This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Sandy • Sigi Schmid might want to just send his check to the league office now.
The Seattle coach complained that referee Ricardo Salazar was favoring Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night, by ejecting the Sounders' Zach Scott with two yellow cards in the first half of a scoreless game and denying a penalty kick by not calling a handball in the box against RSL's Tony Beltran.
"We have our 12th man, which is our fans," Schmid told NBC Sports Network at halftime, all but assuring a fine from Major League Soccer. "They have their 12th man, which is Ricardo Salazar."
Both decisions had a big impact on the game and infuriated the fans at CenturyLink Field, who eventually chanted "Salazar sucks!" with astonishing clarity.
Scott's ejection in the 30th minute forced the Sounders to play more cautiously with a back line already depleted by injury although they did continue to try to test RSL's central defense with long balls to forward Fredy Montero.
And the no-call on Beltran denied the Sounders a tremendous scoring opportunity, though replays showed Beltran's arm was clenched tightly to his body when the ball struck his hand.
"It would have been a joke," if a penalty had been called, Beltran said.
His coach agreed, and viewed the foul that earned Scott his second yellow card a sort of hip-check challenge that sent RSL's Javier Morales tumbling over and somehow injuring his ankle even more harshly.
"The sending off was right in front of me, and I think it was a straight red card," coach Jason Kreis said. "No question about it. It was a very, very dangerous tackle that stopped an attacking chance. For me, there's no decision necessary there."
Kreis also said Seattle's Fredy Montero pushed over RSL's Jamison Olave on the play that led to the apparent handball. "So if we're going to get nitpicky, I would say what are you doing not calling that call?"
Olave left the game at halftime with a hamstring injury, and his prognosis is uncertain.
Forward Paulo Junior was expected to start, but bruised his foot in training and was scratched at the last minute, leaving rookie forward Emilio Bonfigli to make his first start, while newly acquired midfielder David Viana made his RSL debut as a substitute in the second half.