MONTREAL – One man in particular did not make any friends in Montreal on Wednesday night, and he wasn't even wearing a Sporting Kansas City shirt.
Referee Sorin Stoica, who was officiating his third career MLS match, was a subject of conversation in the Montreal Impact locker room following their 3-1 home defeat to Sporting Kansas City at Stade Saputo.
Stoica called two penalty kicks against the Impact – both successfully converted by the visitors – and his calls upset Impact manager Jesse Marsch to the point where he threw his jacket on the ground in disgust after the second penalty call.
“I’d never thrown my jacket,” Marsch told reporters after the match, “and I think it’s obvious why I reacted that way.”
Having been fined for critical comments regarding the officiating during a 3-0 loss to D.C. United, Marsch mostly kept his thoughts to himself this time around. The offender on the second penalty decision, Montreal captain Davy Arnaud, was a bit more outspoken.
“I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to get in trouble, but what happened after [we took the lead], I haven’t seen something like that,” Arnaud said. “This is my 11th year in this league and it’s the first time I’ve seen something like that."
Arnaud was penalized for tackling Sporting second-half sub Soony Saad in the box on a set piece.
Highlights: Montreal 1, Sporting KC 3
“Listen, if we’re going to start giving penalty kicks in the box for guys battling and fighting, we’re going to see eight penalty kicks a game, OK?" Arnaud said. "If that’s the way it’s going to be, let’s have some consistency then and let’s call every single one like that, because we see, every single corner, every single set piece, guys battle. That’s the game.”
The circumstances of the loss are all the more frustrating for Arnaud considering that he will miss this Sunday’s game against the Columbus Crew through suspension – as will influential midfielder Felipe, who also picked up one yellow card too many on Wednesday. The Impact captain was booked for dissent in the 69th minute, a decision that still baffled him after the match.
“I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say one word. Nothing,” Arnaud insisted. “I got the yellow card for jumping in the air when he gave the free kick. He didn’t like that, that I jumped in the air.”
In spite of that fact that Arnaud was issued a critical booking for protests, Marsch doled out praise for his captain, who might have scored had he not slipped as he attempted a left-footed shot which eventually trickled barely wide of the left post in the 25th minute.
“Davy, once again, put in a performance of a warrior,” Marsch stated, “which he does almost every single game.”