Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ted Unkel Missed Potential Game-Changing Call

Standard disclaimer: I'm speaking for myself only. Anyone I'm connected to may agree with what I say, but don't assume they do.


Now, people who know me know that I've been defending referees on this blog, especially since I began carrying my own whistle as a USSF-certified official in August of last year. I've been trying to stick up for them when I think they're being maligned unfairly while also pointing out when they've made mistakes.

Today, it's the latter. I have to call out Ted Unkel for missing a potentially game-changing call in the second half of Sporting KC's 3-2 win over Columbus at Children's Mercy Park tonight.

Quoting from the Laws of the Game, 2016-17, Law 12 (Fouls And Misconduct) emphasis mine:
An indirect free kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area, commits any of the following offences:
  • controls the ball with the hands for more than six seconds before releasing it
  • touches the ball with the hands after:
         -releasing it and before it has touched another player
         -it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate
         -receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate
In the 88th minute and with the score tied, Corey Ashe intercepted a Sporting KC pass and directed the ball back to goalkeeper Steve Clark. By the rule cited above, that would be a back-pass, and punishable by an indirect free kick from the spot where Clark picked it up.

Now, in the end, it didn't matter. Matt Besler scored his first goal since 2011 a couple of minutes later, but it shouldn't have come to that.


Speaking of that Besler game-winner, it was good, but it doesn't happen without an inch-perfect cross from Jimmy Medranda that Ike Opara heads to Besler to put it in. Take another look.


Graham Zusi was in fine form tonight. He was in "Shoot first, ask questions later" mode, something we really haven't seen from him in a while either.

In the first half, he put a 25-yard free kick off the crossbar, but it was this strike in the 55th minute that really showed how well he played...


Next up for Sporting KC is a date with NYCFC, or as some of us like to call them, Manchester City JV. Kickoff is set for 7:00 on Sunday, July 10, also on FS1.

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