On Friday, MLS made it official. Peter Vermes was fined for his comments following last weekend’s game between Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy. The amount of the fine was not disclosed.
The comments in question came on the heels of a poorly officiated 1-1 draw that saw Sporting KC drop two points at home after two particularly questionable calls. The first was the penalty kick awarded to the Galaxy for a supposed foul from Matt Besler, despite the lack of contact on Ola Kamara in the box. That would lead to the Galaxy’s only goal.
The other decision was a non-call on a clear punch to the head by goalkeeper David Bingham on SKC striker Diego Rubio. There were lots of other examples, but these two stood out the most. The #InstantReplay guys weighed in on those big plays.
The comments in question were made by Vermes immediately following the draw.
“Our guys were great,” said Vermes. “We did everything we had to in the game. Today, very simply put, there was a guy on the field that was against us. Every call along the game, unfortunately it changed the game in so many ways. And thank God nobody got injured in the game.”
Oh, but that’s not all he said. He continued during the post-game press conference. He was asked about the PK first.
“Terrible decision – 100 percent terrible decision. I’ll say it this way. When you have a live game, at the speed at which the game is being played, there is absolutely chances for making mistakes. But when you have a replay to look at, that tells you the incompetence of the people that are actually viewing it. One hundred percent the person is already jumping and diving over, and he calls the penalty.”
And then he continued on about the Rubio non-call.
“At the end of the game, the penalty kick where our guy gets punched in the head – where the guy misses the ball completely and our guy headed the ball beforehand – that’s 100 percent a penalty kick. No player on the field, I don’t care if it’s a goalkeeper or anybody, has the ability to punch somebody in the head in a game. It doesn’t matter. That is reckless. The goalkeeper gets protected when he goes up to get a ball. In this situation, he came and he attacked our guy and he hit him.”
Oh, but it didn’t stop there.
“There is a difference in the game tonight. I will say that LA played a good game. They were a good team tonight, for sure. The difference is that we were better. Unfortunately, we were playing against not only the team but also the referees on the field. I’m here saying that because that kind of performance by them is unacceptable at this stage in the League – at this stage in how long the League has been in existence number one, and number two, when you play at these types of level of games where the stadium is full like it is, you have two teams playing at the kind of quality that they are on the field, that is unacceptable that performance. Thank goodness that no player on the field got injured tonight.
The tackle on Rubio that he said the guy got all ball, it blows me away. Everybody in the stadium saw it except for him. He’s not smarter than everybody else. An absolutely unacceptable performance. That should be unacceptable not just by Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy, but that should be unacceptable by the League and PRO and they should do something about it. “
The league’s official statement about the fining Vermes is as follows:
“MLS takes very seriously the integrity of our competition,” said MLS Senior Vice President of Competition Jeff Agoos in a statement. “While we acknowledge the officiating issues during the match, MLS technical staffs have a clearly defined process to provide feedback so that each issue can be addressed by MLS and the Professional Referee Organization (PRO).”
In other words, don’t complain to the media. Follow the official process for a complaint. It seems clear by the “we acknowledge the officiating issues during the match” comment that Jair Marrufo and his VAR screwed up. The issue is, we’ll never know if either of them are punished because PRO doesn’t make that information public.
Let’s just hope, for the sake of SKC and their fans, that these dropped two points don’t have a detrimental impact on the standings at the end of the season. With just three games to go, two of which are on the road, the path to a home game — let alone a bye — is a lot tougher now.