MLS referee under investigation for allegedly receiving gift from player

Jair Marrufo ( 

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MLS referee Jair Marrufo has made his share of controversial calls during his time as an official, but it is a decision he is alleged to have made off the field that has officials investigating him.

Marrufo is under investigation for allegedly accepting a jersey from Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco after the Fire's recent 2-2 tie vs. the Columbus Crew, a match Marrufo presided over. The Columbus Dispatch secured statements from both U.S. Soccer and MLS, which are both looking into the accusation.

The allegations are even more damning considering a controversial decision Marrufo made during the Fire/Crew match. Marrufo issued a highly-questionable red card to Crew defender Gino Padula for a challenge on Blanco, a call that helped spark a two-goal comeback by the Fire, and a red card Columbus is now protesting. Now witnesses are saying that Blanco visited the referee's locker room after the match and gave somebody a signed jersey of his.

What do you think of this development? Think Marrufo acted improperly if he, in fact, received a gift from Blanco? Think this is just sour grapes from Columbus Crew officials/fans after Saturday's blown lead and subsequent tie following Marrufo's suspect red card on Padula?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, U.S. Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

99 Responses to MLS referee under investigation for allegedly receiving gift from player

  1. RonS says:

    It could have been worse. Blanco could have given Marrufo his phone number.

  2. kpugs says:

    The officiating in MLS is terrible.

    I hate to say this–HATE to–but MLS needs to start disciplining all referees for their terrible calls in every game before investigating what is most likely a harmless gesture for a star on his way out of the league.

    (Yes, I know that is a big assumption on my part, but the officiating in MLS has been a league-wide problem for years and they’ve done nothing about it.)

  3. Nick says:

    Jair Marrufo is shady

  4. Heffe says:

    Not a fan of Jair. Maybe this will expedite his exit from referring in MLS.

  5. MikeK says:

    He’s got to go. I’ve always been depressed when I saw he was officiating the match, this is the final straw.

  6. Ed Ho says:

    So, is accepting a jersey from a player against the rules in MLS? If yes, then its pretty clear there was a violation. If no, then who cares? Its like saying that the NBA referees gave Jordan or Kobe preferential treatment. Of course they do. I know everyone would rather watch some goons in MLS break everyone’s legs, but I personally would rather see the few actual talents in the league protected a little more.

  7. Kevin Hernandez says:

    Marrufo officiated high school games here in El Paso. Many coaches disliked him because of the favoritism he showed towards certain teams. It would not surprise me if there is something going on.

  8. KungFuSoccer says:

    Probably a harmless mistake. Still what kind of judgement does a ref have if he would accept such a gift (assuming it happened)? Split second judgment is what reffing is all about.

    Appearance of impropriety damages the game. Conspiracy or harmless screw up, he must go.

  9. Riaj says:

    About time MLS got into an “officiating scandal”

  10. Chase says:

    Wasn’t this the same terrible ref from the NYRB-Dynamo game?

  11. SW says:

    It says FIFA on his jersey. Where is FIFA in all of this and why don’t they express their interest in developing the skill of the officiating in MLS?

  12. sean monaghan says:


    Seria A in the MLS

  13. Dave says:

    Marrufo is an utterly abysmal referee and it greatly pains me to see him scheduled for any upcoming RBNY game. While I strongly doubt that he was guilty of any shady favoritism on behalf of Blanco/Fire, if he broke league rules and it will help to keep him far far far away from any future RB games, I hope that MLS drops the axe and gets him out of our misery for good.

  14. This Guy says:

    Now if the Crew could find a excuse for those other losses.

  15. Kip says:

    Now ,if only This Guy would get over his hatred for the Crew and see that this is a serious issue that started with an eronious (sp) red card and has come to this and is nowhere close to being an excuse.

    If only…….

  16. durbs says:

    Carver makes a good point

    Major League Soccer, Minor League Officiating – it has at times been painful to watch

  17. andy says:

    STUPID REPORTING…..nothing should grow out of this….Crew fans need to worry about their team finding a way to win..

    Bitching about a red card that should have been a yellow….boo hoo, worse calls are made everyweek in all leagues!!!!

  18. SCNewJersey says:

    go figure…

  19. Chaz says:

    The U.S.S.F (Fifa sanctioned governing federation of all things soccer in the USA) is in charge of assigning, developing, and assessing referees.

    Last year the USSF made huge strides in setting up a program to better develop top level referees in the USA by actually hiring 4 of the top referees in the country as full-time employees. The vast majority of referees are part-time employees at best, holding down a regular full-time job in addition to refereeing.

    14 years ago the MLS referees were not even assessed during each game. Now, a USSF Referee Assessor is present at every MLS match and provides a full report to USSF on the referee and his crew, a pass/fail grade, and suggestions for further development. Additionally, USSF regularly meets with MLS to discuss refereeing.

    If a referee and his crew fail two assessments in a season they are sanctioned by USSF – but these sanctions (anything from fines to suspension from certain types of refereeing) are not publicly announced.

  20. Kip says:

    Really Andy? Do you really think that all this is is about being bitter over losing a game?

    Most Crew fans will tell you that this game was not lost by a red card or a bad ref but by a team that still can’t close out games for all of the talent that they have. But hey whatever little dillusion will keep you happy go right ahead.

    How about the fact that this started off as a very questionable red card that was seriously embellished by the player involved and bought by a known horrible ref and continued after the game with this incident, which was seen by quite a few people. Stop looking at this like you want to and look at it for what it is, very suspicious.

  21. Kip says:

    And to call this stupid reporting without being willing to look at the information that was not only brought forth in that article but confirmed by those who are involved in the investigation just means that those Fire colored glasses must be too dark for you to see what just might be going on here.

    But of course you would just blame it on the bitter Crew and their fans instead. That would be logical.

  22. Matt from Louisville says:

    I’m a Crew fan and won’t use this as an excuse for allowing two sloppy goals at the end of a match, but how can you say this isn’t shady? A Mexican soccer icon gives a gift to a Mexican referee. They are seen talking to each other before and after the game and at halftime. How in the world can a referee at that level not know that it’s unacceptable to receive a gift from a player? I seriously doubt Blanco just randomly walked to the referees’ locker room and offered it as a gift. Marrufo probably asked for it when they were chatting it up before the game.

    to andy – the difference between a yellow and a red is that the Crew would not have been playing most of the game with one less player. Whether you like the Fire or whatever, this goes far beyond sour grapes.

  23. brett says:

    as a fire fan, i even admit the officiating was horrid on both sides of the ball… both Chicago and Columbus got screwed out of some obvious calls and cards… he was terrible

  24. MZ says:

    This would explain a lot about how bad the officiating has been this year. They need to clean that up.

  25. Kip says:

    “as a fire fan, i even admit the officiating was horrid on both sides of the ball… both Chicago and Columbus got screwed out of some obvious calls and cards… he was terrible”

    And to think, I was starting to wonder if there were any rational fire fans out there 😉

    It was a horribly called game all around and a major issue that needs to be resolved for this league.

  26. hokieunited says:

    Maybe they can look into it — and find a reason why he gave Galaxy a penalty against United for the Wallace “handball”.

    Maybe Donovan gave him a jersey at the end of the game as well! 😉


  27. Earthquake fan says:

    Kip… get off your high horse, GBS and Gaven are noted divers. Although the red was harsh, the foul by Padula was pretty poor.

  28. Matt from Louisville says:

    The following is from FIFA’s Code of Ethics.

    “Officials are not permitted to accept gifts and other benefits that exceed the average relative cultural customs from any third parties. If in doubt, gifts shall be declined. Accepting gifts of cash in any amount or form is prohibited.”

  29. RK says:

    Well done, Matt.

    It’s not that Jair was biased. It’s the perception that he might have been.

  30. Alex says:

    Definetly bad and I think he should step down, you don’t take gifts at a game you just ref’d sets a bad precedent he should quit.

  31. Kip says:

    “Kip… get off your high horse, GBS and Gaven are noted divers. Although the red was harsh, the foul by Padula was pretty poor.”

    Hmmm, interesting but nowhere in this discussion did I ever mention anything about Crew players who do/don’t dive.

    In fact the only mention of Crew players that I brought up was about how I felt they were the reason that they lost the game not the ref, Blanco, or that red card.

    But you went out of your way to tell me to “get off my high horse” like I thought this was about something more than a horrible call from a horrible ref, a disgraceful display from an actor of a player and an alleged incident that would be inappropriate at all levels of the game.

    I would say you go back and look at the “red card” again though. You will clearly see Padula’s boot is past Blanco’s leg that he is grasping at like it needs amputated when he starts falling to the ground. At most it MIGHT be a yellow card, but even that is even questionable if you actually look at it.

    How anyone does not call that suspicious along with these allegations cannot be explained beyond bling allegiance to a player or a team.

  32. Contra says:

    A gift is a gift is a gift. It doesn’t matter who won the game, or what calls were made or not made, it’s against the rules and Marufo needs to be disciplined. Even the appearance of impropriety needs to addressed by MLS.

  33. Kip says:

    But the question has to be asked about why Blanco should not be touched in this incident but Marufo does. The gift came from a player and the players know the rules as well.

    But I will agree that even the idea of this happening needs to be seriously addressed, I just think it needs to be on both sides.

  34. brett says:

    as i stated before, the blanco foul was rough, but could have been arguably a yellow… HOWEVER, the foul on Nyarko should have been a red… but then again, like i said before, Clb got robbed of fouls too

    i want to know if there are any actions being taken from all the water bottles thrown at blanco when he took corner kicks…. one even hit the sideline ref…

  35. Kip says:

    Not to get off topic but I have seen several people, here and on other sites, talk about Gaven being a diver and just once would like to see a video or five that proves this allegation.

    I have watched most Crew games and most Crew fans will tell you GBS is what he is and it would disgust us if he was on another team. But Gaven falling easily once in a game against your team does not make him a “noted diver” as you called him.

    Ok sorry to take this off subject.

  36. Acme says:

    I’d cry too if I sucked as bad as the Crew does.

    I actually feel embarrassed for them.

  37. billy says:

    i finally realized how bad the officiating in mls is this weekend when i attended the sounders game. the line judge closest to me missed numerous calls that were easily visible to the naked eye in the stands. i never really realized how bad it was before, because i didnt have a team to support. but now that my interests are involved, mls needs to do something.

  38. Kip says:

    Ahh nothing smart to say to let’s just say the Crew sucks. How original.

    Hey, do you have anything to actually say about your hero and the incident that might have happened or are you just going to ignore how embarrasing this might all be and continue to tell us that you think the Crew suck?

  39. k says:

    many of the players and coaches saw blanco trying to get into the referee’s room and watched him wait outside for marrufo. it’s not a question of “if” he gave him the jersey.

  40. Addick says:

    Does anyone know if the USSF or anyone else publishes a table of Ref’s cards similar to what the BBC does here?

    link to

  41. Kip says:

    Brett, yeah Brunner’s tackle of Nyarko could have easily been a red, just like the PK could have been called on the take down on Marshall in the box. It was just a horribly called game all around.

    I will say this about the throwing of things on the field. There is no excuse for it, but if other teams, not going to mention names, do not get penalized for the actions of their fans there should be nothing done about Crew fans. Again, no excuses just the precedence has been set by the league for this, and all it ever comes down to is verbal warnings.

  42. jduck says:

    I was at the game and that I don’t think that foul was red card worthy! Definitely a foul but not a red card. At this point I would say the cards are stacked against Marrufo! Time to give HIM a red card…sorry that was lame!

  43. Win says:

    So does giving a jersey count as a cultural custom? It’s pretty common among players. I wonder if Marrufo will argue that the acceptance of cultural gifts allowed him to accept the jersey.

  44. US fan says:

    Blanco and Marufo were caught on tv talking before the match for a while so this is no surprise. BAn the ref and take away that 1 point from chicago

  45. R says:

    oooo the ref got a jersey… the MLS is so bad a$$ right now. Seriously, the NBA gets in trouble for gambling, the MLB for steroids, Serie A for match fixing. Who cares!

  46. Brant says:

    The two worst-officiated games I’ve ever seen in MLS were both Cew-Fire games. This one, and the Erich Simmons near-brawl game back in ’05.

  47. 3-6-1 says:

    Bring back Esse Baharmast!

    Seriously, this is much ado about nothing. Now, if he had accepted a jersey from McBride – then I would cry foul.

  48. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    This incident will prove whether Don Garber has any real courage, or if he’s nothing but a marketing maven dressed up as the commissioner of a professional league.

    BTW, do any of you really expect FIFA to give a damn about this? Blatter is Marrufo times 10, in terms of corruption, and Jack (Ass) Warner is Blatter times 20.

  49. JoeW says:

    1. Stupid by Marrufo. Players may exchange jerseys but I don’t recall an instance where one exchanged shirts with a referee. Besides, it wasn’t an exchange but a gift–and a signed one. Just stupid.

    2. I have a hard time seeing USSF or MLS disciplining Marrufo seriously on this. Wasn’t he nominated/chosen by USSF for international work for 2010? We’d have major egg on our face to say “here’s our WC nominated referee being kicked out of the league for bribery!”

    3. I’m sure there was nothing neferious here. But the appearances look terrible: Chicago comes back to tie, a PK is called on a Blanco dive and Blanco then goes out of his way to deliver a signed jersey.

  50. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    All this hate for Marrufo….wasn’t he the ref of the year last season? As for the “harmlesss mistake” reference…..refs aren’t suppose to take anything ever….end of story.

  51. vasco says:

    someone shows up and leaves something for you. what can you do, put it in the garbage.

    or do you take it home and give it to your kid, and say look what dad got today.

    as long as it isn’t happening every week, who really gives a crap

  52. Jacob A. says:

    When I saw the headline without picture on my blackberry, I thought “That Maruufo or whatever guy?” Granted, I know none of the others by name, but if it hadn’t been for his “handball” in the DC-LA game, I wouldn’t have even known him.

  53. jeb says:

    While accepting an autographed jersey from a player is a clear no-no, this is minor compared to the regular incompetence displayed by about half of the refs in this league. Never thought much of Marrufo but if I could eighty-six one MLS referee it would have to be Okulaja.

  54. TFC Gooner says:

    MLS should create a designated referee category, instead of designated player category, and bring in some decent refs from other countries…. Pierluigi Collina for head referee!

  55. C-note says:

    Ok, I’m a Fire fan. The ref should not take the jersey, Blanco should not give it. Blanco should stop diving. The MLS should review and reprimand as needed. As frame of reference, NBA stars get calls so MLS is bound to have some of the same dynamic. No “fan” in any arena should throw things (except streamers). I have to point out that I have seen empty beer bottles fly from Section 8 at the opposing keeper. Taunting is one thing, but the physical aspects of the game should only be between the players. There’s a lot of blame and need for improvement for all these issues.

  56. vreleven says:

    I’m certain this is nothing more than two guys-one old and one young- who’ve known each other for quite a while.

    Jair knows Blanco since he was a kid.

    Jair’s dad was a FIFA referee for Mexico a few years ago. I do not know Jair personally, but I do know his dad, he would visit and talk at our local league, and he would tell us how over the years he developed a relationship (usually good) with the players. He was well liked off the field by most for being consistent (both ways).
    I’m willing to bet that there’s nothing going on in this case. Jair’s performances have been consistent in regards to Blanco. I don’t believe a referee of Marrufo’s pedigree would risk his reputation, however small/bad it maybe, for an autographed jersey

  57. BK says:

    Wasn’t this the same terrible ref from the NYRB-Dynamo game?

    Posted by: Chase | April 28, 2009 at 06:30 PM

    And the same ref from the LA-DCU game that cost United the game with a phantom handball called for a Galaxy PK. He’s absolutely shocking. I’ve asked a million times on this blog:

    What is MLS doing to hold referees accountable for horrible performances?

  58. dabull says:

    “Blanco was seen chatting with Marrufo before the game and witnesses said he later yelled at the referee and his crew outside the locker rooms at halftime.”

    So Blanco was yelling at him during halftime. Sounds like they’re great friends. Never knew it was against the rules to talk to players before the game.

    People are arguing over a $30 jersey that wasn’t even game worn. Nothing will come of this.

  59. LJ says:

    This season so far seems like a total downer from last season.

    If not for Gerson Mayen I’d stop watching.

    The Gold Cup, WCQs are going to kill this MLS season. Both our MNT and other CONCACAFs are going to drain it BAD.

    I honestly think they need to figure out a way to bring back FREDDY ADU on loan, like they did with Donovan. People will watch, it will bring back some excitement. Plus he is better than he was at 15, 16, 17

  60. Joamiq says:

    Whether or not something nefarious was afoot, this is incredibly improper. That should be obvious to Marrufo, and if he lacks that basic judgment, he should be out of the league. If he knows this is wrong and did it anyway, then that’s even worse – it suggests that he doesn’t respect MLS enough to take seriously the need to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. He should not be allowed anywhere near an MLS field again.

  61. Willardo DuPont says:

    Marufo has show very poor judgment on multiple occasions this year. I don’t think we’ll see him in the center circle for any World Cup matches. Isn’t he one of the few full time MLS refs? That’s supposed to indicate he’s one of the better refs, right?

  62. Leonardo says:

    reminds me of the *Montero* incident. people like to jump the gun. this ain’t nuthin.

    the quality of refereeing is a diff story. i haven’t seen ’nuff games to see if it’s horrible or ok yet. i think a review panel and full-time refs would be great

  63. Leonardo says:

    btw the first comment was hilarious!

  64. jayc says:

    did anything ever get published about the referee for the 2nd Dynamo/NYRB playoff game last year in Houston? before the game, the ref called attention to Kamara about his jewelery right before kick-off. and then the ref killed time with BSing with Angel.

    Before the game even started, the Dynamo were thrown off. Seemed pretty obvious to me that there the ref was delaying for a reason.

  65. Gary says:

    i always knew he was gonna get his, but i assumed it was gonna be “a rope, a tree…” first

  66. Positive thinker says:

    I hope they can find cause to get him out of this league or better yet get him too stop refereeing. Every time i see him i know its going to be a bad game with calls. To me this game (mls) can get better but it starts with the ref’s.

  67. gordon says:

    no one would risk their career/reputation for a signed blanco jersey but that call was TERRIBLE, as is his officiating in general, send marufo off

  68. jmadsen says:

    He’s obviously guilty. Look at those eyes. Shifty!

  69. DC Josh says:

    What does it say in the rule book? Are refs not allowed to receive gifts from players or coaches? I wouldn’t think so. If he willingly accepted the offer, he should be fired. We’d rather have Graham Poll.

    Blanco is as shady as they come. He should be fired too. He should be suspended for the rest of the season just for all the diving he’s done in his career, plus this low-ball move, he should be deported. We don’t need his crippled ass running around the field doing bunny hops and falling over after 50/50 challenges.

  70. WTF says:

    Did Blanco get the referee’s jersey in return?

  71. cammiev says:

    When everyone hates a ref, he is either doing something incredibly right or really is the worst ref in the league. I think Marrufo is neither, though as a partisan Revs fan, I cringe when I see him listed for a game. If there is a rule about accepting gifts (and a jersey is really not a big deal), he should be punished. But at the very least, accepting it does convince people he has poor judgment.

  72. Sean says:

    I think it would be more of an issue if he received the gift before making the call. At this point, I don’t really see a huge deal. I understand the principle, though. And, perhaps MLS needs to define the rules regarding gifts for referees more clearly if not defined already.

  73. andy says:

    next time there is alleged problems with a ref and it happens to be with acts of a white player….Im gonna blame race as a tie as to solidify that two persons of the same race/ethnicity are always helping they own out.

    in that case, all the black refs should be banned from the NBA…Kobe is always talking to refs between halves and quarters….I remember Jordan gave his bat to an UMP when he played pro baseball.

  74. United's Princess says:

    Marrufo may have been a Olympic (2008) ref from the US but all along I have thought he sucked. He makes questionable calls against all teams, and the fact that I hate Blanco more than Chelsea fans hate Christiano Ronaldo is just icing on my cake. Being “neutral” (not a Columbus or a Chicago fan), I think it was a shady call and I think Blanco is a jerk. But who knows if the two are related? I can’t imagine Blanco suddenly confessing that he knew right from wrong :-)

  75. MVK says:

    “MLS needs to define the rules regarding gifts for referees more clearly if not defined already.”

    If a player gives a ref something, no matter at what time it is given, it has to be against the rules and has to be punished; no if, ands or buts.

  76. Felix says:

    Why would Marrufo risk all this over a signed jersey??? To throw a player out of the game just to get a signed jersey from Blanco thats probably worth $500??? It just doesn’t worth it to me.

    Regardless, he shouldn’t have received the gift, its a dumb move on Marrufo’s part.

  77. Joseph said: “This incident will prove whether Don Garber has any real courage, or if he’s nothing but a marketing maven dressed up as the commissioner of a professional league.”

    Garber has no say in referee assignment in MLS matches, the league requests referees and USSF assigns the crews, Garber can whine and complain to USSF (and probably should), but in the end any discipline handed out again Marrufo is in the hand of USSF.

    I don’t know if a jersey is a gift “outside the cultural norms” and we still don’t know if Marrufo accepted the jersey or not. But the exchange of jerseys is quite common.

    But one thing I didn’t see in the comments is whether Blanco is being charged with something. If Marrufo took the jersey and it is something wrong for Marrufo to do, why is it not as much a wrong doing for Blanco.

    Yes, this is Blanco’s last season in MLS, but does that matter? What if Blanco had given Marrufo a jersey at the season? See, the difficulty in this case?

    At a minimum, Marrufo should not be assigned any Chicago or Columbus games for the rest of the season.

  78. DC Josh says:

    No where in the article does it say Marrufo accepted the jersey. It only says Blanco threw the jersey in the locker room. So if anyone is at fault based on this preliminary info it is Blanco. Maybe he is having an affair with one of the linesmen or the 4th official. Now THAT would make for a good headline!

  79. JDK says:

    As for referees talking with players/coaches, especially pre-game, it is almost essential that you break the ice and get to know the players. It helps build rapport and can make the game go smoother. Esse or Brian Hall could back that up.

    Jair is beyond “minor league” officiating. That’s why it says “FIFA” on his badge and not USSF. He is in a class of referees that must always be ready to take a physical fitness test at the drop of a hat. In the US, that means he’s one of the best of the best, whether you care for his officiating or not.

    As for the jersey, perception is reality. It would’ve been a non-issue if it weren’t for the red card situation.

  80. MVK says:

    Any word on what TFC gave Paul Ward before Sundays game?

  81. inkedAG says:

    Thank G-d RBNY is not involved in any of this!!! 😀

  82. United's Princess says:

    “We don’t need his crippled ass running around the field doing bunny hops and falling over after 50/50 challenges.” LOL DC Josh, if I wasn’t already married to you I would fall for you for our mutual hatred of Blanco. Gotta have someone you love to hate!!

  83. Steve says:

    Rewind a year and a half and the big debate was a shady penalty in the Merseyside Derby when Stevie G. and the ref who was later banned (and since reinstated) for some finanacial issues, “soethingberg” were too chummy on and off field during the game.

    Mark your calndars folks! MLS has arrived! We’ve got the same issues as the Premiership!!

    It is nice for us to talk about on message boards, but there is nothing to this. Maybe it helps Columbus get Padula’s appeal but I doubt it. Fact is he went in spikes bared, waste high on one of the stars of the league who YOU KNOW is going to dive. So he took a risk and lost. End of story.

    And by the way, every ref in the world stinks just go where he works and you’ll see th same complaint so stop worrying it roughly evens out.

  84. MVK says:

    Hold on people call for “facts”, we dont need them, lets just do a figurative fall to the floor and roll around grabbing our ankle and call both parties guility, thats what Blanco does, so it is only fair to do it to him.. Heck lets go farther and say he gave money as well, he would do the same thing to sell the call…

  85. Chris May says:

    Is this really that big of a deal?

    Does anyone think this guy would change how he reffed the game based on getting a Blanco jersey? Come on.

  86. MVK says:

    Chris May- “Does anyone think this guy would change how he reffed the game based on getting a Blanco jersey? Come on.”

    No, but it the principle of the matter; Do you think Pete Rose managed differently because he had money on games? Probably not but it has nothing to do with that, its the principle of the matter… If you turn a blind eye to this you are opening the door to match fixing, its a slippery slope.

  87. rednow.red4ever says:

    I’m a Fire fan, and I actually hope Jair is prevented from officiating Fire games, cuz we just got lucky on the call this time. He is so erratic, it’s too nerve racking having him around. If there is favoritism (which I’m iffy on), then i think it’s specific to Blanco, not the whole team….

    Personally though, I agree the call should have been a yellow.

  88. rednow.red4ever says:

    P.S. While I also agree it’s all still shady in appearance, just to clarify, the reports have been that Blanco was YELLING (in anger) at Marufo at halftime, which makes the whole thing all the more confusing.

    I’m hoping, since Blanco didn’t hand it directly to him, that it was a case of Blanco being a smarta$s after marufo made a call that “finally” went his way.

    But regardless, it’s totally understandable that it must be investigated.

  89. MVK says:

    rednow- As a Fire fan do you think Blanco should be suspended for this?

  90. usa says:

    people keep referencing the nba by saying nba players get star treatment so why not mls? the only problem is that is THE worst part of the nba, try watching dwayne wade and paul pierce score 30 a game vs. 20 a game simply because they are bailed out over and over, mls needs to nip this in the bud before it becomes a part of the culture like the nba.

  91. Berlin says:

    Seriously, who doesn’t think this is hilarious.

  92. Anon says:

    The Crew have the Cup, and they’ll be there again at the end of the year. They’ve thoroughly outplayed TFC, Colorado, and Chicago and each time they’ve been unlucky to come away with a point. Throw that in with all their injuries and it’s easy to see that this is a quality team going through a tough stretch.

    Marrufo needs to be sent to Mexico. Good luck with the pigs.

  93. madmax says:

    Every official who gives Blanco’s tackler a card should be under investigation shirt or no shirt.

    Watch Blanco take the Sounder’s Alonso out of the game this Saturday with frowns and flops.

  94. Bubcha says:

    uhh i was at that game (i’m a crew fan) that was first time i’ve ever ran across the stadium to go yell at a ref or player. Blanco needs to seriously be penalized as well as the ref. Blanco is is the most “fouled” against play in the MLS… wonder why?!! he throws himself every chance he gets, i guess this is a good alternative to staying in shape and he keep being fat. i saw Padula’s action which would barely even warrant a yellow card. it was a “high kick” that didn’t even make it above his waist line.

    The MLS in general needs to act harder on players who play theatrics such as Blanco. i even see my favorite players embellish their falls and its upsetting. if the MLS is going to make a name for itself in the world we need to start at the top and work down to the players fixing it. (not to mention i’ve heard of Marrufo being a big Blanco fan)


  95. Bubba says:

    MLS Ref of the year is not saying much. He was one of the whopping four refs hired to work full time for MLS a couple years ago.

  96. Earthquake fan says:

    Bubba… you realize that GBS would be penalized just as much as Blanco if you had your way.

  97. Jason says:

    He was horrid the whole game. Missing a tackle on Marhsall in the box (American football style for a PK), a last man foul by Conde on Moreno (should have been red, no call), and a nasty tackle by Eric Brunner also went unpunished.

    The call on Blanco was a joke, and it cost the Crew 2 points, and was a three point swing in terms of Chicago.

    He should be suspended for his abysmal performance, and banished from the league for accepting the gift.

  98. twotone says:

    Marrufo was the referee that pulled a Graham Poll and gave the same player 2 yellow cards in a Dallas Burn game back in the Southlake days of 2003. Both ARs and the 4th referee told him that he made a mistake and he said no to all of them and let the player continue playing. I believe it was Tyrone Marshall, but who know which team he was playing for at the time.

    the next year, Jair had on a FIFA badge and the other 3 refs were suspended for the rest of that season.

  99. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Matt Johnston, your points are well taken. Blanco should be suspended, as well. Regardless of whether he meant the jersey as a gift or as a sarcastic message, what business does he have getting access to the officials’ dressing room before the game?

    My points about Garber not only concern Marrufo but also Blanco. But what truly matters is the credibility of the league. If nobody cares about that, then MLS will die in a culture that views professional soccer as a niche sport (i.e, not worht caring about all that much).