Nobody likes a big decision more than MLS official Baldomero Toledo. Toledo once set the precedent for what would happen if a player ever took off their jersey only to reveal another jersey underneath — he brandished a second yellow and sent the player off.
So it should come as no surprise that, a week after being accused of using the f-word against one of Ghana’s players during an international friendly, Toledo was again at the center of a very curious ruling during Vancouver’s match against NYCFC.
Soccer is a very nice sport in that it’s pretty simple and the rulebook is very slim. An unfortunate consequence of this benefit, since everyone’s fairly certain they get it, is that very few people actually read the rules.
Because of this, viewpoints, from time to time, become infected with cliche absolutes that just aren’t true. For example, if the ball strikes someone in the hand, it’s not necessarily a handball. Many refuse to believe that fact.
Another example is that many think that if there’s contact in the box, it’s a penalty. Just listen to commentators on television say “Well, there was contact…” — they’ll say it every time as if that actually means something.
That doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all.
There are 10 offenses that, when committed inside the area, result in a penalty. Which would you say the one below falls under?
Personally, I think Toledo has invented an 11th offense: the use of a hand cast as a weapon of severe blunt force (as Toldedo sees it).
Since Thomas McNamara grabs his face in anguish, before kneeing goalkeeper David Ousted in the face and using his other hand to issue a sincere apology, Toledo obviously isn't pointing to the spot because of a push or pull. He just doesn't like that damn cast being on the field.
So he gave NYCFC the penalty and brandished a yellow for Kendall Waston.
After the penalty, Waston ripped off the cast, which was being used as protection after surgery to repair a fracture on June 23, because he knew that Toledo had, once again, come to his own unique understanding of the rules of the game.
“It was an awful decision,” said Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson.
Poetic justice was served in the second half as goals from Jordan Harvey and Yordy Reyna would secure a 3-2 comeback victory for the Caps.