When the draw for the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup was released, just one match featured two MLS teams facing one another. Those two teams also happened to be bitter rivals. So who did PRO decide to assign to this match? A referee whose only MLS experience was as a fourth official.
Say what you will about the correctness of any one call Daniel Radford made in Tuesday's match between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, but it was begging for someone with a bit more experience in the center. From what we can tell, Radford's professional experience as a lead referee consisted of eight NASL matches and two more in the U.S. Open Cup over three seasons before Tuesday's game.
And that history is interesting, to say the least.
Radford handed out a total of eight cards in Tuesday's match, including three reds. That means that in 11 matches, he's handed out 65 yellow cards and 13 reds. That's a lot. The Sounders certainly brought a fair amount of what happened in the game on themselves, but we can't help but feel things would have gone a little differently with a more experienced referee making the decisions.