Monday, November 12, 2007

Suspend Jaqua

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.

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.

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.

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.


Anonymous said...

You and Greg Lalas can't be serious. I agree referreeing is terrible in MLS. I agree soemthing needs to be done. Heck, I wouldn't even have been surprised about Jaqua getting a straight red for that in the game (I was there and had a perfect view of it.). But retroactively suspending someone would do nothing to solve the underlying problem of referreeing. In fact, it would hurt MLS in many ways for them to be seen to respond to the concerns like this by a man (Lalas) who is an employee of the New England Revolution. Conflict of interest if worse than bad referreeing any day, and this would reek of it. Sorry, you'll have to come up with something better than that.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

MLS wouldn't be the first team to consider retroactively awarding cards and such. It also wouldn't be the first time that a player in MLS has been suspended for a foul in a game that didn't earn them a red card. It's happened earlier this season when KC played Colorado, and Mehdi Ballouchy only got a yellow for a challenge on Sasha Victorine. The league came back later and suspended Ballouchy for that challenge. The same could very easily be done in this situation.

You are right though that Lalas has a conflict of interest as the PBP guy for New England.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there's conflict of interest, but Lalas is right, so while MLS shouldn't suspend Jaqua because of what he says, they still should for the correct reasons. Even if it did little to correct refereeing, a strong punishment would set an example for players who might otherwise assume they can get away with crap like this. And there are precedents, most notably FIFA's 8-game ban of Tassotti after his elbow on Luis Enrique in '94 despite not being sent off during the game, so there's no reason this should hurt MLS's reputation.