FanPost

It's time for drastic action.

In baseball, when a manager disagrees with a call, he has the chance to run out to the man who made it and yell at him for anywhere from thirty seconds to ten minutes. In basketball, a coach can spend entire games right next to a referee, letting him know exactly when he disagrees with his actions. In football, the coaches get a nifty little red flag they can throw when they're frustrated with a decision.

In soccer, the coach gets the pleasure of yelling at a man who only ever influences the game when there's a substitution to be made or if Marcus Hahnemann is being intimidating. Not exactly the best source of catharsis.

Ricardo Salazar has made more than his share of questionable calls against the Sounders over their five year history. We're all too familiar with most of them, from the mystery reds to the no-calls. Sigi Schmid has been a very public critic of his, and yet he still officiates Sounders matches on a regular basis. The league doesn't seem to care about his complaints, seeing them as a coach just griping about when his team gets the short end of the stick.

It is with that in mind that I make a recommendation to Sigi for the next game Ricardo Salazar officiates: Don't show up. Stay home. Refuse to participate. Send a message to the league that you refuse to take any more of the poor officiating, and want a full evaluation of the refereeing system in MLS.

Sigi is a fairly high-profile coach, having managed MLS Cup winners and grabbing two Manager of the Year awards. If he were to protest the state of officiating in the league with an action rather than comments, the league and the USSF would have to listen. They couldn't just ignore the problem like they have been choosing to do for so long. They'd be forced to do something, whether that be fine Sigi or take his actions into consideration. Either way, it would become a conversation topic in the media that there is a legitimate problem in this league that is preventing forward progress.

I would personally be happy to trade three points for a change in how MLS handles its referees. I would even support the Sounders refusing to take the field entirely and forfeiting the match if it meant the USSF would finally listen. Salazar is a repeat offender who has had red cards revoked and questionable decisions appealed, and yet he still takes the pitch. It's time for USSF to do some self-evaluation, and a drastic action from one of the coaches might be the best way to force them to do so.

FanPosts only represent the opinions of the poster, not of Sounder at Heart.

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