"The most disappointing aspect of the game was that we showed tremendous character to get right back in it and the referee has let us down." That was coach Gary Smith following the conclusion of the Rapids v Red Bulls game on Saturday.
Most Rapids fans held their tongues at the end of the New York Red Bulls game - including myself - on the topic of the refereeing. It was covered in our potent quotable and I'm sure a few people grumbled about it, but I'm not the type to complain about refs during games... apparently our coach is the type though, so here we go.
Even discounting the horrible call that was made on Anthony Wallace early that earned the young left back a yellow card and gave New York their first good chance to score of the game, the refs did have a couple of what you might calle "questionable" calls. A couple of them probably prevented Rapids goals and one of them might have gifted the Bulls one.
After Omar Cummings' amazing goal - seriously, was that not a goal of the year candidate? - the refs missed what seemed like an obvious penalty call when Omar Cummings sped up the sidelines, into the box and was shoved very hard from behind by Tim Ream. Another possible penalty that was ignored occurred late in the game - albeit so late in the game that the chances of a Rapid comeback (pun!) were pretty much voided by the clock - as the Rapids took a corner kick and the reception man Drew Moor was pulled to the ground maliciously as he tried to leap for the header.
Smith's argument centered mainly around another foul that took place on Kosuke Kimura right before Dane Richards scored the final point of the match for New York. I'm still keen on blaming Jamie Smith for missing the easy, easy clear there and not the foul that Kimura suffered, but Smith does have a point. The refs might have skewed that game early, often, and not in a way that made the Rapids side of things tingle with delight.
I can't imagine that anyone really expected a win there anyway, but you never like losing a game in that manner.