Coach Jason Kreis hinted that he thought referee Mark Kadlecik made a mistake by disallowing RSL's early goal off a free kick against Chivas USA in a 1-0 home loss last weekend, when Kadlecik ruled that the team had taken the kick too soon, before his signal.
Kreis said his understanding was that unless the attacking team asks specifically for the referee to make sure opposing defenders standing at least 10 yards away, it should be able to re-start as quickly as it wants. You see it all the time in the middle of the field, when players quickly take a free kick to get an attack started or keep play moving.
"I do know that if you don't ask for 10 yards, the referee is not supposed to give it," Kreis said. "You're supposed to be able to play when you want. So it just comes down to: Did somebody ask for 10 yards? From where I'm standing, I doubt it. But I don't know."
The goal that defender Chris Schuler scored off the kick would have changed the complexion of the game, for sure, and many might have thought Kadlecik screwed things up.
But Nelson Rodriguez, an executive vice president for Major League Soccer, said that wasn't the case.
"When a free kick is considered 'ceremonial,' the attacking team must wait for the whistle," Rodriguez said in an email after reviewing the play. "Usually, the attacking team asks for 10 yards and then the ref proceeds with the 'ceremony' count of 10 yards.
"In this instance," he said, "while I can't say whether RSL asked for 10 yards or not, it is clear that the referee is treating the free kick as 'ceremonial,' as he is applying the vanishing spray. His back is to the ball and he must restart the play as he doesn't witness how it began."
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