VANCOUVER, B.C. — Stop. Start.
In Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to FC Dallas, it wasn’t defensive mistakes that the Vancouver Whitecaps focused on post-match, it was the performance of referee Matthew Foerster.
Foerster, in charge of his fourth-ever MLS match, blew his whistle 41 times to call fouls between the two teams, and some Vancouver players felt that brought the match to a virtual standstill at times.
“It’s the most frustrating game I think I’ve ever played in,” Barry Robson told reporters following the match. “I found it really hard tonight. It’s just one foul, then it’s stop, then it’s start, then it’s stop. It’s so frustrating. The referee blows for every single body contact. What can you do? It’s something I’m not used to and the frustration does get to you.”
Full Highlights: VAN 0, DAL 2
FCD midfielder David Ferreira, who broke his ankle in Vancouver on April 24 last season, played a key part in both of Dallas’ goals, helping Fabián Castillo open the scoring then setting Jonathan Top up for his team’s second.
The Colombian also was fouled six times, prompting one reporter to ask whether or not Ferreira was going down too easy to generate some of those fouls.
“I just thought every single decision, the referee blew the whistle, and I don’t know why,” Robson said. “He gave us a free kick for a hand ball in the first half. He blown that stupid white line [with the spray can] and it was inside the box and it was a penalty, but he said it was a free kick outside the box. So you work that out — I can’t.”
As the match reached its dying stages, Vancouver’s frustration reached a crescendo with a skirmish five minutes from time, which brought about yellow cards for Lee Young-Pyo, Jun Marques Davidson and Ferreira.
That frustration didn’t stop at the final whistle, however, as 'Caps head coach Martin Rennie responded smartly to a reporter when asked to discuss those heated moments in the match.
“If you know anything about soccer, then you would know why they would be frustrated,” Rennie said. “Hopefully you guys can write your story without me telling you the whole story, but it’s very frustrating when the game goes like that and players decide to be like that and the game gets slowed down that much.
“It gets frustrating. None of the guys are happy when the team doesn’t win or when we lose, and sometimes that frustration will boil over a little bit.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.