Red cards

I'm going to have to read the after action reports to get a handle on why Ujfalusi got that red card against Ghana. I think I could see the foul in super slow motion, but I'm not really sure.

The interesting red cards, though, were the two doled out in the first half of the USA's match against Italy.

On the one hand, that was definitely blood on Brian McBride's face. On the other, it didn't seem to me that De Rossi was trying to land a cheap shot so much as he was creating space -- illegally -- to give himself a chance to play the ball. I suppose that the red card was justified on the principle that loose elbows should be punished when they connect with faces, but I also think that giving the USA a man advantage for three quarters of the match would have been an excessive penalty. So I think that the red card against Mastroeni in the 44th minute, though clearly not an appropriate response to his tackle, was a reasonable compromise.

In other World Cup related ethical dilemmas, this mid match blogging break was made possible by the fact that the wait staff at the bar where I was watching soccer began systematically ignoring me about fifteen minutes before the USA/Italy game began. I think they wanted the table.

A more gracious man than me would have paid his bill in full, left a generous tip, and ceded the space. A less gracious man would have stayed for the rest of the match and then stiffed them on the whole bill.

Update: Ok, I don't know exactly what happened with Eddie Pope (owing to various factors, but certainly including the fact that ABC's announcing crew of Balboa and whoever the hell the other guy is sucks ass), but let's just say I'm no longer inclined to give the ref credit for an intent to call a balanced match. Or for much at all, really.

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