Jair Maruffo Is a Fraud

My god. I just witnessed Jair Maruffo – however the fuck you spell that hack’s name – just wave off a call that could have sent Michael Harrington to the hospital. He is calling a SERIOUSLY uneven game. KC fans can be excused for thinking he’s on the take.

Does Houston deserve to be winning? No question. They’re kicking the crap out of KC. The shame is that Maruffo is letting them LITERALLY kick the crap out of KC.

And Dominic Kinnear is a little bitch. To complain about a dive after Nate Jaqua stayed on the field? Shameless. Pathetic.

UPDATE: Since I’m not a believer in denying my tantrums, I’m going to leave this one up.  I’m all better now.  For now, I’m only going to acknowledge that Houston left the field deserved winners.  To a man, they were the better team.  Moreover, by the end of the game, Maruffo evened things up by gifting a call or two to KC.  Then again, that’s just not the way it’s supposed to go.

On another note, I hope Brian Ching pulls through all right, in spite of believing that missing him should help the Revs’ chances in the final.  I’m the sporting sort – or at least I try to be – and the final will be a poorer experience sans Ching.  For all that, Houston has plenty of weapons…seriously, did you see Brad Davis tonight?  Lots o’ hustle, lots o’ brains.

Here’s to looking forward to a good final (and, at this point, I hoist a beer and chuck down a shot.  Cheers!)

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9 Responses

  1. Glad someone who wouldn’t be called a homer saw the crap reffing as well. No doubt Houston deserved that game, but that was some poor refereeing tonight.

  2. Yeah, chalk this up as my first MLS game I’ve watched in its entirety this season (based on my normal work schedule) but shit, that was some terrible refereeing.

    Absolutly terrible.

  3. I also have to admit that it was terrible refereeing, and I was at the game decked out all in orange for my beloved Dynamo. Shoot, I mean Jaqua just about took Jewsbury’s head off (not Harrington’s as you reported up there). That play happened right in front of me, and while as a Dynamo fan I am very happy that Jaqua will be playing in the final, I know that if the positions were reversed I would be screaming bloody murder.

    That said, that was about as clinical a dissection as I have seen. Dynamo just dominated the game. Shoot, KC didn’t even get a corner kick until about the 65th minute and I think finished with only two on the night, maybe just the one. Of course, some of this has to do with the “Miss” disease that Eddie Johnson contracted sometime in September. I think he just punished the seats behind the goals about 5 times. I thought he was going to kill some fan not paying close enough attention back there. Onstad was a great spectator for some wonderful laser beam-like strikes right into those guys.

    But was Maruffo the worst ref all season, Absolutely not. And that, my friends, is as much of an indictment of MLS refereeing as I can muster. To call it bad just doesn’t do it justice. I don’t know the exact solution, but with anything this across the board bad, something, anything, has to be done.

    The Flyin’ Hawaiian apparently has just the calf strain, but it might be enough to keep him out of the final, that is if you can believe injury reports. But with as deep as Dynamo are, this is not as bi a deal as some might think. It’s not like Ngwenya and Jaqua haven’t started many games up front together this season, with great success. It’s not as big a deal as losing Taylor “illegal and dangerous high kick” Twellman would be for the Buffalo Bills, excuse me, the Revs.

  4. the refs this post season have been terrible…no question about that…another thing that the league needs to take a better look at improving this off season

  5. For Martek: My chronology was all over the place, but I kept the incidents separate, if only in my head. Jaqua’s near-beheading of Jack Jewsbury was the more egregious, but that wasn’t the one that put me over the edge. The thing that happened to Harrington was Brian Mullan’s lunge at his ankles in the Dynamo’s defensive third, which came later and inspired the post. Jaqua’s thing was definitely worse – he was VERY lucky to not see red – but it took the accumulation of incidents to convince me that Maruffo was calling a stinker.

    As for Twellman’s bike for NE’s lone goal, was it illegal? More than likely. Would I have called it? Not in a million years. Sure, you can call those, but you murder the game in the process. Compare/contrast with the Jaqua foul: Twellman was over-exuberant in going for goal; Jaqua was…playing American football? With the way Twellman is playing, you’re right, that would have been a huge blow; Cristman doesn’t cover as well.

  6. I must confess that I listened to game on the radio and seeing videotape on line is a bit different than seeing it live or on TV so I can’t really comment on the Jaqua’s Bruce Lee rendition.

    What I do wonder about is how two VERY physical teams (NE and HOU) get out of the conference finals with only one non-Final effecting yellow card… Twellman split two defenders heads- making them choose survival (life) before shotstopping (head kicked into the stands behind the goal). Given Stott’s track record of early cards or warnings dictate the game later on (think Colina), this isn’t so far off track.

    Contrast with the flak over Maruffo- his 2003 suspension, numerous teams accusing him of bias and insane over the top calls or just plain being bullied by experienced players: ( http://www.americansoccernews.net/mls/galaxy/050508gal-rap.shtml; http://fortheintegrityofsoccer.blogs.com/artandscienceofrefereeing/2006/10/dissent_in_mls.html; http://fortheintegrityofsoccer.blogs.com/artandscienceofrefereeing/2006/11/quite_a_contras.html; http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=333413&root=mls&cc=5901

    -to name a few…Granted, he called last yr’s Final but why a South Texas native is calling such an important game is beyond me. As Martek pointed out to me earlier, none of the above references are within the past few yrs so maybe he’s reformed. Yet the lack of calls over BOTH Conference Finals leaves an odor that some might suspect as League Office tampering. Creating motiovation is too easy- no Becks @ all during Socctober or Jaqua’s version of Nockvember so it’s essential all the stars can be seen for the big game.

    What also bothers me is the total lack of coverage these last few days. Airplay has been dominated by GM’s playing musical managerial chairs… but not building up to what look like quite a rematch.

    As far as the quality of play and drama: it has lived up to the billing and i take back my 1st Rd complaint of utter boredom. The 0-0 match between Chivas-KC was among the most thrilling- I nearly wet myself as I feared I’d miss seeing history made if I went to pee. The coverage has been horrible to fair- slightly better than the officiating. I think giving the Fox Soccer Channel exclusive rights to the game sucked and while Fox Sports and ESPN are good enough to provide limited coverage, they stink @ marketing and their online press is often invisible (though fun to read when it happens).

  7. Playtherapy is right, which brings up the issue of how the final will be called. Has anyone seen who the ref will be? If they just let the teams play, it might get ugly fast. Mo Johnston has shown utterly no shame in how he gets his team to play and Dynamo is also a very physical team.

    Jeff Bull, those hard fouls were going both ways. There were many times that Mullan’s head was just about taken off and as soon as Kansas City realized the only way to slow Dynamo down was to foul they did it, not with the utter lack of shame that the candy canes from dallas fouled, but definitely it was rough out there. Maruffo is heavily to blame for that, and like I said before, Jaqua’s foul could very easily have drawn a red card and I would not have complained. He just levelled Jewsbury. But that speaks more to the greater problem of referreeing in MLS. I have no idea how this is going to change as neither US Soccer nor MLS seems to think there’s a problem. But it’s durn obvious to me.

    All that being said, I fully expect another physical, tight game in DC. Both teams have played deeply flawed playoff opponents thus far so it’s hard to predict how they’ll respond when it comes right down to the wire. We could very easily see another PK showdown, as much as I ABSOLUTELY LOATHE the thought of it. (I hate PKs. Play it until they collapse or someone scores. Play the two 15-minute extra time halves and then if it’s still tied, go to golden goal. Play on until someone wins. If you use PKs, you might just as well flip a damn coin.) I don’t buy the whole “Revs are snakebit” line as winning pros are winning pros. I think too much is being made of that, just as I think too much is being made of how the US Open Cup win broke the ice for those guys. The US Open Cup win doesn’t help when it comes time for this game, just as last year’s championship doesn’t help Dynamo. The fact is no one in the whole history of MLS had a better defensive effort than Dynamo this season. No one. (Don’t even get me started about how Onstad set the galdurned record for GAA and didn’t win Goalkeeper of the Year. What does he have to do, put in a better performance than anyone ever has in the entire hsitory of MLS? Oh wait, he did that.) That, my friends, is a fact worth pointing out. Goals are going to be few and far between in this game, but I think Dynamo will take the game 2-1 or 2-0. As the week goes on, I’ll pin myself down on that prediction, but right now, looking position by position and the matchups therein, I think there’s a slight edge for Dynamo that will show up in in-game scores.

  8. Oops. did I say Mo Johnston? I meant Steve Nicol. Oh well, all Rangers look the same after a while. Go Bhoys.

  9. Ah! You’re stealing my thunder Martek!!

    I’m kidding, of course. Like you, though, I’m figuring this one will be tight and, as I’ll expand on later, I think the Dynamo have the advantage…not that this will stop me from indulging in long-shot reasoning.

    And, I’m with you on one thing: a second year of PKs would suck. And that gets to my biggest concern about this game: what if the Dynamo, backed by that deservedly-vaunted defense, hits one of their offensive dry patches? All to possible, as I see it.

    For all that, I’m expecting a good game; both teams woke up in time to save us from weaker teams sneaking in the back door.

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