WASHINGTON – On Tuesday afternoon, the Professional Referees Organization used its "Play of the Week" series to highlight what many believed to be this past week’s worst call: the non-issuing of a red card on the Columbus Crew’s Giancarlo Gonzalez after his 71st-minute takedown of D.C. United’s Eddie Johnson in the teams' 1-1 draw at Crew Stadium.
The statement didn’t mince words, stating in no uncertain terms that Johnson was denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity and that referee Juan Guzman and his assistants were clearly in the wrong for issuing only a yellow card on the play.
A day later, United head coach Ben Olsen got his chance to share his thoughts on the statement.
"It wasn’t something I was surprised at,” Olsen told MLSsoccer.com after his club’s training session on Wednesday. "This was a no-brainer to me."
Indeed, the only surprise involved in Saturday’s non-call and the events that transpired after it was the absence of a red card. Olsen – along with nearly every United player on the pitch – openly displayed their distaste for the decision.
After the match, a clearly aggrevated Olsen deflected any questions about the incident, stating “I don’t even think I need to comment on it, do I?” – possibly avoiding a fine in the process.
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On Wednesday, Olsen was a little less tight-lipped. Though the head coach suggested that he appreciates PRO holding its refs accountable, he also suggested that it doesn’t make the aftertaste of the call any less bitter.
"When that stuff comes out – I think it’s good that they do it and I think they’ve been more transparent with how they interpret the laws," he said. "That’s a positive. But when I read it, it just pisses me off all over again."