Andy Rose, the Sounders rookie midfielder from UCLA, was involved in the most controversial play of Seattle’s 1-0 win today over the Philadelphia Union at CenturyLink Field.
In the 18th minute, Rose received a yellow card for a tackle on Michael Farfan. Ten minutes later, he got off with a warning for what seemed a more serious tackle against Union forward Freddy Adu.
“(Referee Ricardo Salazar) just kind of said, ‘Calm down,’” Rose said. “I think he knew it was my debut, and he just said to calm down a little bit and maybe the first one was a little bit harsh. I just kind of let him know that’s what I thought anyway. And I calmed down a little bit after that.”
A second yellow, of course, would have banished Rose and forced the Sounders to play a man down.
And that, of course, is exactly what the Union thought should have happened.
“I was through and gone and got taken out from behind,” Adu said. “In the rules of the game, if a player tackles you from behind, that’s a card. The referee made the decision, and we had to live with it. It would have been nice to have an extra man in there at that point.”
Even Sounders coach Sigi Schmid didn’t seem to disagree much with that assessment.
“Some referees might have pulled the second yellow,” Schmid said. “It could have been a second yellow. I think Salazar was aware how early it was in the game. I think the first challenge, I don’t know how much he got him – I didn’t see the replay. I know he came in high, but I don’t know if he really got him.”
After the close call, Rose continued until he was subbed out in the 61st minute in favor of Eddie Johnson, who two minutes later was involved in the sequence leading to Mauro Rosales’ game-winning goal.
“Obviously, there were some nerves,” Rose said of his debut. “Once I got a couple touches on the ball I calmed down a little bit. But there were definitely a couple of rushes of blood where you just get so excited that you kind of feed off the atmosphere. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I hope there’s much more to come.”
Some other reaction on Salazar's decision not to send Rose off:
Schmid: "Andy Rose got a little excited and had a couple of tackles there, and we were probably a little bit fortunate that the referee maintained his composure and was able to keep Andy on the field, then Andy settled down and I thought he was much better in the second half."
Acting Union coach John Hackworth: “I can’t really comment on why Rose didn’t get the second yellow, it’s a tough thing to swallow. Probably the game should have been 10 versus 11. For our side, we didn’t do enough to make Seattle defend us well. We have to be more dangerous in the final third, we didn’t do a great job at that.”