Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan isn’t particularly known to be a poor tackler, but one of his tackles against FC Dallas on Sunday raised a few eyebrows. Roldan’s 26th minute challenge on Kellyn Acosta earned him a yellow card, but MLSSoccer.com’s Simon Borg thought it was a bit more egregious. Tempers flared on both sides, and it didn’t help that Roldan was then brought down by tackles that were arguably as bad as his own.
When asked about that sequence, Roldan had a bit of a surprising response: “I was testing [the ref] because I wanted a consistent game, at the end of the day.” The second-year Sounder spoke like a seasoned veteran about managing the game, and he said his response to some particularly egregious fouls against him by FC Dallas players was as calculated as his own tackle. “I knew I wasn’t going to get a second yellow the whole time...I didn’t think I was pushing the limits, I didn’t say anything bad. I was just trying to say my case.”
Roldan did praise the referee for his officiating in the game, considering the levels of emotion on both sides. “At the end of the game I told him that we both had a pretty good game. He tolerated a lot of our stuff and he tolerated their stuff.” Roldan said he was respectful to the officials, as always, and recognized that it was a difficult game for them, too.