Were it not for a late game-winner by Eddie Johnson, I thought what happened during a second-half free kick for the Sounders would have been a much bigger talking point.
The play happened in the 52nd minute. Fredy Montero took a free kick that was inexplicably blocked by the arm of Chivas USA’s Miller Bolanos, who appeared to be well within 10 yards of the ball. You can watch the play here.
Many Sounders appealed, rightly, for a handball and I asked coach Sigi Schmid after the game if he feels the team deserved a penalty kick.
“I haven’t seen the replay, so I couldn’t tell,” Schmid said. “I know all the guys pretty much said it looked like a handball. There was that and there was the one where maybe (Montero) got knocked down on the cross. I don’t know if he did get knocked down on the cross or not.”
Then came an interruption from the back of the room:
“How did you feel about the refereeing coach?”
The inquiry came from majority owner Joe Roth, who added: “And I’ll pay the fine.”
Laughter filled the room and Schmid turned his comments onto referee Kevin Stott, particularly in the context of some pushing and shoving in the second half that resulted in a yellow card for Chivas USA’s Casey Townsend.
“As an old coach of mine used to say… he never said the guy’s a good referee or a bad referee,” Schmid said. “He just said, ‘I’m very unlucky with this referee.’ So I’ll say with Kevin Stott, I’m very unlucky often with the calls. Obviously the game almost got out of hand a little bit in the second half. All he had to do was get a hold of Casey Townsend. The play was stopped for their two injured players in the box. We had the ball just at the back part of the circle. It was very easy just to get Casey out of there. He didn’t have to stand there. The ref could’ve made sure of that and just drop the ball to Ozzie and we play. Instead he ends up dropping the ball, Casey challenges for the ball right away and it ends up being a melee again. That was something I think was mismanaged as a referee.”
Pretty sure that’s not fine-worthy, but Schmid knows where to send the invoice if it is.