TFC fans talk about refs a lot … names like Toledo, Marrufo, and Geiger are spat out with disdain, but now you can add Sorin Stoica to that list. Even the normally affable Ryan Nelsen got in on the act after this ****show in Philadelphia, noting the second yellow for Morgan was “a very inexperienced decision by the referee…”

Joe BendikWould TFC have clung on and claimed all three points had “Sorin Stinker” not sent Morgan off? Who knows. Was Morgans ‘offence’ far less worthy of a card than the waist-high, foot-first, challenge assault Danny Cruz perpetrated on Morgan in the first half which drew only a very lenient yellow? Should we even have been leading going into second half stoppage time? Ask a TFC fan and they will say yes to all of those. Ask a Philly fan and they will claim, possibly with some merit that McInerney’s disallowed 88th minute “goal” was good and they should have tied earlier. Either way, it was another story of a ref making the game all about him, losing the plot, and affecting the outcome of a match through sheer ineptitude (as opposed to bias). 

Overall, a draw was probably a more than fair result for TFC who were battling (quite literally) a Philly lineup that saw them start with their three top scorers – Conor Casey, Jack McInerney and the talismanic Sebastien Le Toux. The stats say it all really … TFC had 37% possession and managed just 2 shots on goal from 6 attempts whereas Philly had 10 shots on goal from 18 attempts.

The difference maker in this game, other than Earnshaw bagging his 5th goal of the campaign against the run of play, and Stoica so spectacularly bottling it, was (once again) Joe Bendik. The supposedly make-weight portion of a trade that took Ryan Johnson and Milos Kocic to Portland, Bendik once again demonstrated that TFC unwittingly got by far the better deal in this trade with another super-human effort. He saved 9 of the 10 shots on goal from Philly, some of them quite spectacularly, and couldn’t do anything about the goal. Stefan Frei must be shaking his head wondering what he has to do to get back into this TFC side. With Kocic gone, it looked like he would easily regain his #1 spot, but Bendik has performed heroics in the opening six games and earned that spot.

Some Stats from Saturdays Game

  • Starting Debuts
    • None.
  • Debut (Sub)
    • Ryan Richter made his TFC and MLS debut coming on in the 7th minute for Darel Russell
  • Goals
    • Robert Earnshaw’s 5th of the season is tied for the MLS lead with Mike Magee (LA)
  • Appearances
    • Ashtone Morgan made his 49th MLS appearance (40th start) but may have to wait a bit for his 50th after his harsh sending off. Morgan has made 70 appearances in total for TFC and was the player with the highest number of TFC appearances on the pitch on Saturday.
    • Reggie Lambe and Luis Silva were the next highest appearance leaders on the pitch, each with 33 MLS games under their belts for TFC.
  • Discipline
    • Yellow Cards – The 5 yellows received in this match are a new record for TFC in MLS.
    • Red Cards – This was TFC’s first red of the season, and 35th overall. It was also Morgan’s first in any competition.
    • Combined Y/R total – TFC have received a combined total of 6 cards (Y/R) four times. Twice in CONCACAF, and only once previously in MLS (4Y/2R)… and now in this game.
  • Referee
    • This was Sorin Stoica’s second time officiating TFC. The first time was in August 2012 away to Columbus where we lost 2-1. In that game he called 24 fouls (8 for us, 16 against us) and booked Darren O’Dea and Ashtone Morgan.
    • On Saturday he called 35 fouls (17 for us, 18 against us), booked 5 TFC players and 3 Union players, and sent off Morgan. I guess we should be pleased he did not call a penalty against us !!!
    • In total, this ‘ref’ had officiated 10 MLS games before Saturday, called an average of 27.1 fouls per game and issued 4.1 yellows per game. He had also issued a single red and 4 penalties.
    • Adding Saturday’s numbers, his average has now jumped to 27.8 fouls per game and 4.45 yellows per game. He now has 2 reds in 11 games and still 4 total penalties.

Dirty Games ?

A lot of talk on Saturday about the quantity of cards and the quality of the referee so lets round off with a look back at games where TFC had the ref reaching for his pocket multiple times …..

Compiling this list, it is clear there have been times when the refs have been card happy, and we kind of expect that in CONCACAF play, but the only other occasion in MLS when the ref has got it so wrong – in my opinion – is a game at BMO against Houston back in 2010 where referee Jair Marrufo flashed 4 yellows and 2 reds to TFC (and 1 Y and 1 R to Houston). So well done Stoica, after only 11 MLS games, you do manage to get up there with Marrufo who took years to develop that level of ineptitude.

Anyhow, here’s the multiple yellow stats ….

  • TFC have received 6 yellows on two occasions, both in away games, both in CONCACAF Champions League play.
    • DeGuzman, Ibrahim, Garcia, Lindsay, Conway and Gargan were all booked in the 2010 Cruz Azul game.
    • Iro, Eckersley, Stinson, Kocic, Plata and De Guzman all saw yellow in 2011 away to Tauro.
  • TFC have received 5 yellows on two occasions, once in CONCACAF Champions League play, and this past weekend in MLS.
    • Garcia, Henry, Lindsay, Gargan and Morgan were all booked in the home CCL game with Arabe Unido in 2010
    • Morgan, Agbossoumonde, O’Dea, Ephraim and Bendik were all booked in Saturday’s game with Morgan also receiving a red at the end.
  • TFC have received 4 yellows on 15 occasions (listed in the table below)
  • A total of six cards has only ever been issued to TFC four times. The two games CCL games noted above where we received 6 yellow, plus Saturdays game where we received 5 yellows and a red. The only other instance came in a game in 2010 at BMO against Houston where Jair Marrufo booked Sanyang, Garcia, and Attakora, then issued straight reds to Julian De Guzman and Joseph Ngwenya (Houston) all in a 9 minute spell near the hour mark, then capped off his day by booking Gargan, then issuing a second yellow to Sanyang and booking Cochrane (Houston) in the last 5 minutes. 
  • The total of 9 cards issued in Saturday’s match is the highest ever for a TFC game in MLS, and equals the highest total in all competitions.
    • The 2012 Canadian Championship encounter between TFC and Vancouver at BMO saw a total of 9 bookings. There were 4 yellows for TFC and 3 for Vancouver, with both sides also having a red. (DeGuzman for TFC, Le Toux for Vancouver)
    • The 2010 away game against Cruz Azul in the CCL, mentioned above, saw 6 TFC bookings, plus 2 yellows and a red for the opposition.
    • Prior to this there had been 5 games with a total of 8 bookings. 4 of these were in MLS, the other in CCL play.
      • In 2007, Mauricio Navarro booked 3 on each side and sent off 1 on each team in a 2-1 home win over New York
      • In 2008, Richard Heron booked 3 TFC players but booked 4 Colorado players and sent 1 off in a rare 0-1 road victory for the Reds.
      • In 2010 the Houston match mentioned above saw 4 TFC bookings and 1 Houston booking, but TFC had 2 ordered off and Houston 1 for a total of 8 bookings.
      • The 2010 Arabe Unido match also mentioned above had 5 TFC bookings and 3 opposition bookings
      • In 2011 against San Jose, both sides had 4 players booked
Season Home   v   Away Ref TFC-Y TFC-R OPP-Y OPP-R v
2007 N.England 4 0 TFC Geiger 4 0 1 0 MLS
2007 TFC 1 2 DC Utd Toledo 4 0 2 0 MLS
2007 N.England 3 0 TFC Prus 4 0 1 0 MLS
2007 Salt Lake 1 2 TFC Marrufo 4 0 2 0 MLS
2008 N.England 2 1 TFC Weyland 4 0 1 0 MLS
2009 Salt Lake 3 0 TFC Jurisevic 4 0 0 0 MLS
2009 N.England 1 1 TFC Vaughn 4 1 1 0 MLS
2009 TFC 2 0 DC Utd Prus 4 0 2 0 MLS
2010 TFC 2 0 Montreal Ward 4 0 2 1 V.Cup
2010 TFC 1 1 Houston Marrufo 4 2 1 1 MLS
2010 Houston 1 2 TFC Jurisevic 4 0 2 0 MLS
2010 Cruz Azul 0 0 TFC Guerra 6 0 2 1 CCL
2010 TFC 1 0 Arabe Unido Garcia 5 0 3 0 CCL
2011 San Jose 1 1 TFC Hernandez 4 0 4 0 MLS
2011 TFC 0 1 Seattle Reyes 4 0 1 1 MLS
2011 Tauro 1 2 TFC Brea 6 0 1 0 CCL
2012 TFC 1 0 Vancouver Petrescu 4 1 3 1 V.Cup
2013 TFC 2 2 Dallas Elfath 4 0 3 0 MLS
2013 Philadelphia 1 1 TFC Stoica 5 1 3 0 MLS

No gallery from this game as I was in Toronto not Philadelphia, but please feel free to upload some if you have them ….


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: