MONTREAL – Sigi Schmid has seen enough games in his time to know the final outcome almost never hinges on one call alone.
But when two of head referee Mark Geiger’s biggest decisions went against Seattle en route to a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Impact, the Sounders’ head coach had to wonder if his club had been dealt a fair shake in the club’s most lopsided loss of the season.
Schmid blasted fourth official Jose Carlos Rivero from the sideline for portions of the evening and especially after two calls went against Seattle: a red card to defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado in the 56th minute and a yellow card issued to the Impact’s Nelson Rivas in the 84th minute after a tackle that flattened Sounders striker Fredy Montero.
WATCH: Rivas sees yellow on Montero tackle
“I was just trying to get some words in, because (Impact head coach Jesse Marsch) was obviously able to have a lecture with the referee at halftime,” Schmid said. “All of a sudden in the second half, things changed.”
Although down 2-0 after Impact goal from Felipe and Justin Mapp, the Sounders were still within striking distance when Hurtado chopped down Collen Warner near the Montreal sideline. Hurtado was sent off immediately and while the Sounders pulled a goal back from striker Eddie Johnson while playing with 10 men, they gave up two more while shorthanded.
But the Rivas foul, which came just before a goal from Montreal’s Lamar Neagle finished the Sounders’ night off, was the play that drew the brunt of the Sounders’ ire after the match. The veteran defender drew just a yellow for the tackle from behind, leaving many in the Seattle locker room to question Geiger’s leniency.
“I know Rivas’ tackle should have been a red card,” Schmid said. “I don’t know if Hurtado’s tackle was worse or if it was a red card … but it seemed harsh.”
Montero wasn’t injured on the play, but said he too was surprised his Colombian compatriot wasn’t sent off.
“That was a red card. It wasn’t the same as (the Kennedy foul), it was worse, for sure,” Montero said. “He came straight into my leg … twisted from behind and straight into my leg. We are friends, but it doesn’t matter. I was pissed … something like this, I never expected it from him.