FC Dallas 1-1 Chicago: Good Game*…um…Offside Equalizer?

(* This asterisk is meant to indicate I caught only about 25 minutes of the second half, but I’m assured by trustworthy parties that this was a good game.)

(UPDATE: Future readers of this post should check the comments.  Hats off to Tim for suggesting a method of checking for offside.  The present position of this page: Carlos Ruiz was, in fact, on side.)

The bomb of a goal Chris Rolfe produced to give the Chicago Fire the lead over FC Dallas will probably be what most people remember about last night’s game; it truly was something.

But having watched the video clip currently pasted on MLSnet.com’s front page about six times now, count me very surprised that another talking point is, at time of writing, nowhere to be seen. (Memo to readers from the future: that front page highlights will, no doubt, be long gone by Saturday, so you’ll have to pop over to the archived video; P.S. do you have flying cars yet? Do you eat food from tubes?). That talking point: um, wasn’t Carlos Ruiz offside when Clarence Goodson knocked on his assist? Apart from watching the video six times, I have repeatedly frozen the image at the crucial moment (right around the, um, “latter half” of the 20th second of that front-page video clip) and feel pretty comfortable saying Ruiz looked more than a step or two offside. In fact, if you listen closely to the audio I think you can hear Eric Wynalda start to say something, only to drowned out by Glenn Davis’ excited shouting.

Then again, I would feel pretty comfortable in thinking Ruiz was offside if it weren’t for the fact that none of the reports I’ve read so far makes any mention of it (LINK, LINK, LINK). I’m checking players’ quotes and I focused on the Chicago media, on the theory they’d be the more aggrieved, but I’m just getting disappointment at the tie – from both teams, for the record. I’m about to wander to Chicago’s corner of BigSoccer, an act that can only mean I’m desperate for some kind of confirmation of what I saw…or, rather, what I think I saw….dang it. Well, here’s the place I expected to see something and…nope. Nothing. It’s not an easy call by any means, but it’s something you can see in slow-motion – Ruiz is out front and the defense keeps running back with the ball – but, dang, he really looks offside.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong: I prefer the outcome as is: it keeps Columbus in it (my pity-crush) and I have that soft spot for Dallas. And, yeah, it was a good game, good pace, lots to like about this one. Looking forward to the weekend.

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4 Responses

  1. Offside? Really? I’d check the highlights, but I don’t want to be forced into the fetal position on the ground crying, “Noooooooo!!!! Our precious two points!!!” again.

    Absolutely no mention of offside on the Section 8 message boards either. I think that we were all too pissed off at Calen Carr for being an idiot or deciding whether to pop pills or slit our wrists or making irrational opinions of who should be traded away ASAP.

    Both teams played highly entertaining top class football. Dallas looked dangerous the entire game and the Fire didn’t have to rely on Blanco who had a sub-par game. But as a Fire fan, I think we deserved three points. And I’m really sick of Carlos Ruiz kicking us in the collective genitals. Goddammit.

  2. I understand the pain sensations, but feel like I need SOMEONE to check the damn video…I’m sitting here thinking I took crazy pills. The video is still up, even if it got bumped to third lead.

    That said, I acknowledge your pain.

  3. Its close. However you if you pause it right and then use a piece of paper or something to make an edge parallel with line of the box. Then move the edge (still in parallel) to Ruiz’s feet, you will see that he is indeed just behind that farthest Fire defender. This makes sense to me, but you never know with cameras these days.

  4. Ugh. Tim, you monster. Now I’ve got to look again…

    Now that I do, though, I think you’re on to something. I didn’t think to use the top of the 18 as a point of reference (thank god I’m not a linesman…but, rest assured, I understand the rule…really). If you hold up a piece lined notebook paper to your monitor (help! I’m being consumed by some anal-retentive spirit…it comes from inside…inside…my body?!) you can actually see through to the screen and, I’ll be damned, but I think Tim’s right.

    So, there’s a silver lining in there for Fire_Juve10 as well: you didn’t get screwed, man! At least not by the ref.

    I hereby stand corrected.

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