Referee Jair Marrufo was rightly praised 10 days ago when he courageously called off Christian Gómez's winning goal for D.C. United against the Chicago Fire for a handball. But on Saturday night, he undid all that. After Houston's Nate Jaqua slammed a vicious forearm shiver into Jack Jewsbury's head, Marrufo showed the big Houston attacker a yellow card.This topic, though, shows the underlying problem with MLS, and that's a problem with the referees. The level of play in this league has grown dramatically over the past few years. The refereeing has stayed at a very low level. It's been a cause of concern all season, in multiple games. The USSF tried to start working on it by making a few of the referees full time refs, but it hasn't helped, as the referees have still been bad this season.
It was a gutless decision, and I find it hard to believe that none of the referees on the field at the time saw the play sufficiently to advise a straight red.
Now, predictably, the league will claim it cannot punish the player. It'll claim it would undermine the referee's authority. That's bull, and everyone knows it. TV technology allows for retrospection in cases like this. It lets us right certain wrongs. The league can and should try to rectify blatant errors like this whenever possible.
That's why I am calling on MLS officials to suspend Jaqua for the MLS Cup final. His blow was deliberate, violent, and uncalled for. It deserves to be punished.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Yesterday in my post game thread, I talked about how Houston forward Nate Jaqua should have been red carded for his flying elbow on Jack Jewsbury. Apparently I was not the only who thought that Jaqua should have been red carded for it. Greg Lalas agrees that it should have been a red card. Lalas says the league should revue the game film and retroactively suspend Jaqua for the final. I've quote the entire part of his article where he discusses it below.