Sunday, August 07, 2011

DCU 3-3 Toronto

What a clusterfuck, every bit of it attributable to one person or another, in contrast to the usual team-effort goofiness that has plagued United this season. For its part, the team showed more heart and fire than we've seen in some time (including last week's win at San Jose), despite some lethargy at key points as the game wore on; I attribute most of it to Dwayne DeRosario, who tricked in an epic performance.

Let's break down the misery a bit:

-Bill Hamid well and truly bought his red card. He was outside the box, he made contact with Eric Avila after the ball was well away from Avila, and he sent Avila into a spectacular cartwheel from which Avila was fortunate to walk away. It was a straight red card. I can't prove this next bit, because I didn't mention to anyone before the game (it was the first time I'd seen BFF for over a month, and we were all chattering excitedly before the game started), but I wondered what to expect from him tonight, after his selection to the national team for next week's friendly against Mexico, wondered if he'd be an insufferable prick. Yup.

-Steve Cronin is to blame for all three Toronto goals. He punched one down into his 18, instead of up and away; it was clear he was afraid to handle a wet ball. There were at least four occasions when he punched instead of trying to hold the ball. Then, later, on a hold, he barely clung to the sides of the ball (rather than getting a hand behind the ball to prevent it squirting into the net), leading to a collective gasp from 232. The De Guzman goal, which came when play shouldn't have been restarted, was well within a range where it could and should have been saved; and the third Toronto goal was utter crap as Cronin sort of crumpled up dumbfounded. He's a fucking hoser.

I should note for those listening to me bitch that I thought Andy Iro was offside on the third goal; on replay, I see that Austin Da Luz was guarding the far post against invisible attacking pixies, keeping Iro onside and rendering it irrelevant whether he touched the ball.

The De Guzman goal came while play should've been stopped. Now, things are a little sketchy here. Custom is for a substitution to be allowed to be completed before play is restarted (under the laws of the game, a substitution can only be made during a "stoppage"). Now, bear with me here, because while it was unconscionable that referee Jasen Anno allowed play to restart and this goal to stand, I'm having a hard time justifying that stance by anything other than custom. Here's what it says in the Laws of the Game:

To replace a player with a substitute, the following conditions must be observed:

-the referee must be informed before any proposed substitution is made
-the substitute only enters the field of play after the player being replaced has left and after receiving a signal from the referee
-the substitute only enters the field of play at the halfway line and during a stoppage in the match
-the substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play
-from that moment, the substitute becomes a player and the player he has replaced becomes a substituted player
-the substituted player takes no further part in the match
-all substitutes are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referee, whether called upon to play or not
The laws regarding the procedure for restarts, free kicks throw-ins, and timing are even less helpful here. It does not appear that Anno was required to let Ethan White (who was being substituted, as duly authorized by Anno, for the injured Brandon McDonald) get reasonably set before the restart. I have never seen a referee allow a quick restart during a substitution. I don't think Ben Olsen (who did his job and got ejected arguing the call) or the team on the field had ever seen it either.

Goff says in his story that "Anno didn't stop play as he was required to do." Goff cites no authority.

Was Anno wrong? Hell yes, and he was a fucking dick about it, persistently. He issued two red cards to DCU and persistently let violent conduct by Toronto pass with just a whistle. Did Hamid and Olsen deserve red cards? Yes for Hamid, and technically yes for Olsen. Did he hold the two teams to different standards of conduct? Very, very clearly so. He belongs unemployed.

What do I make of it all? Fuck if I know. It's frustrating as hell, not being able to win at home, even against clearly inferior opposition. Toronto has fuck-all nothing, just nothing, they're a terrible fucking team. DeRosario picked them apart almost at will (though apparently, he should have willed picking them apart a few more times). Toronto dominated the stats (66 percent possession? Holy crap, what an awesome demonstration of crap possession, then), but I never felt endangered except when the going got weird.

Of course, we can argue that the going's been weird since March.

Update: Fullback, no less disturbed about the outcome, disagrees about Hamid's red, and has unkind things to say about Josh Wolff--which I suspect BFF will echo in the morning. I agree about Wolff.

Update 2: Outrage is legion, and BFF doesn't appear to be up yet, so there's more to come and I couldn't be happier about that, because he'll also say something with which I'll dickishly quibble, and don't judge me, we all need hobbies.

Anno appears to have falsified his match report--White clearly had not entered the field before the restart.

People who should know better get exercised about the very existence of a match report.

USSF's Referee Week In Review comes out on Fridays--this is so weird that it would be pretty unconscionable for it not to be included, but it's hard to predict what USSF will or won't try to cover up. They'll probably get friendly and lovable Mike Kennedy to talk about the Hamid red card instead.

Update 3 (and fin): Bad timing; BFF is up.


Jim H. said...

Soccer esoterica. I'm down. Your boys gonna' make the playoffs?

Landru said...

I seem unable to blog anything else of late.

And no. Hells no.