Ryan Nelsen fined by MLS for criticizing officiating
Upset with defender Steven Caldwell given straight red card
Major League Soccer has fined Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen an undisclosed amount for criticizing the officiating after Toronto's 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Friday.
Nelsen was upset with a straight red card given to defender Steven Caldwell for a high tackle on Sporting's Antonio Dovale and with a penalty awarded to Kansas City late in the game.
"If they gave Steven a yellow, nobody would have blinked an eyelid, nobody would have worried about it," Nelsen told MLSSoccer.com after the game. "But because (referee Baldomero Toledo) has set a precedent throughout his refereeing career that he always likes to influence games, he decided to give a red for what was really a yellow card."
Nelsen also complained about a penalty assessed to Toronto defender Doneil Henry late in the game, which Kansas City converted to take a 2-1 lead.
"In all honesty, there's not one person who has seen the replay that said that was a penalty," Nelsen said. "So when you're down to 10 men, in the 84th minute, you have to be 100 per cent certain that it's a penalty. One hundred per cent certain. The referee will watch the replay and he will say to himself 'It's not a penalty."'
The league's disciplinary committee also warned the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders for violating its mass confrontation policy in a 2-2 draw on Saturday. Additionally, the committee fined Vancouver midfielder Pedro Morales for contact to the head of an opponent and Seattle forward Chad Barrett for escalating the incident.