It may have been lost in the fact that 70,000 plus people were watching the MLS All-Star game in Atlanta, but the Swope Park Rangers played the LA Galaxy II in California on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, an otherwise fun game to watch, was overtaken by horrible officiating.
Generally, the ref really lacked control in the game. He would call fouls but not give cards for obvious intentional (tactical) fouls. The LA Galaxy II announcer was even surprised that cards weren’t given at times. In one instance Hillard-Arce committed a tactical foul and nothing was given. Later he did get a yellow, which would have been a second and a red, if the first was called.
In the 71st minute SPR won two straight balls and their players appeared to be fouled and somehow the ref went back and gave the Galaxy the foul. That setup a dangerous set piece right outside Adrian Zendejas’ box. Luckily nothing came of it.
After that the official gave a penalty kick and it was simply awful. Matheus Silva was behind the LAG player who just falls to the ground with little or no contact. Some would call it a flop, but it was awarded. Thankfully the ball doesn’t lie and Zendejas came up with a big save.
In the 80th minute Zanga kicks Rebellon in the knee/thigh just have Rebellon won the ball and then what happens? Rebellon got a yellow card. Kudos again to the Galaxy announcer who thought the call went the complete wrong way. Just atrocious officiating.
In the 88th minute it all came to a head. Hadji Barry was correctly given a yellow for diving in the box, which led to a red. That’s because he was given a persistent infringement yellow earlier in the game (73rd minute) after a mere two fouls, both very minor. That led to Paulo Nagamura losing his cool and getting ejected. He probably couldn’t tell that the official actually got that call correct, but since the ref had so badly screwed up nearly everything up to that point, it was understandable he thought he’d faltered again.
Overall it was a wildy inconsistently officiated game. I’m all for yellows to stop diving, but not if violent or tactical fouls aren’t given as yellows the other way.
Also, in random bad officiating the AR marched off 10 yards for a Galaxy freekick and took at least 12 or 13 steps earlier in the game.
There were two goals actually scored in the game. In the 51st minute Swope would score as Colton Storm delivered a ball into the box that Barry would drive home. However the Galaxy answered quickly in the 60th minute as forwards Ariel Lassiter and Frank Lopez would combine for Lopez to find the equalizer.
Other SPR Observations
- In the 3rd minute, Tyler “SPR’s Shelton” Blackwood passes instead of shooting right in front of the net (In the 88th minute Blackwood was all the way back in the box making a defensive play to spring a counter, very Shelton like).
- In the 22nd minute Barry did the exact same thing failing to shoot and instead send a pass to no one.
- In the 28th minute Barry has to score. He’s through all alone with the keeper and he takes a long touch and gives the ball away to the keeper (who to his credit made a great sliding challenge). If Barry has control a simple chip scores it -- something he hasn’t shown he has in his bag of tricks.
- Nagamura’s subs were also a bit bizarre. It’s unclear if any injury was involved but he changed his left center back (Dakota Barnathan) at half time then allowed a goal (though it came down the right side) and left back (Parker Maher) shortly after that. His final sub sees a right back come on for his attacking midfielder (Chase Minter). When Sporting Kansas City players aren’t on loan, there aren’t a lot of options.