Fans of the Seattle Sounders have voted en masse.
Ricardo Salazar has won the dishonour of worst referee in Major League Soccer for the 2013 season by readers of RedCardTheRef.com after the conclusion of fan voting.
Salazar won our inaugural MLS poll by an overwhelming majority capturing 216 votes out of a 348 total votes cast in the poll which launched in July and closed following the conclusion of Saturday’s MLS Cup game in Kansas City.
The 41-year-old resident of Bakersfield, California’s closest competitor - Baldomero Toledo - had 91 votes in our poll. Salazar’s popularity among fans of the Seattle Sounders has history to it but hit an all-time low this season after several of his controversial decisions against the club.
His decision to send off Sounders forward Obafemi Martins in a June 1st game against Chivas USA was so highly questionable that it was eventually rescinded by an independent review panel four days following the match.
Members of the Sounders’ Emerald Army supporters club were so concerned with Salazar’s ability to officiate matches they started a petition to have the professional referee’s association retrain the referee. The petition has collected over 1500 signatures.
The bad blood between Salazar and Seattle extends further back than this season. In 2012 Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was fined and suspended for his comments concerning Salazar’s decisions in their U.S. Open Cup final loss to Kansas City.
Schmid told members of the media after their loss in the cup match:
“God help us if we get Salazar in the playoffs”
The final results of our 2013 poll are listed below:
• 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)