A lot of contact occurs during a soccer match. And even if slaps to the neck are beyond the norm, Sounders FC defender Patrick Ianni mostly supports referee Silviu Petrescu despite his non-call on New England’s Shalrie Joseph on Saturday.
“It’s stuff that happens in a game,” Ianni said. “… I remember Shalrie got me once here at Qwest as well – caught me in the face, and I was bleeding, got stitches from it, and maybe they gave him a yellow card from that. But you would think something that violent would be a red (card). It’s all part of the game, and everyone takes hits sometimes that aren’t punished as you would think.”
The latest example occurred in the 63rd minute at New England when Joseph slapped Ianni in the neck. Both players went down, with Joseph holding his leg as if Ianni had stepped on him.
“I did touch his foot,” Ianni said. “But … the reaction was not of that severity.”
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Observing Joseph on the ground acting out Al Pacino’s death scene from “Scarface,” Ianni also slumped to the turf.
“When I saw the referee was not going to do anything about it, I was more or less shocked,” Ianni said. “My reaction wasn’t necessarily to the blow itself, but of my shock to the referee’s decision on it at that point in time. But looking back on it … I think the referee did the best he could.”
The incident seemed to serve as a turning point, as Seattle’s 1-0 lead was quickly snuffed in a Revolution rally of three goals over an 11-minute stretch.
“We woke up a sleeping dog,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “I think they were a sleeping dog, and then when the incident occurred between Ianni and Shalrie … I think it energized them, it motivated them, it put them back into the game mentally.”
Schmid seemed less understanding than Ianni about the lack of a card. He implied he hopes the league may yet take action after seeing the KONG broadcast footage, which captured Joseph’s slap and showed Petrescu reaching into his pocket, but not coming out with a card.
“When you look at it on the broadcast that the league used – which was the broadcast that they had it New England – it was very unclear,” Schmid said. “You really couldn’t see anything -- it was off to the edge of the picture. You just saw both of them eventually fall down, but you couldn’t tell what happened. We’re trying to get the league to look at our broadcast, and then they can draw their own conclusions.”
Defender James Riley and midfielder Michael Seamon were unable to finish the Sounders’ training session Tuesday at Qwest Field. Riley – who was hurt in the final minutes – had to be helped off while keeping weight off his right leg.
“The turf was a little sticky,” Schmid said. “James went over on his ankle. Mike got stuck a little bit, so it was a little bit more the knee. But I always view those things a little optimistically until I hear worse.”
Meanwhile, Blaise Nkufo and Nate Sturgis both worked, but Schmid said their availability for the Real Salt Lake game Thursday won’t be determined until today’s training session when he can see how they reacted to their Tuesday work.
Meanwhile, midfielder Michael Fucito said that he feels fine after making a short appearance at New England after missing more than four months because of injury and surgery.
“I was pretty excited to be in,” he said. “I feel good. It was good to get some minutes to get some game fitness, and that will come from playing more. I’m also still working with (fitness coach) Dave Tenney a lot just to keep building on it.”