bend us over and drive it home with mexico being in as shitty of a position as they are now. why not just give costa rica the win? i guarantee you that at least 4 of those 8 get a yellow tonight.

  5. hildezero - Sep 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM


    You are a retard if you think this ref just gives out cards for no reason. Have you even seen this ref referee a game before?

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