This just in, Tony still hates the refsBy: Melissa | July 31st, 2009
It may just be me but I do think it’s a bit odd that I’ll watch a WPS game and it’s either completely card free or someone is getting carried off in a stretcher. Is there no middle ground? Am I onto something here? Or rather, is Tony DiCicco onto something? After Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the Freedom, DiCicco commented for the second time in public against the refereeing in the league:
“[Jose Carlos Rivero is] over his head. Most of the referees in this league have been over their heads,” DiCicco said. “And they can look the part and play the part but that is just a very, very difficult call in that stage in the game. . . . Not only did he change this game, we have to play two days from now in St. Louis, and he’s reshaped the whole playoff picture. I just feel for my team because they played their hearts out. And they deserved better, they deserved a better center official.”
The call in question can be seen in the first few minutes of the video below. Breakers defender Alex Scott goes in a bit high on a tackle against Sonia Bompastor. Scott immediately gets the red card while Bompastor plays the entire game.
Earlier in the season, DiCicco made similar comments against the refs because of dangerous fouls against his star player, Kelley Smith. He received a fine and was forced to perform community service for his words.
Alex Scott mentions the incident in her blog:
Washington go on the attack, but it breaks down, we have the ball in the back passing it around for a sec, the ball comes to me……. i have space to drive forward, i take a touch forward the ball slips away from me a bit, i slid to try and retrieve it then BANG……………… i hear a whistle Bompaster is still on the floor rolling around, the ref is running over, i see him go to his pocket…….. so i think to myself great, a yellow card this early on, thats going make my game hard now……. BUT NO!!! he pulls out a RED!!!! i had to double take, i thought it was wrong, a red card in the 1st 5 minutes, come on! i was so shell shocked i could not say a word. my 1st red card in my career and i have been playing since i was 8!
The NY Times Goal blog points out, Abby Wambach had a similar looking accidental slide tackle earlier in the season that resulted in a yellow card and a season ending injury for Daniela (Wambach was eventually suspended one game). Scott also points out on her blog that all red cards issued this season were against the Freedom. Coincidence? Inconsistency? Conspiracy? Or are we just super super bored out here? Wambach’s yellow card tackle can be seen in the video below: