Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was suspended for one game and fined $2,000 by Major League Soccer on Friday for comments he made about referee Ricardo Salazar in the wake of Seattle’s scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.
“Sigi Schmid’s comments earlier this week about the officiating were unacceptable,” commissioner Don Garber said in a press release. “MLS requires that its players, coaches and club leadership maintain proper respect for the officials at all times.”
In a televised interview at halftime, Schmid called Salazar RSL’s “12th man.”
After the game, Schmid opened his press conference with a statement that made no mention of the referee. However, the first question was about the work of Salazar, who also had drawn Sounders’ complaints in August after controversial calls in the U.S. Open Cup loss to Kansas City.
“I don’t want any more questions about Salazar,” Schmid said. “But the thing is: Our fans know his name. If many fans know the name of the referee, I think that’s an indication. … It just seems that whenever something is 50-50, we don’t get the break with him.”
Later in the press conference Schmid volunteered, “Lord help us if we get Salazar in the playoffs.”
Schmid voiced two primary complaints Wednesday: Salazar’s failure to red card Chris Schuler for knocking down Fredy Montero when Montero seemed to have a free path to the goal, and allowing RSL to take a corner kick after the originally announced two minutes of stoppage time had played out.
Schmid also had questioned whether there had been a Salt Lake handball in the penalty box, but he allowed he hadn’t yet seen a replay. He also said he had no specific complaint on two cautions issued to defender Zach Scott, whose subsequent ejection left the Sounders short-handed over the final 60 minutes.
The club had no statement regarding MLS’s action.
Schmid will serve his suspension Sunday, when FC Dallas visits CenturyLink Field. Top assistant Brian Schmetzer will assume the head coaching duties.
Three Sounders called to international duty last week were back in training Friday, and all with stories to tell.
Forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Mario Martinez each scored two goals over two games with the United States and Honduras national teams, respectively. Defender Adam Johansson didn’t draw any playing time, but he had a close-up view of Sweden’s four-goal rally for a 4-4 draw with Germany.
Johnson: “(Seattle is) where I got my confidence: my coach having confidence in me, putting me out there week in and week out. … Like I said before, getting called into the camp, working hard here, and scoring goals here and winning – everything else is a bonus. I’m not looking too far ahead (regarding more national team duty). It’s all about right now. We’ve got a game on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Martinez (through a translator): “It’s great to be selected. The game was great. Scoring the two goals, that kind of justifies the selection. … (I know a) goal will come with Seattle. When it does, great.”
Johansson: “It felt like a loss – that we were going to lose (to Germany). But in the second half, I don’t know what happened really, but it was pretty amazing. … (Despite not playing) I know they were pleased with what I did there. It’s just at the moment I’m the second choice; there’s nothing more with that. I did well. It was nice being there.”
Defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (facial fracture) trained Friday with a specially designed protective mask and declared himself ready to go. Schmid said the primary issue is Hurtado’s comfort with the mask, as there is little chance of aggravating the injury. … Midfielder Steve Zakuani (oblique strain) returned to training, but defender Patrick Ianni (calf) remained out with no timetable for his return.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com @donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer