Michael Bradley Calls Out MLS Officials


MLS SoccerMichael Bradley, player for the U.S. national team in the World Cup, has taken a shot at the officials of Major League Soccer after his team’s 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City.

The Toronto FC player said, “It’s by no means an excuse, it was the same for both teams, but the referee was absolutely awful. The people at the MLS office in New York, when they talk about wanting to improve the league, the first thing that needs to be improved is the refereeing, bottom line.”

He also added, “That shouldn’t come across as sour grapes because that’s just the reality. And it was bad for both teams and I’m sure they’re sitting in their locker room saying the same thing to themselves, but they’ve got three points with them and that certainly makes it a little easier to swallow.”

During the game, referee Ted Unkel issued a total of 8 yellow cards, five of them to Toronto. Kansas City was down to 10 men by the 75th minute when their captain Matt Besler received his second yellow. Despite this obstacle, substitute Jacob Peterson scored with five minutes left in time to win for the defending MLS champions.

The first item on the list of complaints for Toronto was a no-call at 23 minutes. Unkel waves play on after the Kansas City defender Aurelian Collin, chasing striker Gilberto after a deft through ball from Bradley, seemed to clip Gilberto’s leg.

Gilberto has a clear path to goal at the time he went down and Bradley asked the referee for a call. The call should have gotten Collin a red card but it went unpunished and Toronto got their first yellow card.

Ryan Nelsen, Toronto manager, was shocked about the no call saying, “Collin should have been sent off. I mean an under 12 ref can pick that one. That’s pretty basic.”

Nelsen said he wondered if something was going on with the referee, because his decision were mystifying to the players. He said, “You tell them to forget about all the decisions that went against you, forget about all that, forget about the ridiculous yellow card they we got and they got nothing. Just try and focus on the game. But they’re humans.”

Peter Vermes, Kansas City coach, had no problem with the officiating of the game. He said, “I thought the referee did a god job tonight, that is my personal opinion. I don’t think it was an easy game to ref. I really liked his management of the game.”

For the tiebreaking goal Peterson, the former midfielder for Toronto, took advantage of Toronto’s failure to clear a deflected cross and snuck the ball past the keeper, Joe Bendik. Graham Zusi made the tying goal for Kansas City (11-5-5) in the 48th minute.

Kansas City has won four straight out of its last seven games and is currently 6-0-1. It has also extended its club record for road winning streak to five games. Jackson scored the single goal for Toronto (7-6-5) in the 16th minute.

About David Campbell

David makes his home in Guatemala and follows the worlds greatest games from there. David contributes on all leagues across the world and had over 25 years experience. He has covered 10 World Cups and will do so again this year in Brazil.

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