Admittedly, I did not see Marshall punch Lenhart for the red card, I looked up from my writing and suddenly the referee was calling the players back to the Seattle end of the field.
Kasey Keller admitted being confused about it, too, as was coach Sigi Schmid. But what’s done is done, Marshall is out for next game.
Housekeeping: If you read this blog, you already know that Jarrod Smith is off to join New Zealand national team for Confederations Cup play.
From the team: “New Zealand will train in Botswana prior to friendlies with Botswana and Tanzania. The All Whites face Italy in another friendly on June 10 in Pretoria, South Africa. New Zealand faces Spain (June 14), host South Africa (June 17) and Iraq (June 20) in Confederations Cup group play.”
DEF Taylor Graham is now on injured reserve with a broken right foot.
OK, now back to tonight. Weird play in the 72nd minute. Sigi said referee called a backpass on Columbus GK Andy Gruenebaum, who used his hands on the ball when it was being passed back to him for clearance. So Montero runs up, grabs the ball and wants to restart with a free kick fast, but then the ref comes down and its a zoo out there in front of the goal. End result – indirect free kick, touch pass to Ljungberg from Montero and shot blocked.
“It looks like a great scoring opportunity but it’s usually not because guys are four yards away from the ball, so if you put eight guys four yards away from the ball, it’s tough to hit it past anybody,” Schmid said.
Lots of complaining to the official by Sounders FC players, notably Ljungberg, and Schmid let the team have it for that. There was even a moment in the game where the Crew got a near goal because Sounders FC players were complaining about a foul call and then the Crew quickly put the ball in play.
“It’s not a major thing right now, but it’s a small thing that I want to nip in the bud,” Schmid said.
Ljungberg had this to say about the officials: “If you don’t think that they’re doing their job, of course you’re going to tell them. For me that’s quite natural. Maybe it’s not natural here (in USA). I think maybe it was more being annoyed that we’re getting red cards, at least when I spoke to him (the referee)….In soccer it’s sometimes very important to tell the ref so they know when they did wrong.”