While everyone hyperventilates over the officiating Saturday night at RFK Stadium – Was D.C. United unfairly awarded a penalty kick? Should David Beckham have been sent off? Why does Abiodun Okulaja continue to work MLS matches? – I’ve sorted through my archive of old quotes (okay, from two weeks ago) and pulled out one from United goalkeeper/goalkeepers coach Pat Onstad to provide perspective.
United had just lost at New England, 2-1, on a pair of Revolution goals in high dispute. While teammates raged in the locker room, the 43-year-old sage took the high road and calmly offered this:
“Usually over the course of a season, those things balance themselves out.”
Look, the officiating is not great in MLS. The inconsistency is maddening. Some calls are mind-boggling. The fine that accompanied United defender Dejan Jakovic’s mysterious red card at New England was quietly rescinded by the league office. This past weekend, the Revs’ Shalrie Joseph was tossed for a minor incident.
If it’s any consolation, everyone is affected, at one point or another. United was on the short end against the Revolution. On Saturday, D.C. was the fortunate one. Ideally, every match would be immaculately officiated and clubs wouldn’t have to wonder how long they’d have to wait for on-field compensation. But this is life in MLS, and some things don’t seem to change.
For much more, including Landon Donovan’s Twitter shot at Charlie Davies.....
*Via Twitter, Galaxy star Donovan, who skipped the trip to recover from a knee injury, commented on Saturday’s controversy: “I got @CharlieDavies9 some gear in case he decides to dive again. Couldn’t find a scuba mask though”
Davies’ response: “hahaha I would borrow yours but X small doesn’t fit me.”
United and the Galaxy will meet again June 3 at Home Depot Center. With the United States facing World Cup champion Spain the next day in Foxborough, Mass. — a tuneup for the Gold Cup, which begins a few days later -- Donovan will probably miss that MLS match with D.C. as well.
*United’s Santino Quaranta and Beckham exchanged words after Beckham’s brutal challenge on Josh Wolff in the 41st minute (check out this photo). The nastiness continued after the halftime whistle.
“It’s a bad tackle,” Quaranta said. “Look, he’s my teammate. If that had happened to [Beckham], he would’ve gone bonkers. It’s from behind; it’s just bad. You say something to the guy, you’re wrong.”
While leaving the field at halftime, “he kept asking me and messing with me by saying, ‘What? What? What?’ I said: ‘I just thought it was a bad tackle. I still like you. I think you’re a good player. It’s a bad tackle, though. That’s all.’ ”
*United rookie right back Chris Korb was the recipient of Todd Dunivant’s reckless foul in the 29th minute. Like Beckham, Dunivant received a yellow card. Both Korb and Dunivant required medical treatment but remained in the match.
Afterward, Korb said: “I couldn’t really feel my leg for the rest of the game. I’m starting to get feeling back in it, and we’ll see how the rest of the week goes.”
*Through two home matches, United’s attendance average is 22,377, third best in MLS behind Seattle and Los Angeles. Yes, one was the home opener and the other was for a visit by the high-profile Galaxy. But after averaging 14,532 in 2010, it’s a good start for an organization that, without a new stadium to generate additional revenue, relies heavily on ticket sales.
*Goalkeeper Steve Cronin returned to competitive action Sunday in a 45-minute scrimmage against the University of Maryland – the next stage of his comeback from a preseason broken wrist.
*On his Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg breaks down Davies’ VW-sponsored goal celebration.
*Read Jeff Maurer’s action-packed match diary.