MLSsoccer.com’s latest episode of Instant Replay came out Monday, and the video headline reads: “What did referee see in Obafemi Martins red card?”
Well, we still don’t know.
Host Simon Borg doesn’t get to the Sounders-Chicago game until the 5:46 mark, and while there are a few new angles, including some that show Fire midfielder Benji Joya on the ground and then visibly upset, there is no clear shot of an alleged strike from Seattle’s Obafemi Martins that led to referee Chris Penso showing a red card.
Penso, to a pool reporter, explained the decision after the game: “Violent conduct. Martins was sent off after striking an opponent in the head.”
Joya explained the incident to the Fire team website: “I had the ball and he reached over [to grab it]. I didn’t understand why because we’re the ones losing. He reached to grab it but his fist was closed, got my chin and then pulled the ball away.”
Whether the red card was justified or not, it seems to have been an avoidable situation for Martins.
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said in his postgame interview that the day was already a tough one for Martins: “It was probably a pretty emotional day for him watching Nigeria play without him. … I know that impacted him.”
Schmid gave no indication the Sounders would appeal the decision. Also, the team is off all week with their next access coming Saturday, so I’m guessing we won’t hear anything unless the red card is rescinded.
Martins, if the decision holds, would miss a June 28 road game against D.C. United. He could perhaps feature more than had been expected in Seattle’s U.S. Open Cup run, though.