D.C. United not blaming referee for season-opening loss

BenOlsen2 (ISIPhotos.com)

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON- It didn’t take long for referee Andres Pfefferkorn to thrust himself into the middle of the ‘replacement ref’ headache that MLS had been seeking to avoid. However, unlike many fans at RFK Stadium, Coach Ben Olsen and his players are not pinning Saturday night’s 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on Pfefferkorn’s whistle.

As a non-threatening Columbus corner kick sailed above players in the box, Michael Parkhurst was clipped by Perry Kitchen as both ran after the overpowered cross. Kitchen fell to his knees, and Pfefferkorn quickly pointed to the spot, to the disdain of a very vocal 14,000-strong United fanbase.

“My view is the same as everybody else’s view,” Olsen said of the call. “But I don’t want to put it on the referee tonight. This is a league-referee issue that’s a reality in professional sports. But you just hope you’re not on the wrong end of a call. Unfortunately, the reality is I think we were on the wrong end of that. That was not the reason we lost the game. It didn’t help, but I give credit to Columbus on the night.”

Kitchen couldn’t help but to feel aggrieved, but like his coach, was quick to chalk it up to the nature of the game, not of the official.

“I definitely had contact with him, but saying that, I think it was a bad call. I think there’s definitely been worse that haven’t been called—especially since the ball was five yards away, but that’s what he saw. We’re going to have to get used to that. Calls don’t always go your way.”

Team captain Bobby Boswell also felt the call was harsh, but didn’t see the goal as the end of the game.

“It’s one of those things. Sometimes calls are going to go against you. It definitely didn’t help us, but I still thought we had a chance to get back into the game.”

While the locker room had an understandably somber atmosphere following the loss, United remain upbeat about the season.

“It’s a long season,” Olsen said. “I still believe in this crew. This group will be fine.”

“Such is life,” Boswell said. “We’ll react accordingly.”

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9 Responses to D.C. United not blaming referee for season-opening loss

  1. Jake says:

    I agree that it was a bad call BUT the most important thing here is that DC sucked. Some of it can be blamed on so many new starters, but its got to be better than that. Like last year, the team had no ideas, had lapses at the back and was outworked and outcoached. SSDY. I hope it improves, but i’m just not sure I’ve seen enough evidence that Olsen can do that. DC fans deserve better.

  2. Gerard D. says:

    You sucked. And didn’t score on your own.

    You suck.

  3. T$ says:

    14,000 strong. Ha!

  4. Nate Dollars says:

    looks like dc is going to suck again this year.

    other no-brainer observations from the very meaningful first week of games:
    – nyrb will not win a single game
    – la will not score one goal this year
    – portland and philly will tie every game they play

  5. Nogra Rover says:

    I was there, and the replay is tough to read. I’ve a DCU fan since the beginning and would love to call out the ref. But Kitchen really should know better than that.

    They lost because they had next to no shots on goal.

  6. scott says:

    DCU just plain old sucked. They looked like they had no ideas and no clue how to even come up with any ideas.

  7. Robin says:

    Would someone be willing to explain that call to me? Kitchen falling to his knees was wrong? That doesn’t seem right. That he clipped the Columbus player???