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TFC 2011 | Week#9

Fleeced in Frisco

There’s no ‘me’ in Referee

Aron Winter finally let out a bit of steam last night. Ten games into the schedule and he’s had a fair taste of life in the MLS. The big bone of contention was some seriously bad officiating in Texas. With TFC playing some decent away football in the first half, the hosts in Dallas were gifted their game winning goal on a daft penalty call. The kind of call that really makes the referee look like he wants some spotlight.

Did your mom call to say she saw you on el television, Mr. Yader Reyes? Did she ask why you were playing for the team with only four players?

That Winter complained about the officiating is not surprising – it was a bad call, among several. In his words, the officials are deciding games and have interfered in all of TFC’s games this season. Anyone who follows the MLS will nod in agreement with what he’s saying. Anyone who follows Toronto FC would likely agree that we seem to take an unfair share of bad calls.

Still, Winter is a pro’s pro when it comes to managing a football club. Bitching about the stanky refs was something I thought below him. It’s something I would expect to hear from the seats around me at BMO Field: “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I want to be a ref.”

There is no denying that MLS referees are universally poor. There is no denying that the officials in this league are deciding too many contests on controversial calls. There is also no denying that complaining about officiating is dead end. It’s a sucky refuge for the desperate and defeated.

I feel Winter’s frustration, of course, and I forgive him for stooping into the realm of mortals to complain about it.

FC Dull-ass

Last night’s penalty call in first half extra time was unjust. Yet, as Jacob Peterson and Julian de Guzman pointed out, the Reds never really responded in the second half. They faced a Dallas side content to hang back and risk little. Still, the Reds had no fire. They never really looked convincing about scoring an equalizer.

The away game curse, the foul stench of MLS refereeing and the trials of a rebuilding season all seem like weak excuses. Pizza the Hut Park was almost totally empty. You can’t get better away conditions than no home supporters. And, for the most part, referee Yader Reyes was equal opportunity awful. It was a stinker of a game all around. Dallas didn’t impress. Toronto FC looked like wrinkled permanent press.

With a promising victory behind them last weekend against Houston at home, Toronto could have dug down and made a case for their quality and heart. Instead, they rolled over and gave up after a cheap shot knocked them down.  It’s one game, and it’s early in the season. Hopefully, Winter and the Reds will brush off Wednesday’s defeat and move on.

Chicago’s in town Saturday. Another victory at BMO will be enough to wash away the stench of Reyes on their Pizza Park stained cleats.

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