Referees Win USL-1 Final

October 17, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2009 | 17 Comments

It should have been a tale of two cities: Vancouver and Montreal playing each other in football.  As it turns out it was a tale of two referees, incompetent ones at that.

In the first leg of the final in Vancouver, Martin Nash was clearly fouled by Brown right in front of the referee. Nash had possession of the ball and Brown kicked his legs out from under him, not even touching the ball.  The referee let it go even though it was a  textbook case of a player winning the ball illegally.   The next play was Nash’s rash challenge on Brown which led to his being sent off.  Had the referee called Brown’s foul on Nash, Nash’s sending off would not have happened. Even though Nash’s foul was a bad foul,   I would say 9 out of 10 refs, given that it was a final, would have yellow-carded Nash and warned him he would be sent off at the next foul.   Just giving someone a yellow card does not, however,  attract as much attention to the referee.  If you really want attention, you send someone off in the final, which she did.

Not to be outdone, referee number two decided to go one lower in the final’s second leg and make an even nuttier call.  Impact player Donatelli ran clear on goal to a through ball; Nolly dove at his feet and  got a piece of the ball. Donatelli fell over Nolly; the ball then ran to Brown and Pejic brought him down but also won the ball.   Pejic made an honest go at getting the ball in any case and was not the last man back. We had man on the line in the goal. It was not a professional foul.   Calling a penalty was understandable.  I was shocked to see Pejic walking off the pitch on the sideline: he had been sent off.   Another moronic call.

Did these referees forget they were refereeing in a final? To have two calls like this in the final is inexcusable. Why the USL-1 can’t scratch up two decent refs with neutrality and good judgment is beyond me.

The sending off of Pejic turned the USL-1 final into a farcical practice match.   The Whitecaps could not be expected to be able to fight in two successive matches with one hand tied behind their backs.  We played the majority of the time over two legs one man down. The second leg was dull and not worth watching. What is sad is that it was a cracking match before the idiot referee ruined the game.  Football matches should be settled by the players, not by the referees.

I don’t blame Montreal for taking advantage of moronic calls by the referees, but I don’t think they deserved to have the cup delivered to them on a silver platter by the referees.   A football final is not supposed to be a coronation, but a contest.  Proper referees realize that it is their duty to preserve a sporting contest, not to spoil it by handing the decisive advantage to one of the teams.

There is no doubt who the MVP of the USL-1 final was: the referee in the second leg.  The referee from the first leg might have a claim to it, but I would award it to the second one because he truly ruined the game and handed the cup to the Montreal Impact, spoiling what would have been a great match for Canadian and USL-1 football.

Congratulations USL-1 Final Referees, not only do you win the MVP, you are the new USL-1 Champions!!!


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  1. The USL is made up refs that now must go back to pumping gas at the Esso in the off season. We only have one more year of this before we move up a level (it cant be any worse that the USL). Im sure we will see Carol Anne Chenard stocking shelves ate the Provigo in Montreal when she heads home.

    Whitecaps MLS, Whitecaps MLS

  2. Pathetic officiating. Its sad, what could have ben a classic final turned out to be a final where one team had a man advantage for 105 + minutes. In fact Montreal did not score a single goal when vancouver had 11 men (the first goal in game one was an own-goal). They scored 5 against 10 men, we scored 3 with 10 men.

    I suspect that the league cannot handle the last 4 championshops being won by teams leaving for the MLS (Van, Seattle, Van) . Cant wait for the MLS.

    see you all in 2010

  3. The Limp Act deserved to win. I’m kidding. But as a Montrealer living in Seattle, it’s pretty fun watching the Whitcraps lose to Montreal.

    • Ok whitecap fans, stop whining, the better team won!!! Montreal was the better team in this series.They outplayed you guys on your home turf even before Nash was sent off.Nash should hang himself for that foul, it was a dumb act on his part and you should be upset with him and not the referees.

      When Pejic fouled Brown, it was 11 on 11 so don’t go saying that you lost because you were 10 men, that foul occured when the teams were even.

      Stop being sore losers, you had a great season but you lost to the hottest team in the USL end of story!!!!

      • Right out of the LAWS of the Game: The red card was for “DENYING an OBVIOUS GOAL SCORING OPPORTUNITY.” Didn’t matter if there was somebody on the the goal line, the defender DENIED the opportunity which as AUTOMATIC RED card. If the keeper was on the line, it still would have been a RED let alone there being a defender. It was the right call.

      • Sorry, but the job of defenders IS to deny forwards goalscoring opportunities… By the definition you have provided every time a defender denies a goal scoring opportunity they should be sent off… Pejic may have fouled the guy but Montreal go t a penalty. Why spoil the match by sending him off? Refs with no discretion should not be allowed to ruin finals.

  4. […] Whitecaps Fan Blog shares J's frustration, as you might tell from the headline "Referees win USL-1 […]

  5. Hi

    This is not about whether Montreal was a better team, chances are they were (as shown in the first 45 min of the first leg). The fact is we will never know what an 11 on 11 series would have been like. Vancouver played 105 minutes at 10 men. The first red card was a result of a missed call seconds earlier and she knew it. A professional ref (ie even the MLS which a watch often) would have yellow carded Nash as a reslut of his/her own mistake. As for the Red in montreal – complete bollocks.

    In the end the refs had too high an influence on the outcome, this is one reason footy in North america will stay below collage basketball in importance.

  6. Get over yourself man. Sure, you guys have discipline problems and got two cards, but we had the game in control both times it happened.

    JE ME SOUVIENS 10/16/09

    • Before the penalty the Whitecaps had more corner kicks than Montreal. We were dictating the play. The ref handed you the game on a platter. I don’t blame you for taking it, as this is what any team would do, but the fact remains it was gifted to you by a poor referee’s decision. Too bad we were deprived of a proper sporting event. I would not have minded had Montreal won it in an even contest. I would even concede that considering the first game Montreal probably would have, but how about letting the players sort that out rather than having the ref decide it?

  7. Curtis- Your team’s philosophy is to take a dive, etc and Joey Saputo to grease USL palms. Ask yourself why 3 or 4 of the 6 playoff games you played the other team was down at 10 -staring with rochester. Nothing to be proud of.

    • You can’t even put that Nash red on the same level as possible diving.

      Do you actually want me to get the photo of Brown’s cut ankle?

      We got fouled frequently, because defenders struggled to contain us, just like the penalty in the last game.

      You’re lucky there wasn’t another penalty later in the half.

      • Curtis

        The fact that you keep coming back to this somewhat obscure whitecaps blog (no offense) seems to indicate you feel you have something to defend.

        I would feel the same way if my team was handed the match by the referees and my team threw games at the expense of their fans (6-1 TFC).

        Can you imagine the Canadiens EVER throwing a game to a Toronto team no matter what the circumstances. Too much class in les Canadiens, Impact could learn from that.


  8. we did not play Rochester in the playoffs…. But considering the source it is not surprising…

    • Sorry to edit your comments guys, but I want to keep the talk about football!

  9. Hi

    I think he meant Charleston, yes relax a bit id say (wrt to OLF and football – dont really know what all that is about). In the end the officials showed their lack of experience as much as some of the young whitecaps. Its a shame but that has been the USL for years now.


  10. I come back because I get email replies, that’s it.

    I was angry after the 6-1 loss, we all were. most of us said the only way we could forgive them was with the cup, and since they’re currently clearing space on the shelves for another trophy… we’re all pretty happy now.

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