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Soccer needs instant replay, Sounders head coach says

Sounders again hurt by a horrendous penalty call.

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There's really no way to watch the penalty that allowed the New England Revolution to equalize Saturday's game and determine the correct call was made. Sure, you could watch it and see how Fotis Bazakos might be fooled into calling a penalty, but there's no way it would stand up to replay. Here's another look:

There's maybe a chance that the ball make some contact with Erik Friberg's arm at some point in that sequence -- there's no truly definitive angle yet available -- but there's clearly no intent and it hits him square in the gut. Even slowed down as it is here, there's simply no way that Friberg could have reasonably avoided being hit.

Well, Sounders head coach has a perfectly reasonable suggestion: review plays like this.

"It should, it should," Schmid said when asked if he thought replay would ever be part of the game. "I was told by the fourth official they aren't even allowed to look at it at halftime, which is amazing to me. You'd think you'd want to look at it at halftime and know if you made a mistake or didn't make a mistake.

"I think penalty kicks and red cards, there's always a stoppage in play. It takes time before the penalty is taken. It takes time before the player gets off the field after a red card and I think those situations can easily be reviewed by having a monitor. You already have a fourth official, he's already got an earpiece. I think that needs to happen in our sport. Too often games are decided by bad calls."

This doesn't excuse the Sounders' result, of course. It should be said that Schmid admitted the Sounders "took their foot off the pedal" following Aaron Kovar's opening goal and wasn't overly pleased with his team's play. But he also felt the Sounders hung their heads a bit after this call, which is somewhat understandable especially when you consider they've now been whistled for six penalties in 12 games and quite a few have been highly questionable.

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