When is the league going to get serious about refereeing in MLS? The latest example: Major League Soccer has fined the Seattle Sounders $6000 for mass confrontation of an official. Seattle was fined $5000 for the offense, and extra grand because, like Richard Marx, they are a Repeat Offender.
The definition of a good punishment is that it deters unwanted behavior. Crowding, getting in the face of a referee is pretty much right up there with the first things kids learn when playing AYSO soccer. In hindsight this might not mean a whole, given the "honorary" title-- but Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is the Honorary Editor of AYSO Alumni Connection.
There was no question that Hilario Grajeda made the correct call in the 74th minute giving Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso a straight-red card. Raising an elbow to the head or neck area is a red. Every. Single. Time.
Blaming Will Johnson for inciting Alonso's elbow is ridiculous. You are literally blaming the victim.
There's no wiggle room on this issue at all. Seattle players and the coaching staff knew that. Apparently they also knew that any fines levied against them would be paid off in beer sales from their next game.
MLS people: Please. If you are actually going to put rules in to protect the refereeing staff, put teeth in the enforcement. Players, specifically Adam Moffatt, deserves fines if not suspensions. The coaching staff is even more to blame for not controlling their team.
What about anger management classes? Community service? Work at Krispy Kreme?
Surely the people who make these decisions have kids or at least know someone who has kids? You know, the whole "logical and natural consequences of bad behavior?"
Finally, shame on ESPN for apologizing away a truly atrocious display of sportsmanship. These are professional players, they need to be held accountable. You don't have a bad day at work and punch a coworker. That's not okay.
This just stands as the most recent, but not most blatant (that would be leapfrogging Portland in the allocation order and awarding the Sounders Clint Dempsey-which by the Chivas gave to Seattle as part of the Shalrie Joseph trade. You're Welcome!) attempt by the league to protect its favored franchises (LA Galaxy, Sounders, and NYFC).
You are making a mockery of the sport I love and endangering the officials charged with keeping order on the field.
How many mass confrontation problems have we had this year? And how's it gotten better?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!