According to Paul Kennedy at Soccer America, the Seattle Sounders reportedly objected to the placement of Daniel Radford as center referee for the US Open Cup match on Tuesday which ended with the Sounders playing with only seven men, which included three red cards, a halftime uniform switch, an injured Obafemi Martins and a suspended Clint Dempsey.
Here is the relevant excerpt:
But Radford was assigned to the game and despite the Sounders' objections about his inexperience, I was told, was confirmed as the match official.
The Sounders likely anticipated that Radford would not be ready to referee such an intense rivalry match. Radford has no center experience in an MLS match and has only been a fourth official in MLS games. Even including NASL and U.S. Open Cup assignments, Radford has just 11 center referee assignments and he has issued 65 yellows and 11 red cards in those games.
With 16 games in the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup and only one game involving two MLS matches, it is unclear as to why such an inexperienced referee was assigned the center referee duties in what was likely going to be a contentious rivalry match. The question remains that if the Sounders pre-match concerns were heeded would US Soccer, The US Open Cup, MLS and the Sounders organization be in this position? Likely not.