The Professional Referee Organization acknowledged on Monday that the controversial play involving Orlando City’s Cyle Larin and New York’s Karl Ouimette in the Red Bulls’ 3-2 victory over OCSC on Sunday should have never happened.
In a Monday night email to MLSsoccer.com, PRO training and development manager Paul Rejer wrote that Larin should have been flagged offside on the play, which occurred with the Lions leading 1-0 in the 63rd minute: Larin broke in on goal but was brought down from behind by Ouimette on the edge of the area. Referee Hilario Grajeda didn’t call a foul, allowing play to continue and not disciplining Ouimette.
“This should have been a red card to Ouimette for DOGSO (Denial of Obvious goal scoring opportunity)," Rejer wrote. "The referee was caught behind play and didn’t anticipate the long ball from the ‘keeper which meant he was too far behind play. When the ball was played Larin was actually offside, which was missed by the [assistant referee].”
FOX Sports, which aired Sunday’s match, reported after the match that PRO GM Peter Walton felt that the play should have resulted in a red card for Ouimette, but not a penalty kick. Replays indicated the contact between Ouimette and Larin was outside the box.
On Monday, another wrinkle was added to the saga, as ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman pointed out on Twitter that Larin appeared to be offside when goalkeeper Joe Bendik played the initial long ball over the top.
Rejer's email confirmed both Walton's intial commentary and Twellman's tweeted take.