New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty does not mind encroachment being called. He just wants to see it done with more consistency.
The Red Bulls suffered a second consecutive second-half collapse en route to a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday night after Chris Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick retake in stoppage time. Wondolowski initially had his shot saved by New York goalkeeper Luis Robles, but the 2012 MLS Golden Boot winner was given another attempt by referee Ricardo Salazar after left back Roy Miller was whistled for entering deep into the penalty area before Wondolowski had kicked.
After the game, McCarty refused to point the finger at his Costa Rican teammate for the loss but he did admit that he would like to see encroachment called for even the subtlest infractions.
“I don’t care if a guy has his big toe in the box,” McCarty told reporters. “If they’re going to call it by the letter of the law, they better have some consistency.”
Miller’s encroachment broke the hearts of Red Bulls fans everywhere, but it also gave them painful reminders of how the Red Bulls ended their 2012 season.
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In their playoff series with rivals D.C. United last year, New York were eliminated in part because Thierry Henry encroached on a penalty kick that then-teammate Kenny Cooper had converted. Cooper stepped up again on the retake but his shot was saved and the rest is forgettable history for New York.
Still, calls like that and the one on Miller on Sunday night are warranted for McCarty – so long as they are done with more regularity.
“We can’t make excuses. If he was in the box, he was in the box and the ref decided to call it,” said McCarty. “But at the end of the day you just want to see consistency and have it called on every single penalty kick that’s taken.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.