Sunday, May 13, 2012

Should KC Appeal Roger Espinoza's Red Card?

Plenty of discussion has taken place over the calls made in Sporting's 2-1 loss to Chicago last night at Toyota Park.  A lot of that discussion has centered on the foul by Roger Espinoza on Sebastian Grazzini when the two went for a 50/50 ball and Espinoza's elbow hit Grazzini in the face.  Rookie referee, Jose Carlos Rivero made no hesitation going to his pocket and producing a red card.  Grazzini definitely made a meal of the challenge, especially considering he was almost immediately right back on the field, but watching it again you can hardly argue that Espinoza went into that challenge recklessly.  See it again below.

Fast forward now to the end of the game, immediately after the game finished, Peter Vermes was interviewed by Sporting KC's television staff on the field.  Vermes was certainly frustrated and had the adrenaline flowing with the end of the game, and came out saying that Rivero had made himself the center of attention, that he'd made the game about himself, and that he had been the man of the match. 

Reading his quotes in the post match press conference, he'd seemed to calm down, but not much, say: 'The referee is there to ref the game, not to be part of the show.  And today, that’s what he made himself.  He made himself part of the show.  And that’s disappointing, because players, they work hard, they are the ones who are the entertainers on the field, not him, and unfortunately that’s what the game was like today.  He changed the game.”

He continued to specifically discuss the red card, saying "...but the red card is not a red card." 

He compared Espinoza's red card this year to the one Omar Bravo got last year in this game. "Two years now here, in a row, we come here and we have two red cards which aren’t red cards, which completely changes the outcome of the game."

Vermes then goes into discussing the loss of Espinoza for the next game as well, although hints at appealing the decision: "So now we don’t only lose the player for this game, but we lose him for the next game, depending on whether MLS does and allows the appeal."

After that, Vermes is asked flat out if he will be appealing the red card.  “We’ll be watching it.  We’ll be watching what the angles are, what show it, because that’s a big part of the appeal and we’ll make a decision from there.  As of right now, it probably looks pretty darn good.  I saw it live.  Our guy clears the ball, and the other guy runs into him, it’s actually a foul on the other guy.  If there’s anything going on there.  Once a guy jumps, he can’t change his position, and he’s played the ball, not the other way around.  Just a first time referee in the MLS, makes a very, very poor decision.”

I don't know what Vermes saw live, but having the ability to watch replays on TV from the comfort of Quick's BBQ last night, I don't think it looks "pretty darn good."  Espinoza jumped into the challenge and led with his elbow.  To me that's a definite red card due to the reckless nature of it.  To me personally I think Espinoza is going to be earning himself at least 1 if not 2 extra games for that challenge. 

So to me it's a no brainer that you don't put an appeal on this red card, it doesn't make sense.  It especially doesn't make sense once you read about the appeal process.  Teams are allowed 2 unsuccessful appeals during the course of the season, the part that worries me, is the third part of section 1, regarding frivolous challenges.  Similar tackles to Espinoza's have earned multiple game suspensions and I could see a challenge of this being deemed frivolous.  Should that happen, KC would be unable to appeal red cards for the rest of this season and all of next season, and the suspension is automatically doubled.

The decision to actually challenge the red card on Espinoza has already been made by the team, as the appeal has to be made within 24 hours of the completion of the match.  As of this posting, that time has surpassed.  So we will see if the team did choose to, but do you think that KC should appeal Espinoza's red card?


Rob Swenson said...

I think it would be foolish to appeal. Knocking down the guy who just scored using your elbow will be impossible to overturn, even by a panel of homers.

Kevin said...

No way should the team appeal the red card. Watching it live the first time I thought he was going for the ball and put his arm out to protect himself. Watching it slowing on replay it may still have started that way, but at the end after the initial contact the elbow come back up to catch catch the other player in the chin.

I agree with the red card, but I don't think Roger will get anymore of a ban from missing the next game, which is huge for us in Colorado and being on a 3 game losing streak.

Spoon said...

No he gets what he deserves and I think PV will have a nice little fine for his comments after the match as well.

Ky said...

I have to agree with the group here. Espinoza made a stupid foul. Cameras are everywhere now. Even if he gets away with it in the match, you know the league reviews this stuff and it would have been coming anyway. This was blatantly stupid.

I also agree that PV reacted rather brash. I am not sure he will get a fine. If he is fined, it should be for his absent minded substitutions in the last three games.

Jough Donakowski said...

Not at all. Even if the foul was milked, you can't leave an elbow up and out like that. One game suspension is totally justified and PV sounds like a child whining after two legit calls.

That said, his 'Us vs. everyone' rallying cry last year kinda seemed to work, so maybe he's trying it out again. Can't blame the refs for that loss though.

eelgrassman said...

No, we should just deal with the red card and the one game suspension, and move on. Just contain the damage at this point. We don't need a soap opera over this. Rough fouls happen. Although this was on the border between reckless and incidental, elbows hitting faces hard need to be called.

hartley said...

We lost the game. We had the game and we lost it. Seems to me there are three key moments that led to the loss.

First, Collin needs to quit trying to tackle from behind in the 18. He had the guy positioned well to close down his angle. And it looked liked Jimmy had good position, so why not let him shoot? I think Jimmy makes the stop. Stupid.

Second, Roger just was plain stupid. There is nothing to appeal and nothing to defend. With that said, I don't understand why Grazzini had not cards for the game. In fact, I think he should have already received two yellows and been sent off. Julio makes one hard foul and gets carded. Grazzini committed several hard fouls in both halfs, but gets nothing. That's what should be discussed with the league. Why is it that Grazzini had the center ref in his back pocket?

Third, can Kamara please stop screwing around with the ball. All he had to do was kick the ball out and give Chicago a corner kick. That's the smart play. The Fire don't score off of corners. Set the defense and play on. Keep the draw intact. But no, he has to touch the ball too many times and give the Fire an opportunity to make a play on him and the ball. Very stupid. Kamara needs to quit messing about and play smart, direct soccer.


MOUF said...

shouldnt appeal it. they arent going to overule it no matter how they see.

That isnt a "50/50" ball though, i'd argue you cant even call that a tackle. Grazzini didnt go even for the ball, choose instead to walk into the clearence.

"Espinoza went into that challenge recklessly"

? Nothing about the "challenge" was wreckless, for sure not going in. He put his elbow up at the end like a moron, "challenge" was clean, and completely fine, he is just stupid for raising his elbow in the end.

bfos said...

Forget how flat out wrong he was. His players have been consistently making stupid mistakes on top of not being ready for games and he covers for them by making a BS excuse about the officiating??? What a joke.

Anonymous said...

I am as big a homer as they come and I thought both calls were correct. Sucks to lose a game that we had control of based on a couple of calls, but I do think those calls were the correct ones.

Anonymous said...

appealing the Red would be a big mistake. No way we win this.
I question why Kamara was in the game when he made the stupid attempt at a clearance. He looked like he was limping and had gone down hard a couple of times. I was puzzled by the sub of Teal for CJ, then not putting in another midfielder when we were down to 10. Chicago had way too much possession the last 25 minutes. I'm probably not qualified to question PV's sub decisions, but I do find them baffling at times.

Ky said...

MOUF, I agree with your clarification point. Challenge=good, elbow=bad.

Nathan W Martin said...

Better get used to Roger being unavailable: World Cup Qualifying starts soon.

SKC may be the beneficiary of the mediocre start by Zusi, Sapong, and Bunbury. I'd be surprised if any Americans get called in.