Seeing red in San Antonio: FCE coach Miller says lack of oversight on NASL referees is “laughable” By Steven Sandor Posted on September 7, 2014 6 0 662 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Colin Miller The San Antonio Scorpions finished Saturday night’s match against FC Edmonton with three more goals on the scoreboard and two more men on the field. San Antonio led 1-0 on a first-half strike from Rafa Castillo that kissed the post and went in. And then the rain of cards came. Sorin Stoica sent off FCE fullback Eddie Edward in the 65th minute. Eddies’ midfielder Cristian Raudales got his marching orders in the 69th minute. Losing two players made it impossible for the Eddies to fight back and equalize — and eventually an exhausted, shorthanded side gave up two more goals, one of them a very controversial one. Final score, 3-0. But, really, for the Eddies, this is one that you just throw away and not try to analyze too much, outside of the fact that Raudales and Edward are facing suspensions. Edward was sent off after Stoica ruled that he pulled back forward Billy Forbes and denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity. But Scorpions striker Tomasz Zahorski had the ensuing penalty attempt denied by keeper Lance Parker. But, before the Eddies could build any momentum off of their keeper’s outstanding diving penalty stop, another red card was flashed. After Raudales knocked over Cesar Elizondo, Stoica took his time to think about it as both players were on the grass. He then decided to show the red to Raudales. Sorin Stoica: Has now handed out 10 red cards in nine pro games officiated this season. According to stats from PRO, the organization that assigns refs to professional matches in the United States, Stoica has handed out eight red cards in eight matches officiated this season (going into the San Antonio/FCE match). He leads PRO in red cards handed out this season. After Saturday, it’s now 10 reds in nine games, an average of over one per match. Only one other ref in PRO averages more than 0.5 reds per game, Edvin Jurisevic, at 0.6 per game. So Stoica leads the red-card derby by a country mile. “This clown, he’s always sending a player off when he’s got a game with us,” said FCE coach Colin Miller after the match. “I spoke to about half a dozen San Antonio players after the match and they were also in total disbelief about the officiating. “I’m not saying we did enough to win, we had too many guys having off nights, but the reds change the game. There was no foul on Eddie, it was just good defence, two players battling. “But my question is this, if someone doesn’t perform in his job, who is there to hold him accountable? I am told that, this year, in NASL there is no mechanism for us to appeal red cards. That is laughable.” Of course, MLS reviews all cards and often adds punishment and sometimes even rescinds red cards after the Disciplinary Committee has a sober second look. San Antonio’s Canadian coach, Alen Marcina, was frank in his assessment: “I feel like it’s our best effort all year.” The Eddies hung at 1-0 on till there were less than 10 minutes left in the match — then came another bizarre incident. A ball came in the box, Parker came out sliding to claim it, and got there a half-second before Elizondo. The players collided, both wen down hurt, and Forbes stuck the ball in the open net. After some deliberation, the goal was allowed to stand — even though Elizondo was second to the ball (albeit marginally) and didn’t make any attempt to avoid a collision with the keeper. Deep into stoppage time, Trevin Caesar added insult to injury with an insurance goal against a nine-man side that had no legs left. The loss puts San Antonio eight points up on FCE in the fall season standings. The Eddies are four points behind Tampa Bay for the final playoff spot in NASL. But the Eddies have no games left against the league’s top two teams, San Antonio and Minnesota, and have two left with Tampa Bay.