Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
When the U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off against Costa Rica next month, the man in the middle will be one with no shortage of experience or controversy.
The Costa Rican Football Federation announced that Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez has been appointed the referee for the U.S.-Costa Rica match on September 6 in San Jose, four days before the Americans host Mexico at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Rodriguez, who has a reputation for being very quick to call fouls and book players, has been a FIFA-approved referee since 2000 and refereed matches in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. He has officiated a number of U.S. matches in the past, including defeats to Jamaica in September 2012 and Panama in June 2011.
The 39-year-old referee also was the center of controversy in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when he gave Australia’s Tim Cahill a red card in the 55th minute for a late challenge on Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Rodriguez worked at the Gold Cup this past summer, refereeing two matches and issuing four bookings total, including a red card on Honduras’ David Velasquez in the 37th minute of a defeat to Trinidad and Tobago.
Rodriguez has also been selected to work a number of finals. He reffed the CONCACAF Champions League final this past spring and the 2011 Mexican Apertura final, a final that saw ten players booked and three shown straight reds.
Between August 2012 and August 2013, Rodriguez showed a card 157 times in 33 games in all competitions, an average of nearly five cards per game.
Players on both sides will have to be careful during the match, as a number of players are in danger of an automatic one-game suspension due to yellow card accumulation. The USMNT is carrying ten players on a yellow card: Jermaine Jones, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Tim Howard and Fabian Johnson.
The Costa Rican squad has nine players with one yellow card in qualifying: Celso Borges, Christian Bolaños, Roy Miller, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Umaña, Keilor Navas, Cristian Gamboa, Ariel Rodriguez, and Bryan Ruiz.
What do you think of this news? Are you worried at all with this appointment? Do you see the emotions surrounding the match manifesting themselves on the field?
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