Sources: Referee From Union Opener Suspended For Blown Calls
By Kevin Kinkead
This story was updated on 3/12/15 at 8:00pm
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The referee from the Philadelphia Union's season opening match has been suspended for one week by the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), sources tell CBS Philly.
Silviu Petrescu reportedly missed two penalty calls during the Union's 0-0 draw against the Colorado Rapids on March 7th. According to those close to the situation, he was also reprimanded for allowing James Riley to stay on the field after a dangerous play on Union winger Andrew Wenger.
Riley was retroactively disciplined by Major League Soccer on Wednesday, receiving a fine and a one-game suspension.
Petrescu's name is not featured on the week two assignment list submitted by PRO. It's not clear, however, when those assignments are made, and it's possible that Petrescu's name does not appear simply by coincidence.
Sources, however, say the referee was pulled from his next assignment, after he was graded well below the "acceptable" number identified on the organization's performance scale. PRO officials reportedly reviewed the performance with Petrescu.
An email to PRO seeking comment has not yet been answered.
The first incident in question took place in the 49th minute, when Rapids winger Dillon Serna handled the ball inside the box. Serna made contact during a clearance attempt, while Petrescu's sight appeared to be blocked as he trailed the play. The far side linesman, however, had clear vision of the incident, which was reportedly ruled as incidental.
The other disputed scenario took place in the 32nd minute, when Fernando Aristeguieta was challenged by left back Michael Harrington on a low cross played into the box.
The incident involving Riley and Wenger played out in the 81st minute. During a Union goal kick, Wenger was karate-kicked in the lower back and neither player made contact with the ball. Riley was not carded and only given a verbal warning by Petrescu.
It was a physical and sloppy game, and Petrescu did hand out a number of yellow cards. Rapids center back Bobby Burling was sent off after picking up his second yellow in the 68th minute of play. Burling remained on the pitch as he walked toward the locker room, and was later disciplined by the league for "failing to leave the field in an orderly manner".
C.J. Sapong suffered a concussion and Zygomatic fracture during a first half collision, and Aristeguieta was hauled to the ground several times. On the other end, Steven Vitoria was not carded after he brought down Rapids forward Gabriel Torres on a ball played over the Union defense.
Petrescu is one of the more experienced MLS referees. He called the 2012 MLS Cup and received "Referee of the Year" honors that same season. He has also done World Cup qualifiers and received his first FIFA assignment back in 2002.
Each week, Major League Soccer compiles a highlight segment of the week's controversial calls on its official website. All of the Rapids' infractions from Saturday's match are featured on the reel.
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