Real Salt Lake 1- DC United 1 - quick post match thoughts

SANDY, UT - JUNE 18: Chris Wingert #17 of Real Salt Lake kicks the ball away from Charlie Davies #9 of DC United but was called for a penalty kick foul late in the second half of an MLS soccer game June 18, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The penalty kick resulted in a game tying goal. Real Salt Lake and DC United played to a 1-1 tie. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Well, when I point out in my match preview how many PK's DC United have gotten this year, and I say that you have to be careful to keep them out of the area with the ball, when you have seen MLS officials continue to make match changing calls despite being out of position, this is what you get.

Now it is clear when you see tweets from even the DC United side of the media world calling it a "flop" a "dive", and when national media guys are posting pictures from screen shots on TV showing that it was clearly a very missed call, it doesn't surprise me.  Can I blame a player who is making a great run but has the ball get away from him a bit and a defender clear it away for going down and hoping to get a call?  Nope as long as officials make that call, the players will take advantage of it, I am left wondering why the sideline official didn't step in to correct the call, but with Terry Vaughn you always get drama.  Tonight was no different.  Here are the post match comments from the officials (who take questions and respond in writing:

Tonight's Pool Reporter - Michael C. Lewis of The Salt Lake Tribune (also President of the North American Soccer Reporters) NOTE: conducted in written form

QUESTION: What did the Referee or Linesman see on the play in the 83rd minute that resulted in the Penalty Kick?

RESPONSE: In the 83rd minute, a tripping foul was committed by Real Salt Lake within their own penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick.

FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: Who made the call that it should be a Penalty Kick, the Referee or the Linesman?

ANSWER: The referee made this decision to call the penalty kick.

some more thoughts after the jump:

So I am going to tell you why I think Jason is the best coach in MLS, when asked about the call in the post match press conference, he responded "no comment".  He could have clearly done what was done by several coaches last week and toss the officials under the bus, but he knows that wouldn't benefit anything, he knows it wouldn't change the call.  So he took the high road, that is what a good coach does, that is what every coach should do.

After the match I had a quick conversation with RSL President Bill Manning, and the reality of the night was clear "We didn't do enough to keep the match out of the hands of the officials".  Indeed RSL had chances on goal, took some shots 11 on the night (fewer than I thought they would need-15), they had 3 of them on goal and they had plenty of good chances.  I actually thought RSL didn't play great most of the first half, I think DC did a good job of attacking the ball, I thought RSL played much better in the second half.  It was more deliberate and more attacking, but they were unable to convert their chances.

This is a match were a number of calls were missed on both sides, but as you see in the picture is is rather clear that Wingert got the ball, and that there was no foul, and should not have been a PK, but this is MLS and you very often end up with matches were the play on the field isn't the deciding factor.  

RSL will clearly need to do better on Wednesday when they are in Chicago to face the Fire, I have a feeling this might just motivate some guys, I know in seeing a lot of them leave the stadium it looked as if they might just be ready to really play with some incredible passion and energy (the polite way of saying "kick some ass".

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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