Of course the main talking point going into the weekend is Sigi Schmid suspension. Which, is being done by the league to make an “example” of him but just comes across mostly as humerus and rather hypocritical. Though I think when it comes to officiating in general that’s just the state of where we are in MLS.
Truth being what it is Sigi certainly said something he shouldn’t and while it is one thing to call out the state it’s important about how you execute those thoughts. I said it yesterday… or maybe it was a day or two ago, the league needs more transparency when it deals with it’s referees. It’s one thing to discipline coaches that strike out on their own and make comments that are contrary to the spirit of what the league is trying to build. But then again it’s another thing to not acknowledge that there was some issues and not talk about handling them.
Ricardo Salazar isn’t quiet the Villain he’s being made out to be. There is so much more scrutiny with him than there is with just about any other individual who is sent out to govern the games. I’m not saying he’s not warranted the additional attention. He’s made some egregious calls in the past with the Sounders. He could be singled out as one of the primary factors the Sounders did not come away with the Open Cup. You never want that for referee in league that is still trying to grow it’s demographic domestically and you certainly don’t want that as a supporter of any club in that league.
There is no reason why we, and personnel in MLS, shouldn”t be able openly, and within some sense, talk about poor calls in the officiating for those that have been selected for each game. It comes with the territory. People are naturally going to look at the things that are missed. But there are naturally bigger calls that need to fixed and monitored. This is where the problems with transparency come into play. League officials talk plenty of improving the game and acknowledging the need for improving officiating but we see no effort. As the league continues to grow and as we go forward this is an
important vital aspect to watch.
Really, the biggest problem I had against with Salazar is that he never should have even been assigned. It really shouldn’t have ever been an issue. Everyone and anyone in the MLS (paying reasonable attention) can know that the Sounders have experienced multiple run ins with Salazar this season. It would make sense that the league would attempt to minimize the issues by NOT assignment him to these games as they know there would be additional and create negative focus. It just creates bad press that the league doesn’t need.
I’m not saying that the league should not use it’s officials in specific matches, or not allow them to take the pitch while specific teams are involved. But, it would make sense the league would choose to use individuals on important games that have less personal history associated with either clubs. All it does is bring distraction and detracts from what was such a wonderful and well fought match between two excellent teams that look to do further battle against one another in the playoffs.