Bob Matthewson of England and Tom Reynolds of Wales, two of the three Europen referees hired May 19th to "upgrade" the officiating of the North American Soccer League have wasted little time becoming household names (and worse) around the league.
Matthewson who officiated Chicago's 3-2 victory over Rochester Monday night, was accosted by Lancer coach Gragan Popovic and trainer Joe Sirianni following the game. Both were given red cards (automatically fine and suspension for one road game) as they were leaving the field.
Reynolds, considered one of the worlds best referees, has been "fired" from working Seattle games. Jack Daley, the Sounders' general manager, has expressed official Werner Winsmann and asked the league not to send them back.
"I have no authority to take any discplinary action against any officials," said Daley. "But in effect, we have fired them for the season."
It is unlikely the league will go along with Daley's dismissal of the officials.
Daley's ire was raised by the Sounders' 2-1 loss to Los Angeles in which Seattle took a record 21 corner kicks. Daley felt there were several occasions during the game when Seattle should have been awarded penalty kicks.
Winsmann, in fact, called a penalty kick in the Seattle-Portland game in Seattle last year, which resulted in a 1-0 Sounder win. "The Portland coach (then Vic Crowe) gave Winsmann such a tongue lashing after that one, that I think he has become reluctant to call a penalty kick."
The three European Cup titles were decided recently. In the Champions Cup, Liverpool beat Borussia Moenchengladbach, 3-1, in Rome HSV of Hamburg, Germany, topped Anderlecht of Belgium, 2-0, in Amsterdam to win the Cup Winner's Cup.
Juventus of Italy beat Athletic Bilbao of Spain in a two-game home-and-home series to take the UEFA Cup.
One of the highest-paid players in the NASL, COsmos' forward Giorgio Chinaglia, offered the league some food for thought.
"It is a wrong method to promote soccer in the United States with players like myself, Pele (Cosmos), George Best (Los Angeles) and Beckenbauer," said the outspoken Italian. "The NASL must attract fans with local players or soccer will continue to be foreign."
Steve David of Los Angeles continues to lead the league in scoring with 22 points (10 goals, two assists), one point ahead of Derek Smethrust of Tampa Bay, Smethurst recenlty signed on to placekick for the NFL. Buccaneers in the soccer offseason.
Bobby Stokes is the leading Washington scorer with seven points . . . Eric Martin is sixth in the goalkeeper race. He has given up nine goals for an 0.97 per-game average . . .
Alan Mayer of Las Vegas is the leading goalie with an 0.62 per-game average. Bill Mishalow of Los Angeles, brother of Diplomat reserve defender Gene Mishalow, is second with 0.75.
The NASL attendance is up 23 per cent over last year. An average of 12,320 persons have attended each game as compared to 9,998 at this time last season. Washington is currently eight (10,327 per game) in attendance.