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Was Rosero Fouled on the Game Tying Goal?

The game tying goal from Real Salt Lake has gotten a lot of attention. Was Sporting Kansas City on the wrong end of another call? Look at the video and decide (though I’m weighing in as well).



Credit: Thad Bell

Let’s get this out of the way first, it was a bad play by Dany Rosero when he lost the ball for the game tying goal against Real Salt Lake. He had a safe back pass to Kendall McIntosh or an easy outlet to Remi Walter that could have easily gotten him out of trouble. Sporting Kansas City squandered a two-goal lead and a spot (albeit with a bunch of games in hand) above the playoff line. This one play is simply one moment in a season full of bad moments. I’ve got a reputation (fairly or not) of “blaming” the refs. It’s a factor, but there is plenty of blame to go around. I don’t think that precludes a discussion of this play.

Last night, I was sitting in the South Stand with my family after “playing” in the media game. I was sweaty, tired and distracted. But live, I thought it was a foul. When I looked to Twitter to see the reactions, most of the prominent accounts that Tweet about Sporting KC didn’t seem too upset. I started to think maybe I was wrong. In stadium the team showed a slow-motion replay that seemed to show a foul, but maybe he got the ball first?

Once I got home from the match, like a psycho I sat down to rewatched the game because I had missed so much, I’m a glutton for punishment and I had missed the first three goals in the match running around the stadium to get to the media game. I had a lot to catch up on. After my rewatch was over, I checked Twitter and saw this slow-motion view of the play (attached to a full speed version for context).

It seems clear Anderson Julio, who broke Sporting KC fans hearts in the 2021 playoffs too, makes contact with Rosero just before he gets the ball. It’s absolutely a bang-bang play and at full speed it seems like it’d be easy to miss. Also, look at the first replay from RSL, Rubiel Vazquez, the center ref, is really far from the play. Maybe he swallows the whistle knowing the video assistant referee (VAR) would tell him if it’s worth looking at.

In the stadium, I remember saying to my podcast co-host and wife, Sheena, VAR is going to overturn it. When they blew the whistle to restart play, I was stunned (though I probably shouldn’t have been as this same crew had PRO admitting they blew a call in this past weekend’s New England Revolution/New York Red Bulls game).

So, I went looking for other takes on this play. In the stadium, I actually asked two RSL fans and one said it wasn’t a foul and another said they may have gotten away with one. I appreciated the candor. However, many prominent SKC contributors, including members of this very website, said it’s a soccer play. It’s not a foul. It’s a contact sport. Plenty of others agreed that it’s a foul. Look no further than the comments on the above Tweet or this ReTweet (15,000+ views, really?!).

What about Kansas native and Instant Replay host Andrew Weibe?

The SKC/RSL content starts around 6:18. Weibe says, “I think I’m okay with no call, good goal. Be stronger Dany Rosero or get rid of the ball.” However, on Twitter, he says, the “contact comes after.” But it doesn’t (though I’m not disputing it’s super close). Also, the simple fact that the league website needs a show analyzing referee calls every week shows the problem and the impact these plays are having. Then again, Weibe agrees with the refs a lot this week.

For me, this gets called a foul all the time. Much softer contact gets called a foul and Rosero isn’t some forward who flops ever. He plays physical on a consistent basis. For me, it comes down to these three points (though I’m sure I’m forgetting some):

  • The contact with the man happens before the ball.
  • It’s contact to the back by the forearms of Julio, not shoulder to shoulder.
  • Even if you get the ball first, if you barrel through a guy, I thought that was still a foul.

But what do I know? I’d like you all to weigh in. Is this a foul? Let us know in the comments below.

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