Evening Ticker: Red Bulls GM hits out at officials, Rossi could stay at Villareal and more

Soler - Getty


MLS officials simply cannot escape the spotlight. 

New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler is the most recent addition to a growing number of people voicing their concern over the level of officiating in the MLS.  

Soler released a statement Monday regarding the level of officiating in the club's last match against Portland, a level he believes to be "unacceptable".  In that same match, Portland head coach John Spencer was forced to watch from the sidelines after being reprimanded for his own criticism of MLS officials. 

The statement was prompted by the controversial dismissal of Thierry Henry and the heavily lopsided statistic of "fouls committed" in the match on Sunday evening  (NYRB 25 – 5 Timbers).  

Here are some other stories to keep your Monday rolling:


American-born winger/forward Giuseppe Rossi could remain at Villareal next season as a potential transfer to Barcelona seems to have stalled after the Catalans refused to meet Villareal's valuation of Rossi.

With Barcelona's impending capture of Alexis Sanchez from Udinese, Rossi's own transfer has now been cast into doubt.  

Federico Pastorello, Rossi's agent, says that the player wanted the move to Barca, but the move never materialized and now refuses to rule out another year at Villareal.

If Rossi stays, it may affect the playing time of the USMNT's Jozy Altidore, who has struggled to make much of an impact at the La Liga club.  Altidore has been loaned out three times in as many seasons to Xerez in Spain's second division, Hull City (then in the Premier League) and most recently Bursaspor of the Turkish Süper Lig.


Michael Ballack, the midfield talisman for the German National Team has been extended another offer to end his International career with a farewell game, but the long-time German captain is having none of it.

After having been told that he no longer features in the plans of current manager Joachim Low, Ballack has been very vocal about his frustration with having been forced into retirement at age 34.  

The former Bayern Munich and Chelsea player has even labelled the most recent attempt at a final game "a farce" (August 10th v Brazil).

However, Ballack insists that even before Low told him that his International career was finished, he had decided to quit.


Teenage prodigy Neymar has long been the subject of Real Madrid's admiration, and the La Liga giants have reportedly upped their interest in the Brazilian striker, says Santos president Luis Alfaro Ribeiro.  

Neymar has been linked with a host of clubs as his reputation continues to climb, but Ribeiro insists that Madrid is not the only club seriously interested in securing the 19-year-old's services with Chelsea and Manchester City said to be looking.

Ribeiro holds out hope that Neymar will stay at Santos, especially if it wins the Copa Libertadores Final against Uruguayan outfit C.A. Peñarol.  The two clubs played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg, and Santos will play host to Peñarol this Wednesday to settle the tie.  Ribeiro stated that interested clubs will have permission to talk to the player then.

Neymar himself has decided not to comment on the transfer speculation, opting to focus on the Copa Libertadores Final. 


President Obama will welcome the MLS Champions to Washington D.C. on Monday the 27th to honor the team with a ceremony, a tradition he has begun recently.  

The Rapids will also put on a clinic for the families of the military on the South Lawn as a part of its visit to the nation's capital.  


Did Henry deserve his red?  Where do you see the future of Rossi?  Is Ballack being reasonable with his refusal to play a farewell match?

Share your thoughts below

This entry was posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to Evening Ticker: Red Bulls GM hits out at officials, Rossi could stay at Villareal and more

  1. wides in MN says:

    Is there video anywhere of the incident that got Henry a red card ?

  2. wides in MN says:

    Found it, … I don’t even know what to say about this … definitely not a straight red card.

    link to youtube.com

    At :35 seconds in…

  3. Onoda says:

    Henry and Moffit were just trying to intimidate each other. I see nothing wrong with that. Moffit Initially thought he was going to be the sole booking. I think even he was surprised when the red came out for Henry.

  4. wides in MN says:

    oops sorry about the double post

  5. This Guy says:

    @ the 0:11 mark. They were pretty hard taps but still taps and I think Henry is one of the most unprofessional players over the last 10 years so I’m not biased in saying the red card was not justified.

  6. Tank Missle says:

    Uh oh Michael Ballack looked to go “Andre The Giant”………

  7. Tank Missle says:

    Don Garber needs to go. Always quick to fine and suspend, never quick to make clear answers or improve the refereeing.

  8. KNPonder says:

    If Rossi is not sold, Jozy has got to get out of there. Rossi’s departure would have probably given Jozy an opportunity to fight for the striker spot on the bench. Villareal just needs to take a loss and sell Jozy. Another loan deal is not going to help anyone. Jozy needs to find a place where he can play regularly. I would love an EPL team, but I don’t think there will be many takers. A championship side looking for promotion might be a good bet. Wishful thinking though as Villareal holds all the cards.

  9. Murphy says:

    thanks for the video link. that was a ridiculous decision to give henry a red for that. should have been nothing. maybe a yellow, but it seems like the ref didn’t even see it. terrible call.

  10. cy says:

    USSF’s directive says its a red. You want consistency from refs then deal with reds like this. You can’t get common sense and consistency.

  11. BFT says:

    1. Soler is absolutely right (as are Spencer, Nowak, Sigi Schmidt and everyone else), the refereeing in MLS this season has been below par at best, and scandalous at worst. Something has to be done, and more clubs need to put pressure on Garber to act.

    2. Rossi stays at Villareal

    3. Michael Ballack is petulant child, and as was shown in the WC, the Mannschaft doesn’t miss him one iota.

  12. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for dropping points in such an entertaining fashion AND getting Henry red carded days before his match against Seattle. Well done as always Portland.

  13. This Guy says:

    Garber has no authority over the referees in MLS. You need to go…..read.

  14. jonk says:

    For all those that want to say it wasn’t a straight red card, it doesn’t matter that the head taps/slaps/cups whatever were pretty innocuous. They were clearly more than a friendly little pat on the head and so a red card is warranted for striking another player. And again, so what if Moffat was surprised to see Henry sent off? Thankfully Moffat didn’t fall to the ground like he was shot when it happened, but maybe he should have been sent off for the retaliatory push (in the past refs usually treat a push different from a direct strike, I guess)

  15. Mike Caramba says:

    Neymar should add some red to his hairdo and start going by Rufio.

    RU FI Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

  16. Chris says:

    F.U.C.K. Giuseppe Rossi

  17. Tank Missle says:

    The MLS can and is responsible to give feedback to the USSF for underperforming refs, so that an arrangement can be made for different refs to be involved so the quality of play isn’t affected by the “usual suspects”. You need to go….. get some additional information, because you don’t know enough detalils to warrant making the statement you have made.

  18. sholata says:

    Salazar has been a bad inconsistent card happy ref for years. people finally are fed up. and he’s not even the worst of the worst. Holy Toledo!!!!!

  19. Bull Caca says:

    Soler should thank his lucky stars for stealing a point in Portland. If it wasn’t for the inept officiating Sutton could have been tossed on 2 different occasions and Henry should have been wormed at least once for kneeing the defenders in the box. Henry is a dirty and sneaky player. Pleasantly surprised the assistant ref even saw subtle the head slap, they usually only catch the retaliation.

    PS – Sorry for the Portland fans being denied a victory with Brunner’s last minute blunder in not heading the ball back to his keeper to end the game.

  20. Mikey says:

    I wish SBI would write a quick article explaining that the referees in the MLS are not up to the MLS or Don Garber.

    The misplaced hate and anger can’t be good.

    USSF controls the refs, not MLS guys.

  21. Mikey says:

    I know, right? First he screws our country, then he screws Altidore! Hah

  22. Mikey says:


    Not to mention all the “knees in the back” Henry was getting away with on corners & set pieces. After so many minutes of throwing elbows and knees, I think Salazar had enough.

    The fact Salazar went to a straight red – I’d have to bet Salazar had told Henry to calm down with the attempts at sneaking in elbows & knees.

  23. vivalosburros says:

    I agree. I don’t think that it needed to be a red. But you cannot say it is a rediculous call when the red is following the laws of the game. Anytime a player puts his hands on the face/head of another player they are putting themselves in danger of getting a red.

  24. Lorenzo says:

    They could play Jozy and he would score goals, but would he fit their style of play? I think that is the problem with Jozy. Forwards in La Liga are like attacking midfields, not steam trains like Jozy.

    I am wary of Bundesliga for Americans but maybe that is a better fit?

    Jozy could go to a team in Portugal, I think that would be cool. Especially if Falcao and Hulk leave Porto, and Contrao leaves Benfica. Even Braga, Ajax, Rangers, Celtic.

  25. mcm says:

    Henry played like a punk. He is a dirty player. I have no respect for him.

    Not sure that was a red, but the goalie should have got one on the PK.

  26. shweazy says:

    Jozy will never get a starting position on that team.lF Rossi leaves they will go overseas for talent. Jozy is just not technically gifted enough for La Liga. Jozy is cut out for Premiership Football or Bundesliga. More physical and forceful play rather than the pass and go game in spain . Even Italy would suite Jozy better than La Liga.

  27. Lorenzo says:

    I believe they have him on a 6 year contract, of which 3 are over. Another year loan for a 21 year old could make sense. Portugal would be a similar style of league.

  28. gerald says:

    Henry wasn’t playing against Seattle anyway 2 games in 4 days on turf is too much for him these days.

  29. Josh says:

    I always marveled at the homophony between “Ballack” and “bollocks”. For a 34-year-old, he sure doesn’t get how juvenile his complaints and excuses sound. “I can’t believe the Low betrayed me like that!” “But I was going to quit anyway!” Whatevs.

  30. FanBoy says:

    Should’ve used a condom.

  31. This Guy says:

    I’ll admit; I don’t know any detalils. Where are they from?

  32. Supsam says:

    and you dont have enough info to know if Garber is trying his darn best to work with the USSF about the reffing. Refs suck everywhere. Ask Sir Alex Ferguson what he thinks about refs in the EPL. Ask Mourinho and Guardiola what they think of the refs in La Liga. Its not the refs fault, its just that soccer is a difficult sport to officiate since its a highly dynamic game with little stoppages in play. Look at the 2010 World Cup where FIFA appoints its most “world class” referees from its pool of confederations. See USA vs Slovenia. See Germany vs England. Terrible officiating.

  33. Supsam says:

    if he is a “bad inconsistent card happy ref for years” doesnt that make him consistent then?

    I agree about Toledo though, he is the worst of the bunch

  34. Tank Missle says:

    You seem to show up alot in other peoples conversations, but anyway on the MLS website Garber once said that the league and the USSF were working together to improve the standard of refereeing. I agree with the difficulty of refereeing a soccer game everyone not going to like the calls, but…. with that said there have been TOO many bizarre calls made, which makes you think, did they get these guys off the street or what?

  35. Supsam says:

    +1. Some ppl like whining for the sake of whining. Plus hating on Garber is the thing to do these days regardless of reason.

    Only thing Garber can do is have a long talk with the USSF. Thats basically it

  36. Supsam says:

    so if someone comments on your comment, no one else is allowed to jump in? Forgive my lack of public blog etiquette.

    The USSF has a ref training program and committee that trains the refs that is independent of MLS. All MLS can really do is provide feedback of their refs. I believe they have more info on their website if you are interested in reading up into it.

  37. Bigprof says:

    jeez, it will suck if Soler gets fined and didnt even get to get in a headbutt on someone.

  38. Tank Missle says:

    Your forgiven, I have read articles on it since everyone happened to start a bitchfest about it so, I wanted to know who really pulled the strings concerning the issue.

  39. john.q says:

    has anyone heard of the garbage the Revs FO is doing to their hardcore fans in The Fort? complete bs:

    link to thedrugisfootball.com

  40. solles says:

    time to try a second ref IMHO. Do it in a lower division somewhere, see how it works.

  41. Brice says:

    I was at the game and in my opinion Salazar did miss the initial foul going on between Henry and Moffat, but that is why you have a referee crew. It appeared as though either AR1 or the fourth were the ones that saw what was happening and called Salazar over to talk to him about the foul off the ball. So I would say to people that even though the center is ultimately responsible for handing out cards, he can only go off of what his crew is telling him for incidents like this when he does not seem them directly.

  42. Oranje Mike says:

    Is this a M.O.D. reference?

  43. Oranje Mike says:

    I’d love to see Jozy (or any American) suit up for Ajax.

  44. Scott A says:

    I have little doubt that Salazar’s primary motivation was less to punish or prevent violence–there was clearly no real risk of that and it was being talked through–and more to exert his dominance and show who’s boss.

  45. robertoS says:

    For Henry, the timbers game was a good summary of his character and playing style. He was an aloof, quitting on through balls, discreetly fouling… and finally not so discreetly, getting caught. Straight red for intimidation and a not so friendly whack on moffats dome. That being said, he played with Passion, lifted the level of play, and finished with class.

    This was a pleasure to watch from section 107. Stephen Keel own goal was nice as well.

    As for the reffing. I’m not convinced they were that far off. Red Bulls were overly aggressive and frequently getting burnt by alhassan and co. We all know Portland is good in the air… red bulls came out trying to dominate that. When you can’t beat them, of course you’ll scrap for any advantage. Henry and lindpere did and they were booked.

    Want to improve the reffing? Add replay. Be the first league to step into the 21st century.

  46. rory says:

    Okay, to be fair Spencer’s big complaint was that the Rapid’s last goal was offside last week, which it wasn’t as he had a defender and a goalie in the mouth of the goal when the Rapids scored. So don’t blame the refs for that one. Just because people are getting louder doesn’t mean they are right.

  47. Lassidawg says:

    Even if it was only worthy of a yellow wasn’t Henry sittin on a yellow for kneeing a player in the back.
    I would once again like to thank the Timbers for providing a sounder fan a good laugh at blowing that game. They could much farther up in the standings if they quit giving points away at home. Seattle isn’t much better, but at least they get results on the road.

  48. Jonathan says:

    You don’t know what the F you’re taking about…. Titi Henry, was the epitome if professional at arsenal and barca… One handball does not ruin 13 years of pure class

  49. BWH says:

    You don’t know what you are talking about. The missed offsides call was arbitrary to Spencer’s point about the fitness level of the head ref. The guy was calling fouls from 40 yards away because he could not keep up with the pace of the game. He was ranting and raving because he knew the official would make a bad call that would cost one team the game, be it Portland or Colorado.

    Concerning the offside no-call:

    “.. [W]hen the shot comes in from Foran, Amarikwa is in an offside position and his position – in front of Perkins and in the same area the ball is travelling to – interfering with an opponent – and so is offside. To top it all off, Jewsbury’s clearance comes off Amarikwa and back into play, where the goal is scored – gaining an advantage by being in that position. It should also be evident that no Timbers play could’ve possibly been further back and played Amarikwa onside.”

    link to sliderulepass.xanderkale.com

  50. BWH says:

    And when Portland gets a result on the road it will we “at least we won a cup.” After Portland wins a cup it will be “at least we have a bigger stadium.” If Portland matches that there will be another unreachable mark that Seattle sets to pretend they are better than Portland.

    In Portland all we need to say is at least we aren’t Sounders!

  51. Erik says:

    He probably just didnt know. Maybe obama could skip this kind of junk though and actually do his job for once.

  52. truf says:

    dont slap people up side the back of the head.. easy as that.. you get dealt wif in my hood quickly for acting a fool like that…

    seriously though, while soft, stop acting like thats just a pat or tap on the head, and i dont like Portland at all

  53. truf says:


  54. dycsoccer17 says:

    I think it’s a red-card. You’re not allowed to hit someone in the back of the head in boxing, which is a sport that encourages punching. It was unnecessary on Henry’s part, and he could have given the guy a concussion. It doesn’t take much when it comes to blows to the back of the head.

  55. Skeet says:

    Yes, indeed, but the slaps were unnecessary…He is too good a player to be doing things like this

  56. Josh says:

    Tea-Bagger alert!

  57. JJ says:


  58. ChemTrails says:

    Keep actin like trophies don’t matter

  59. BWH says:

    Who said trophies don’t matter? I am saying the standards created by some other team’s fans don’t matter. There is always someone who will be better than you in some way, so you create your own standards and live up to them instead of blindly reaching for another’s.

  60. Worried MLS Fan says:

    Would I be alone in thinking that MLS is imploding? The USSF seems to be doing the same thing too. I really don’t care about managers or GM’s talking about the officiating. So what? Where do we live anyway, China? If you don’t want people to talk about the horrible officiating so much then do something about improving it!

    More importantly, the leagues has much bigger problems. A lot of us thought that expanding the league so much, and so quickly, was a bad idea. Now it would appear that our fears that the expansion would dilute the league’s talent are being realized.

    Garber took over the league and did a good job and the change was just in the nick of time and desperately needed. Now it would seem that U.S. soccer officials everywhere have become clueless. Garber needs to go before things get really bad. (Bradley needs to go too!) The league is quickly becoming a mess. There is so little offensive talent to go around that nearly all the teams seem to have decided that since they can’t really score they will concentrate on defense and achieving 1-0 wins. The league has made great strides but MLS needs to inject some offensive talent into the league soon. In the meantime we need to see some coaches have the guts to decide they are going to play offensively and try to score. How long will MLS fans continue watching 1-0 wins and 0-0 and 1-1 ties?

    On the up side, this seems like a great time to bet on MLS. I can easily predict most of the scores right now.

  61. Brian says:

    Ridiculous. I’m a Galaxy fan, and I effin hate Kraft because of how he treats the Revs like a goddamn tax write off. I really can’t think of any other reason he owns the team. He clearly doesn’t care about the team, which he shows by letting his son run the team and not investing any money in players (save for Benny Feilhaber, suprised the Kraft family let Stevie Nicol take him ). This organization is stuck in MLS 1.0. Almost every other MLS team is embracing the Season Ticket Holder and Supporter Group movement. It’s a really sad effin joke because this team is gonna get left in the dust if they don’t start putting more money in this team for players and getting a SSS, which I feel won’t happen unless somebody else buys this team from him.

  62. ChemTrails says:

    “In Portland all we need to say is at least we aren’t Sounders! ”

    Nobody in Seattle cares,…

    stop fixating.. start winning

  63. BWH says:

    “Seattle isn’t much better, but at least they get results on the road.”

    Right, nobody in Seattle cares,…

    Stop fixating.. just stop

  64. Yoyoma says:

    Given the guy a concussion? There was no backswing. Try cuffing yourself on the back of the head with wrist action, doesn’t feel good but a concussion?

  65. Ron says:

    Instead of complaining about the refs, Soler should be getting some Central D depth because they have been lost without Marquez and Ream…Mendes is a joke

  66. slyboy says:

    put the pipe down homie

  67. Worried MLS Fan. says:

    Pull your head out of the sand blood.

  68. WileyJ says:

    $#*&! Salazar! what a jackwagon.

  69. Erik says:

    Ignorance alert… Is your college educated wife out of work for the past two years plus? Jobs seem more important to me than golfing and hosting the mls champions. Sont know why that would make me a tea party supporter, but see how it shakes out come election time troll.

  70. RK says:

    Villarreal. Two r’s.

  71. lassidawg says:

    Hate to break it to you in a rivalry teams and fans compare the teams to each other.

    Glad to read that you don’t think anything in seattle is reachable. Guess you will be fine not winning and giving points away at home. Wins in this league are way to valuable to keep choking games away in the last 5 minutes.

    If you aren’t comparing yourself to another team that has had success then enjoy just being here. I would love the Sounders to become the team that DC United was in the early days

  72. Truf says:

    My college educated wife is gainfully employed and shattered our houses glass ceiling. Our success doesnt hinge on the government, to even bring this up on this blog might signal that someone needs to look in the mirror for the cause of ones problems. Our countries lack of an industrial or educational policy that would help grow the economy isn’t isolated to a party or leader, it’s grossly systemic. “Golfing” was simply environment for a meeting regardless.

  73. mouf says:

    Zomg the mls is in trouble because teams are organized and don’t leak goals…. Seriously chicken little, just stop

  74. waltmagic5 says:

    This is direct from the US Soccer website:

    Contact Above the Shoulder: Dead Ball Situations
    The following involves premeditated and deliberate contact with an opponent’s
    face during dead ball situations – a stoppage in play. Key is “contact above the
    Intentional and deliberate contact in the area of the face is not permitted with any
    part of the hand. Deliberate facial contact cannot be tolerated. Players who
    intentionally make contact with an opponent’s face must be issued a red card
    for violent conduct.
    Actions aimed at the face of an opponent must be dealt with severely
    REGARDLESS OF THE FORCE USED if the actions are:
    – Deliberate
    – Intended to intimidate
    – Endangering the safety of an opponent
    – Insulting and/or offensive in nature
    – Potentially inciting further action on the part of opponents
    – Done in a provocative, inciteful manner
    The above is not intended to address friendly contact that is not confrontational.
    The following lists some specific (but not all) examples of the manner in which
    the contact can be initiated:
    – Use of the backhand
    – Open handed slap
    – A push/slap to the face
    – The jabbing of a finger(s) to the face
    – Grabbing hair
    – Use of a fist
    Contact with the back of the head: When applying the aforementioned
    examples, the use of force becomes increasingly important when it involves
    contact with the back of the player’s head. Although the likelihood for injury is
    somewhat lessened as compared to contact with the face, referees must be
    aware of the danger to injure that “excessive force” to the back of the neck may cause. Depending upon the intent and the force used to the back of the head,
    referees may exercise reasonable discretion/tolerance in the selection of the most appropriate sanction.

    Referees have a tough job to enforce mandates even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. Players have to adjust and not do stupid things like slap people in the back of the head. Red card was way harsh, but Henry still isn’t innocent.

  75. BellusLudas says:

    Unfortunately the post above is proof that referees are more concerned with the Letter of the Law than the Spirit of the Game.

    The Rules of the Game are very, very simple and the one rule above all others is to apply the subsequent rules within the Spirit of the Game.

    In this case Henry and Moffit deserved a talking to…cards were ridiculous.

  76. Buggrit says:

    On the Henry call – It was stoppage time, it was back of the head not face and it lacked excessive force. The red card was a poor decision in my opinion. Had the AR missed the action does anyone believe that on post game review the Discipline Committee would issue a suspension for violent conduct? I don’t think so. If it is not severe enough for a post game suspension it shouldn’t be a red card in the game.

    On the refereeing situation in general – if you are going to brook no comment or adverse criticism and publicly hold your referees sacrosanct then your referees better produce on the field. Everyone and their blind dog knows that call are missed and bad decisions made. It is and always has been, part of the game. It is the failure by MLS, USSF and the ref crews themselves to acknowledge this that irritates coaches, fans and players. The SFA used have a column on their website where refs would comment on their decisions and explain what they saw or didn’t see and why they made the call they did. It was useful and informative and went a long way to explain controversial decisions. It did not lead to anarchy! At present, a referee can have a terrible game and although he may get reamed by the assessors afterwards there is no public acknowledgement that anything went wrong. That does lead to disrespect!

  77. Eddie says:

    Moffat’s push back was far more aggressive than Henry’s taps to the back of the head. If Henry goes, then Moffat should as well. Or perhaps we should just get the guys some skirts and inform them not to touch each other anymore.

  78. Eddie says:

    Exactly. Don’t let common sense and judgment get in the way.

  79. dan says:

    not even a yellow card.

    The players did what refs DREAM about. They solved the problem on their own. The whole point of officiating in soccer is to keep the game flowing and the ref was just so strung up on steroids he prob was seeing dragons flying.

  80. bryan says:

    I agree with Lorenzo. Jozy is young and they have him for 6 years. It doesn’t really hurt them to loan him out for another year.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  81. Scott A says:

    Two things. One, does not having central defending depth prohibit one from noticing horrendous officiating? Two, it is a big unusual to have both central defenders missing.

  82. Scott A says:

    That should be bit not big.

  83. bryan says:

    this is absolutely ridiculous!!!!

  84. Erik says:

    Golfing nearly 100 times during a presidency when the economy is in tatters says it all to me. If you support the guy, that’s fine. However, he will be slaughtered at the polls. After that I can live happy knowing the while I earn 6 figures, and your wife shatters glass ceilings, some of my friends can maybe have a “hope” of a brighter future under the leadership of someone who cares about this country.

  85. peterjh says:

    The key line in the above directive from US Soccer is “Depending upon the intent and the force used to the back of the head,

    referees may exercise reasonable discretion/tolerance in the selection of the most appropriate sanction.”

    In other words, there was nothing preventing Salazar from using common sense (ie, reasonable discretion) and not issue the red card. And there is no such thing as an “automatic” red card for contact above the shoulders.

  86. Joamiq says:

    No. Players pat or tap each other on the head ALL THE TIME. Refs have to be able to use their discretion lest they turn their games into a farce.