Adrian Heath lets loose on officials, PRO – and Peter Walton

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

Adrian Heath has had enough.

For the second time in as many weeks, Orlando City SC fell victim to poor calls and suspect officiating, this time on a Cyle Larin breakaway that could have, as Heath put it, “changed the complexion of the game.”

“Well, I think of games that are really tight, decisions went against us — again,” Heath began. “I think the biggest decision of the night was Cyle Larin fouled. If he was, is he a red card? Yes, he is. It could have been a big turning point in the game.

“I’ve said over numerous occasions what I think the issue is, but I get myself in too much trouble when I say things. Too many times the outcome of the game is by the people who are officiating and not the people playing it and that’s the problem.”

The play in question happened just before the Red Bulls opened their scoring account. Orlando played a disciplined and dangerous counterattack strategy against New York to that point. In this instance, it was Cyle Larin getting in behind Karl Ouimette. Just as the young Canadian striker began to create distance, Ouimette scissor-tackled him from behind in the box.

Referee Hilario Grajeda let play resume, ignoring the foul and taking away the best potential chance Orlando had in the second half — a chance that could have put Orlando up by two.

“Big decisions change games,” Heath noted.

But the Orlando boss wasn’t done there. He aired out some personal laundry, revealing his frustrations with the Professional Referee Organization [PRO] — and their head boss, Peter Walton.

“I have Peter Walton calling me [this past] Monday saying he’s really sorry that four of them were offside, the Philly goals, really sorry he didn’t see Servando Carrasco’s arm [on a faulty penalty call].”

Surprisingly, it wasn’t just Heath who had issues with the officiating. While Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch issued no comment on the officiating, he did look perturbed by the proceedings. In fact, shortly after the Larin foul, Heath and Marsch took the rare occasion to meet near the midfield stripe during the run of play to verbally lament the officiating during the match — even as the fourth official stood between them.

As for the victim of Sunday’s no call, Cyle Larin, he took a similar stance to his boss.

“The last few weeks we have been getting bad calls. They have to do better than that … It’s a penalty,” he said. “I got in front of the guy, he got in behind me and he banged me down. Obviously it looked like the keeper got to the ball first but I was gone if he didn’t take me down.

“I don’t know if he couldn’t see it, but I was clearly in front of him and gone. He brought me down, the ball was in front of me. I would have scored if I wasn’t hit. It’s a clear penalty.”


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  • Oscar

    Mls officiating on par with level of play.
    Garber rocks!!!!


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