The game was not technically lost by this man, but nobody would argue with the idea that the true reason for the loss is on his shoulders. It's the actual technical foul that led to the draw which is in question.
I realize after looking at my game recap - which I'll admit wasn't really a recap at all - that I should probably give my full account of thoughts on why it was what I said it was.
First of all, you have to realize that I think the game was not lost on that, but rather lost quite obviously by what was essentially an own goal by Matt Pickens at the very start of stoppage time. Regardless, that won't be the play looked at after the game as the moment of interest.
The final play of the game yesterday was, as put by Gary Smith, honestly a farce. For any who did not see the game or don't feel like watching the highlights, Brian Mullan put an arm around RSL defender Jamison Olave in the box during a free kick in the 95th minute of the game, and both wound up falling to the ground. Whether Olave embellished in order to make the contact seem more than just an arm in front of him is irrelevant, as the ref would hardly have known either way. It could have just as easily been called a foul as it could not have.
Looking at both angles that we had available it looked from one angle -the back - as though Olave dragged Mullan down and from the other - the front - it looked exactly the opposite, so it's a bit of a wash on perspective. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that it probably was a foul on Brian. The fact of whether it was a foul or not isn't my biggest issue with the whole debacle.
During a derby game in the 95th minute of stoppage time, there will be contact - hard contact in fact - in the box during a free kick. Any referee worth his salt should realize that. It's the fact that so many fouls in both boxes were committed not only in the boxes but elsewhere on the pitch all game were not called before that makes the final
I ask my referees for consistency, that's about it. Refs are humans and make mistakes but I prefer it when they make them consistently. If a baseball umpire has an abnormally high strike zone, I complain not about the zone but only when he stops calling the high strikes at random points in the game. There were huge fouls by both sides all over the pitch not being called all game long. I cheered when the Rapids got free balls out of non-calls and jeered as RSL escaped with a couple of bad ones as well. So many plays that game were dirtier than the call in the box at the end, that is why I was shocked the call was given.
Truly, coach Gary Smith said it better than I can;
"In a competitive game in the final seconds of what has been a very good display by our group the referee finds a foul to be given when probably on 9 out of 10 occasions on corner kicks or free kicks there is a lot of bodily contact. All I can say is there was a lot of contact in the box, there’s going to be considering it is the 95th minute; it’s the last free kick of the game- there’s going to be. Now unless Brian has done something completely outrageous, which I can’t imagine, I find it a bit bizarre.