Edvin Jurisevic Steals Victory from LA Galaxy, New York Red BullsMay 8, 2011
I'll be honest with you: Edvin Jurisevic is not qualified enough to make calls on the field.
The fact that Jurisevic and other whistle-blowing buffoons like Hilario Grajeda, Jair Marrufo, Abbey Okulaja and Baldomero Toledo will be officiating many a Major League Soccer match to come will only further damage the quality and relevancy of this league. I kid you not.
Case in point: the 1-1 draw on Saturday night between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, and the 44th minute in particular.
Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul should have paid the price for coming off his line, and Landon Donovan should have completed a first-half brace. But the would-be goal was said to have been cleared, when in fact it was over the line.
Even a Red Bull fan will have to admit that this had a defeat wrapped up for them as a result of their inability to add to their early goal in the first half.
Instead, a slob like Edvin Jurisevic has done something that should be reserved for the players only: determine the outcome of a game and also force a draw. Disgraceful, no question.
If you were to ask me what my three wishes are right now, they would be: 1. the New York Cosmos becoming an MLS team, 2. goal line technology becoming a norm in MLS, and 3. the likes of Pierluigi Collina or some current/former referee of his stature overseeing a committee that reviews every decision made.
In Jurisevic's defense, though, Landon Donovan did not have a good game, aside from his header from David Beckham in the 41st minute that tied things up. He blew a number of finishing opportunities, and that shot in the 44th lacked enough pace to put it beyond doubt.
There have been rumours in the press box during my live blog of this game that suggest that Donovan is considering finishing his career with Boca Juniors. To that, I can only laugh. How can someone as accomplished as Landon Donovan succeed in breaking the Boca first team if he has a terrible night burying his shots against New York and Thierry Henry?
Speaking of Henry, that fourth minute goal was a thing of beauty, and the price Donovan Ricketts plays for netminding like an overpaid amateur. Falls on his tush, allowing Thierry to chaleira the visitors to the early lead. Sensation backheel, typical Henry.
The more I see it, the more I am convinced that Juan Pablo Angel is becoming a liability to the Galaxy. He's overrated. He cannot produce like he did with the Red Bulls. Angel doesn't have it, and I for one am growing impatient with this.
New York may have had their best chance to take the lead (or equalize) in the 82nd minute, when Dane Richards's shot hit the far post.
I really think that if it weren't for Jurisevic splitting the points rather than the players, 1-1 would be a pretty fair outcome, given the standing of both the Galaxy and Red Bulls in their respective conferences.
Bouna Coundoul and Donovan Ricketts made a series of fantastic saves, and both of them earn their kudos from yours truly. Rafa Marquez was a bit of a downer. Not a single one of his set pieces got converted. You have thus been one-upped by a certain Englishman, Rafa.
A couple of players I was also disappointed with were Luke Rodgers and Juan Agudelo of the Red Bulls. Where were they? They were non-factors in this match.
Dwayne De Rosario generated his share of chances; he just wasn't able to finish. I did like the play of Tim Ream. Very consistent, and I won't be surprised if he is considered to return to national team camp ahead of the Gold Cup.
But this match, simply put, was stolen from the Galaxy by the decrepit officiating that has tarnished, if not violated, the credibility of this league.
Hopefully, when the Galaxy get their chance to give the Philadelphia Union a taste of their own doop at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, we'll be treated to better officiating. But I wonder, what are the chances of that happening? It might as well be the end of the world if it does!
Kickoff between the Galaxy and Union is scheduled for May 11 at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised locally by Fox Sports West.