General consensus following Saturday’s stunning 2-1 home loss to Columbus was that there was shared blame Justin Meram‘s late winner (to be fair, a great strike): the Sounders didn’t react well enough to the Crew’s quick corner-kick and referee Allen Chapman let things get out of control (perhaps even distracting the home team in the buildup).
Check out the postgame quote sheet for complete reaction from the game, but here were some highlights:
“At the end of the game, we didn’t react well,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “I have an issue with the referee, but we didn’t react well. … Usually a referee positions himself outside the 18 when a corner kick is taken. I rarely see referees positioned almost inside the six-yard box. So it looked to me from the outside like he was talking to our players, and if you’re talking to our players, why do you let the ball get played? Then he’s backpedalling. If the ball had been swung in, he was in no position to make a call in the melee. He had done that earlier in the game, as well, where he talked to one of our players and let them play a quick free-kick. You can’t do that. If you’re going to talk to our players, then stop the play. But that doesn’t make an excuse for us falling asleep. More guys needed to pay attention there so we don’t get caught.”
Players expressed similar sentiments.
“Unfortunately we fell asleep there on the last kick of the game,” said defender Chad Marshall.
“It was unfortunate how the goal went down with the ref sort of distracting us and us not being 100-percent prepared for the short corner,” added defender Dylan Remick. “… I didn’t really see what was happening with the ref, but apparently he was talking to some of our players about what was going on. They played the short corner and he didn’t really do anything about it. … Mentally we just sort of turned off for a few seconds. Whether the ref distracted us or not, that’s sort of up to interpretation. We have to stay focused all the way through the game and we weren’t as mentally focused as we should’ve been on that last play and it bit us.”
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei said the mass confusion stemmed from the first corner kick that the Sounders cleared off the line.
“Even on that one, I tried to go up for it and I got stiff-armed in the face,” Frei said. “Then that’s why I think we were all up with the ref, and the ref’s talking back to us, and the next thing you know, they already started.”
So who do you feel deserves more of the blame: the Sounders for not being prepared or Chapman for not handling the situation better?
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