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How do you grill on uneven flame?

The story will likely be focused on the Center Referee and Freddie Ljungberg's double yellow. The first was for Simulation, what we all know as diving and the second is not listed in the match report. While it was likely Dissent, the 2nd Yellow was so quick one could question. What I am certain of is that again a Seattle match will have the referee reviewed at the USSF website again. It seems to be a weekly occurrence, and like most Seattle fans I look forward to see what the Federation says.

It is notable that Thorrington's second Yellow wasn't listed either.

To me though the bigger problem actually gets into a larger issue with the match, the uneven calls,

not based on the colors worn by the team, but instead based on which side judge was closer. The West judge called a tight match, calling most contact as a foul while the East judge called very little. Throughout the match the uneven nature of the calls created issues for both clubs, but more so for Seattle.

Because Seattle uses the interchange so frequently that the wide players of the Rave Green couldn't get use to the differing natures of the three referees. Professional athletes can adjust to any type of refereeing if they are at all good, but when it shifts and changes based on location on the pitch things get more difficult.

So while the interchange and swapping did a great job of helping Seattle create shots, it may have contributed to the overall frustration level with the Seattle players towards the match officials. We all know that Seattle players have short tempers (average in Fouls Committed, leaders in Cautions/Ejections), yesterday was no exception.

Defensively Seattle did a great job of controlling Blanco, they kept him guessing who was going to defend and how. There was a mix of zone and man marking based on his depth in the attack. The Sounders also did a solid job of allowing him to trip and fall at will. He isn't an athlete and can't do a thing while he's rolling on the ground.

It was appropriate for Seattle to get him out of his game by just ignoring him. It would have been best to not emulate. Not all contact constitutes a foul, conversely not all Simulation should draw a card. There was contact, though not the extent that Ljungberg exhibited.

What is more notable is that there is absolutely no way that Freddie could get a Caution for Dissent

Reading 12.28.2 (Dissent) and 12.31 (Evaluating Language) there are no words that Freddie could have said in those seconds that could not be "clearly a result the result of a momentary emotional outburst." What is even more notable is that Referees are specifically instructed to "... take care not to inject purely personal opinions as to the nature of the language when determining a course of action."

But with much thanks to the New England Revolution Seattle and Chicago gained on Houston. So while the Sounders opportunity to make the playoffs went down a little, their ability to win the Supporters Shield went up a little.

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