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It is no secret that Saturday’s game at San Jose held a fair amount of controversy. A number of plays at Buck Shaw Stadium were featured in MLSsoccer.com’s Instant Replay, where host Simon Borg thinks Osvaldo Alonso‘s ejection was justified, Steven Lenhart should have been sent off in the 18th minute, Leo Gonzalez committed a PK-worthy foul and more.
Referee Sorin Stoica told a pool reporter after the game that Alonso was ejected for “violent conduct” involving “contact above the shoulder” on Earthquakes defender Dan Gargan.
Coach Sigi Schmid was asked his thoughts on Alonso’s red card after Monday’s practice.
“I’ve watched it on different videotapes and so forth; maybe I haven’t had the right angle to see what was seen,” said Schmid, adding the team hadn’t determined whether it will appeal Stoica’s decision.
Then Lenhart’s tackle on Michael Gspurning came up, a play that resulted in a forearm injury to the Sounders goalkeeper.
“In fairness to Lenhart, I think he went in for the ball,” Schmid said. “I don’t think it was overly aggressive. I think there are other plays you can look at where he’s more aggressive. It’s just one of those things. He just hit the ball and turned Michael’s wrist in an awkward manner.”
There was a lot more from the game that raised eyebrows. Heck, there were 35 fouls, six yellow cards and a red card. Since this isn’t uncommon in games involving San Jose, and Schmid didn’t hide his disgust for how things transpired Saturday, I asked the coach if he thought any of the plays were dirty.
“That’s for the referees to determine when they referee the game,” Schmid said. “I thought the calls were inconsistent. You look at certain situations. The one that really stands out in my mind is the one where Alan Gordon goes up in the air for the ball and runs over Zach Scott, and the foul is on Zach Scott.
“There were two, three occasions where the referee blew the whistle and then pointed in the wrong direction and then had to change his mind and point in the other direction. He seemed a little tentative the whole game as a result and I thought, yeah, the game was very disjointed, very choppy with 35 fouls in it. … There wasn’t a flow, there wasn’t a rhythm. There were certainly some hard challenges that were there.”
What did you make of the officiating and the controversial plays?