Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Referee’s decisions loom large in Whitecaps’ draw

Referee’s decisions loom large in Whitecaps’ draw

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On a night where the Vancouver Whitecaps were better 11 vs. 11 than they were after they went up a man, the contribution of referee Terry Vaughn couldn’t be ignored.

The Whitecaps scored before Red Bulls’ defender Jan Gunnar Solli was ejected for a professional foul on Camilo. And they gave up a second-half equalizer to Juan Agudelo long after Solli was sent to the showers. The result? A 1-1 draw in Harrison, N.J.

But, while it’s hard for a team or its fans to gripe about officiating on a night where they spent a little more than a full half with a man advantage, if there as a time to do it, it would have been Saturday night.

New York’s equalizer came after Whitecaps’ defender John Thorrington totally lost his mark on Agudelo, who had an easy time directing home a cross from Designated Player Rafa Marquez.

But, even though the Whitecaps were up a man, they could claim they were up the wrong man. It would be easy to argue that Marquez should never have been on the field to deliver that cross; that it should have been him and not Solli who got his walking papers.

Just minutes before Solli was sent off for his foul on Camilo, Marquez brought Whitecaps’ striker Eric Hassli down from behind. Both feet were in on the challenge. And, Marquez was already on a yellow.

Hassli was incensed over the non-call. But Vaughn, who waved off what looked to be a perfectly goal from Camilo earlier in the match, allowed Marquez to walk.

But, on a far more innocuous challenge, Solli got his walking papers. Now, we aren’t going to get the chance to talk to Vaughn; and, if we did, we’d never get an answer out of him on this topic. But, if there was ever an argument that Solli’s sending off was in some way a make-up red card, this was it. Solli didn’t look to be the last man back when he brought down the Whitecaps’ forward; in fact, Camilo had just received a pass and hadn’t demonstrated that he was gone and beyond the back line. But Vaughn didn’t hesitate on the red.

Now, after getting an earful from Hassli, did Vaughn realize that he missed one — and made up for it the first chance he got?

Rafa Marquez: Should he have seen red?

But Marquez had a major influence on the second half and the tying goal; so, given a choice, the Caps would have rather seen Marquez go and had Solli stay on the pitch.

And Vaughn, as mentioned earlier, waved off what looked to be a fine goal from Camilo inside the first 10 minutes of the match. Camilo shrugged off Red Bulls’ defender Chris Albright and slammed a low shot through the legs of New York keeper Bouna Coundoul; but the goal was disallowed, as Vaughn ruled that Camilo had fouled Albright, even though it looked as if Albright was the one who was doing the fouling.

Still, Vancouver did well to shrug off its dismay over the call and got down to business. Davide Chiumiento was robbed by Coundul as he went in alone on goal. Shea Salinas looped a header just over the goal after he met a Davide Chiumimento cross ahead of a charging Coundoul.

But Chiumiento, who has the best player on the pitch until he had to leave the match with an injury early in the second half, gave the Whitecaps the deserved lead. Camilo made a great run to the touch line, then squared it to the top of the box, where Camilo was able to turn on a bouncing ball and smash a half-volley under the bar and in.

Should it have been the Whitecaps’ second goal of the game? Should Marquez have been on the field to assist with Agudelo’s equalizer?

When a team has not won on the road this season, those are the kind of breaks that become all too common.

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One Comment

  1. ian

    September 12, 2011 at 12:15 am

    A truly entertaining MLS refereeing show, it was not about the soccer at all as the game was completely the handywork of Mr. Vaughn. How Camilo’s “goal” could be called back laughable after reviewing the previous 15sec in slowmo on the PVR, there was no way, no how he fouled the defender. And not booking Marquez for a 2-footed tackle through the back of Hassli is a new low even for MLS refs. Also, no way was Solli the last man back required to be red card, the was a covering defender by about 3 yards and the right angle to Camilo. Another Vancouver job by the USSF ref corp.

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