If Kevin Stott really told a still-unnamed LA Galaxy player that he wasn't giving out any red cards out of fear of affecting the second leg of the Western Conference finals, he certainly isn't admitting it. At least, he wasn't admitting it to his PRO boss, Peter Walton, who relayed the conversation he had with Stott to ESPN.com.
"Kevin does not recall any conversation that [Omar] Gonzales is referring to. It would appear that any comments made were either taken out of context or misunderstood."
While this is exactly what you'd expect Stott to say, it's also a rather believable version of events. This is, after all, based on a bit of hearsay on the part of Gonzalez, who made this rather outlandish claim following Sunday's game:
"It's tough when Stott says to one of your players that he's not going to give another yellow because he wants the best players to play in the next game. I think it's not his job to focus on the next game. It's his job to focus on the game tonight, the game at hand. For him to say that to one of our players is pretty ridiculous."
Stott's apparent version of events doesn't necessarily imply that Gonzalez was lying when he said this, but it does suggest the noted referee-critic may have been trying to stir the pot a bit. Either way, Stott is not scheduled to be the head referee in either of this weekend's games and unless some audio evidence surfaces, chances are he'll be in the running for an assignment in MLS Cup.