Larrionda 3: (US + Italy) 2: The worst game

Jorge Larrionda.jpg
Jorge Larrionda vs the Italy-USA team
Who would have thought when the two teams trooped out to play that they would not play each other, instead all 22 men would have to play against the referee, Jorge Larrionda, who single handedly destroyed the game. Uruguay did not qualify for the 2006 World Cup but through Larrionda they sure as * #%[email protected]&* tried playing in this tournament.
Three red cards, 5 yellows, and a total of 19 offside calls. The Azzurris spent most of the second half diving and trying to come up with an Oscar worthy performance. I have never been a big fan of Italian soccer and today’s performance just confirmed it.
Italy played with 10 men, USA from early in the second half played with 9 men. I turned my head to switch on the lamp and Eddie Pope was gone. I don’t even know what happened.
The game of soccer was completely destroyed today. By the time the whistle blew the players looked like they were dragging ball and chain.
The bright spot was the US came out to play but who knew that Jorge Larrionda had decided to dole out his red and yellow cards like business cards. I don’t think he made any new customers today because he should be fired right away.

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15 comments on “Larrionda 3: (US + Italy) 2: The worst game
  1. I heard something after the game that Larrionda was censured at some point, after FIFA received complaints from other referees? Of course, nothing is ever analyzed in any great depth by the ABC announcers…time to google Larrionda.
    New customers? Good, I’m not the only one thinking those thoughts. Too bad nothing will change the result that he created.

  2. Certainly a horrendous performance by official. His role is to help keep everyone in line, not completely dictate the play of the match. A terrible job…I pray for the sake of all other teams in the Cup that FIFA will deal harshly with him and send him home.
    On the game. I was quite happy w/ the way the US performed day…a marked improvement from the Czech game, to say the least. I was certainly upset that Pope was red carded, but I’m not sure how much we’ll miss him v. Ghana. He has been slow and has made poor decisions all Cup. If it wasn’t for his lazy ass trying the offsides trap and letting him made go free Italy perhaps doesn’t score today. I was also frustrating at Arena for leaving McBride in the match so long…he was obviously quite fatigued and it was that fatigue that lead him to being offsides on Beasley’s goal. A fresh Eddie Johnson isn’t offsides there.
    Great work rate from Clint Dempsey, he was the spark the US needed coming down the right wing.

  3. Wow, should have used spellcheck on the pervious post.
    The US must take care of an energized Ghana on Thursday and become Italy’s biggest fan if they want to advace.

  4. This game was absolutely destroyed. It was a late tackle, and he want straight to a red card?! A tackle from behind and he went with a foul and nothing else?! I was thoroughly disappointed.

  5. So much for the beautiful game. I almost turned the TV off after Pope’s sending off.
    Much thanks for the US team for retaining composure and providing something worth watching.
    You know it will be a wide open game when there is a high level uncertainty as to what will be a sending off. No warnings or talking? By the end of the game both teams were afraid to try and make a tackle. Afterall, if you get to close to a player who falls over, you may be sent off.
    I am glad there are no US referees in these WC matches. I have greater respect for them. I think their mistakes are honest. I’m not so sure what was going on in this game, it seems hard to believe there was not some type of outside influence. This feeling leaves my stomach sour. I hold FIFA to blame.

  6. Referee was too slow on the offside calls, and too fast on the red/yellow card decisions. I don’t know how these referees are chosen. There should be a rating system in which various stakeholders (teams and FIFA) will rate the referees in both international and club level matches. Only the highest rated referees should be picked. I see too many errors by referees in this world cup, especially in offside calls.
    This Italy team won’t go much further. For USA, the players have good potential, but the coach sucks, he kept on playing McBride who was totally off-color today. Eddie Johnson should have played. In the last match the coach even did not know the right combination and emptied the midfield by playing Donovan as a striker, stupid Bruce Arena. Reyna is good but not that great to run the whole midfield, Bruce is relying on him too much.

  7. Soccer has Serious Deficiencies
    Soccer is the greatest sport in the world, but it has some serious deficiencies. Until these deficiencies are addressed, the sad saga of referee dominance will continue.
    The areas of most serious problem are:
     Offside rule, which keeps 20 players trapped in a narrow center zone.
     Yellow and red card debacle. Who knows what a referee will call.
     Substitution rule. If the opposition injures your best player, you get penalized (ie. you must play a man short if your substitution quota is full).
    Corrective measures that could address these deficiencies should be tested, such as:
    1. Offside zone currently extends from midfield to goal line. Change it to 18 yard line to goal line. This would open up the game to free flow and more goals, but still protect against poaching.
    2. Scrap the cards. Introduce a foul score-keeper on the sidelines. Every foul would carry the same weight. Players could accrue 3 fouls in total and then they would be sent off (monitored by foul scorekeeper). Players sent off would be substituted (as in most other sports). Exception: only the most egregious fouls would result in a player being sent off and not replaced. This approach would mean players with two fouls would have to play very carefully and their status could be exploited by the opposition, adding more excitement to the game. The burden of defining foul categories would be removed from the referees, allowing them to feel less pressurized.
    3. Substitution should be liberalized. Not eliminated, as the endurance element of the game must not be lost. Tests would determine the preferred substitution number.

  8. Not sure, but two of those red cards were valid. The second for Pope had to come out, he already received his warning and then his yellow card and then a second yellow card. The Italian red card for elbowing on the head – I don’t see how there could have been any other decision.
    As for the first red for the US, most international media seem to agree with that call, calling it a double footed showing stud challenge. If it is in the ref’s rule book that he has to send players off for that then so be it, though I personally think it was harsh considering that he hadn’t been warned for anything earlier.

  9. You guys should go ahead and google Larrionda. He’s got a history. He was chosen as an official for the 2002 World Cup but Uruguay suspended him for six months because of suspicion of irregularities, and some considerations about bribing changing his motivation.
    He also called 27 fouls against the U.S. in a Confederation Cup match later, when he called only 3 fouls against Turkey.
    Not to be anti-Italy or anything, but Juventus has a bit of a bribing past themselves. Could Italy + Larrionda have equaled major trouble for the U.S. on Saturday?
    Either way, noting his history, Larrionda should never have been picked as one of the 32 officials for this tournament, and pending his “third-team” mentality on Saturday, he should never ref again.

  10. Oh yeah…and a comment about Pope’s exclusion. I think his second yellow was fair, but it’s the first one that really got to me.
    Had Larrionda been on a power trip, Pope’s second yellow would have been just a first….or, he would have just thrown him out. There’s no way of knowing.
    Every rehashing about this game just shows how wrong it was.

  11. The ref had to give Mastroeni a red for his challenge with studs on both feet exposed. Those tackles can seriously injure players sending them out of the game for months. I find it weird that no one blames Mastroeni for comitting such an atrocious foul in the first place.
    And offsides aren’t really the referee’s call but the linesmans so the ref really can’t be blamed for those.

  12. Nick
    I agree with you on the Mastroeni send off. When I saw it happen live I was pretty incredulous- it looked like a hardcharging foul.
    Once emotions had died down, and as ABC kept replaying the incident, ironically to show that it was a relatively minor foul, I could see the serious nature of Mastroeni’s foul.
    I think people out here were incensed at the De Rossi foul, and saw subsequent fouls in that context.

  13. What a bad time to have such terrible ref’s! Soccer is just beginning to be popular in the US. All my friends who normally don’t watch soccer that watched this game HATE IT AGAIN. With the flopping (how can ref’s not tell that a guy touched by a toe on his shin shouldn’t roll 4 times and react like their leg has been cut off?) and bad officiating really turns off the American audience. The flopping is ridiculous-patently ridiculous and turns a strong-conditioned athlete into a baby. America has many other better sports to watch. At least you can’t flop in football or hockey. I think hockey is a much better “version” of soccer!

  14. I think Mastreoni’s foul was a red card….but I don’t think Eddie Pope’s first was a yellow, so his second shouldn’t have sent him out…
    Offsides was fair….but we should have had ten players…

  15. I’m surprised by the opinions on Mastroeni’s tackle. Yes, it was dangerous, but that’s what a caution is for.
    Fact is he clipped the ball mostly and then a bit of shin. There’s no way in hell that was a straight red.
    Likewise with Pope’s first caution, it was a foul. Larrionda should have known the game situation before rushing in to throw another card in Pope’s face.
    US Soccer needed to get through for the improvement of the game in our country.
    Larrionda has effectively set back the game for years.

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