MLS Referees: March 15 and 16
We’re in our second week of the MLS referee lockout, and if there’s been any movement, it’s been very quiet. So, we’re looking at the second week of replacement referees. There were a few complaints last week but no major gaffes. We’ll see how it goes this week.
As for the matches, Seattle and Toronto should be interesting, considering all the talent those two teams have brought in from overseas. The referee will be Ioannis Stravrides. According to the Creepy Replacement Referee Burn Book of Doom put out by referees union PSRA, Stravrides (or Stravridis – there are two spellings) ‘moved to the United States from Greece.’ (Shocking!)
They also say he averaged 5.78 yellow cards per game in the Greek league. That does sound excessive, but it’s hard to compare across leagues. Maybe that’s the norm in Greece.
Former MLS ref Abby Okulaja (above), who seems to be nearly universally unpopular amongst MLS fans, will be refereeing the San Jose Earthquakes. I’ll get to see him in action with my hometown boys.
Should be an interesting weekend.
Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC
REFEREE: IOANNIS STRAVRIDES
AR1: Kyle Longville
AR2: Andrew Bigelow
4TH: Bernard Hosu
Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution
REFEREE: KEVIN MORRISON
AR1: Randy Cook
AR2: Jose Da Silva
4TH: Bruno Mozzo
New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids
REFEREE: ALAN KELLY
AR1: Caleb Mendez
AR2: Dimitar Chavdarov
4TH: Marc Lawrence
Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact
BBVA Compass Stadium (8:30pm ET)
REFEREE: YADER REYES
AR1: Stefan McHardy
AR2: Luis Guardia
4TH: John DeArmond
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake
REFEREE: JORGE LUNA HERNANDEZ
AR1: Eugene Mednikov
AR2: Pedro Trejo
4TH: Miguel Panduro
Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas
REFEREE: ABBY OKULAJA
AR1: Eric Weisbrod
AR2: Nikola Aleksic
4TH: Leszak Stalmach
Portland Timbers vs. Chicago Fire
REFEREE: MARCOS DE OLIVEIRA
AR1: Isreal Fernandez
AR2: Brandon Major
4TH: Bernard Hosu
Chivas USA vs Vancouver Whitecaps
REFEREE: RAMON HERNANDEZ
AR1: Nestor Chavez
AR2: Matthew Miscannon
4TH: Pedro Trejo
There was a major gaffe this week. Alan Kelly called a very, very soft/harsh penalty kick that allowed Colorado to draw 1-1 with New York. The Colorado player essentially backed into Jamison Olave and fell to the ground like a ton of bricks. Terrible, terrible call. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m a NY fan).
Oh, yes I saw that one. Rubbish. And Kelly SHOULD be the “best” replacement referee, since he works for PRO training and recruiting the refs.
The Greek guy also had a very bad day in Seattle. He let that game get totally out of control, refusing to card anyone (after PSRA accused him of being card happy). It led to a lot of bad stuff, including Dempsey hitting someone with no repercussions.
Hopefully, this gives the REAL refs some leverage.