After falling behind in the 13th minute, the Seattle Sounders fought back and tied the game just six minutes later. The Sounders eventually took the lead on the Colorado Rapids after Nicolás Lodeiro was fouled in the penalty box by former Sounder Marc Burch.
From photos and multiple replays, it appeared the referee Chris Penso got it right by awarding the penalty to Seattle. However, Burch and head coach Pablo Mastroeni felt differently about it.
When speaking to Daniel Boniface of the Denver Post after the game, here is what Burch had to say.
“It’s not a penalty,” Burch said. “That’s pretty much it. I went close to Lodeiro and he fell down, that’s it.”
Burch continued, “I don’t think flopping in the box is something that’s called for. But that’s what he did.”
Here’s pretty good look at a replay.
Maybe after Burch watches the film, he will see he clearly made contact and Lodeiro did not flop.
Mastroeni was a little more diplomatic about the call.
“Do you want to get me in trouble?,” he said. “It’s a big game and it’s unfortunate when the players don’t decide the result. It’s football, and it happens and that’s not going to be the focus. The focus is making sure we come out with the same type of mentality that we came out with against L.A. And bring them to the altitude, asphyxiate them in the 60th minute and find a way to host MLS Cup in front of our fans.”
Mastroeni was very careful in how he answered that because, like he said, he didn’t want to get in trouble with the league for criticizing the officials. He also did mention earlier in the game, Penso came over to him and told him “to stop being so animated” on the sideline.
The Sounders and Rapids will play the second leg on Sunday at 1 pm PT. The game will be carried by ESPN this time.