Monday, June 8, 2015

Sunday MLS: No goals. but lots of red

Real Salt Lake 0-0 Colorado Rapids
The first of two goalless draws to entertain us on a Sunday filled with ugly blowouts on the international stage. At least the result was in flux for both of these matches, unlike the Women's games that might as well have been known beforehand. In this one, the lack of goals certainly wasn't for lack of trying. The teams took 31 shots combined, but only one shot each found the target. The match should have been won by Colorado in the penultimate minute when Dillon Powers strolled to the spot for a PK. He attempted a soft floated that went harmlessly wide of the goal, so the honors remained shared.

San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 FC Dallas
What a strange game. Three straight red cards were issued in the second half, a pair to San Jose and one to Dallas. The unfortunate part was that all three could have gone uncalled. The first one came in the 53rd minute when Mark Sherrod was trying to leap over Dan Kennedy, who wa curled up on the pitch with the ball. He didn't make it and was shown red for landing on the Dallas keeper's hand. It was clearly unintentional and Sherrod should have been allowed to stay in with no punishment. The bad make up call came with 15 minutes to play. Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off for accidentally kicking a sliding Cordell Cato. He was going for the ball, missed, and happened to cleat Cato in the face. Give him a yellow card if you want. but sending a man off for a hustle play like that is very, very harsh.  The final red card came against San Jose in the 87th minute to JJ Koval. It was for a hard tackle on Ryan Hollingshead and was the most legitimate of them all, but still could have been no more than a yellow. Yes, Koval misses the ball and stomps the foot of Hollignshed, but it was another hustle play that, while somewhat reckless, was not done outside the spirit of the game.

Looking back on it, all the send offs were the best thing to happen to the match. Things really opened up as players were plucked out of the game, but neither side was able to capitalize.

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