This is a long overdue and a badly needed outlet for frustrated fans of Major League Soccer.
On Friday, RedCardTheRef launched a fan’s poll for worst referee in Major League Soccer.
The installation of the newly created Professional Referees Association (PRO) hasn’t eased concerns over the poor quality of refereeing this season in Major League Soccer.
Instead the PRO association has become a vehicle or focus point for fans to vent their frustration. Headed by former English Premier League referee Peter Walton PRO has taken a beating this year from fans, players and coaches after some horrid decisions.
Last weekend after a controversial penalty kick call by D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said “It’s a joke, every weekend we’ve got the same clown show.”
Check out Olsen`s comments about referee Matthew Foerster in this Youtube video post below:
Seattle Sounders fans were so enraged with referee they launched a petition against referee Ricardo Salazar pushing Walton and PRO to evaluate Salazar claiming he has a “bias” against their team.
Earlier this season, Toronto FC boss Kevin Payne went so far as to declare his players are “lab rats” for training of inexperienced referees.
“Six of our 10 referees this season have refereed 10 games or fewer during their MLS careers,” Payne said.
Montreal Impact coach Marco Schallibaum was suspended by Major League Soccer for Wednesday’s game against Toronto FC after he walked on the field at half time of a recent match in Kansas City to criticize the awarding of a penalty kick to Sporting K.C.
Major League Soccer its controversial mass-confrontation ruling during the offseason to lessen widespread hostility against its embattled match officials and prohibit players and coaches from approaching them to question calls.
It’s probably a good thing Schallibaum wasn’t on the touchline in Toronto as the Swiss coach likely would have needed a straight jacket and sedative after some of the horrid decisions against his team. The chippy game saw a number of late, mistimed slide tackles go unpunished by Baldamero Toledo in his team’s grisly 3-3 tie at BMO Field.
On Wednesday Major League Soccer fined coaches Olsen for his send in the clowns comment, and also Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen for his violation of the mass-confrontation rule.
Sports Illustrated website The Bleacher Report recently posted an informative analysis of Major League Soccer’s postgame press access to its officials declaring the process a “joke”. While its supposed to be an open process, according to one Sporting Kansas City beat reporter Alan Hainkel, it seems the league picks and chooses which questions to answer and which answers they give to suit their needs.
“If we, as reporters, have done what we’re supposed to do, the referee should put his big boy pants on and answer the questions,” writes Hainkel.
Who knows what strange decisions lurk around the corner in the coming months in Major League Soccer. Please share this poll with friends, fellow supporters and on social media so we can get an accurate cross section of fan discontent.
At the end of the season we will announce the name of Major League Soccer’s worst referee. So please vote in the online poll below - you can cast up to three votes upon each visit to our site:
Who is the worst referee in Major League Soccer? (Pick up to 3)
- Geoff Gamble (1%, 4 Votes)
- Dave Gantar (1%, 4 Votes)
- Edvin Jurisevic (1%, 5 Votes)
- Fotis Bazakos (2%, 6 Votes)
- Drew Fischer (2%, 6 Votes)
- Jose Carlos Rivero (2%, 8 Votes)
- Chris Penso (3%, 10 Votes)
- Jair Marrufo (3%, 11 Votes)
- Hilario Grajeda (4%, 14 Votes)
- Juan Guzman (4%, 15 Votes)
- Allen Chapman (5%, 16 Votes)
- Armando Villarreal (5%, 17 Votes)
- Sorin Stoica (5%, 17 Votes)
- Silviu Petrescu (6%, 20 Votes)
- Mark Geiger (6%, 21 Votes)
- Ismail Elfath (6%, 21 Votes)
- Jorge Gonzalez (7%, 24 Votes)
- Kevin Stott (7%, 26 Votes)
- Matthew Foerster (9%, 32 Votes)
- Baldomero Toledo (26%, 91 Votes)
- Ricardo Salazar (62%, 216 Votes)
Total Voters: 348