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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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Tough call for RSL? Coach says there's 'no way' penalty kick was warranted

So that's two games in a row now that Real Salt Lake has been stung by referee's decisions.

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Just days after the red-card ejections of both Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave, RSL fell behind at FC Dallas last night on a questionable penalty kick call against defender Tony Beltran. Although the team fought back for a 1-1 draw — its second draw in a row at FC Dallas, after eight straight losses — it's fair to ask whether RSL wasn't put under unfair pressure with a bad call.

"I am again disappointed in another referee’s decision," coach Jason Kreis said. "I have not watched the replay yet. For me, there is just no way that can be called a penalty kick. Whether it hits the player’s arm or not, it just seems indifferent. The Dallas player has not even touched the ball so it’s not like they were making an attempt on our goal. Someone who reads the game or is involved with the game more knows that is never a penalty kick."

Former RSL defender Brian Dunseth pointed out on the broadcast of the game that referee Geoff Gamble has now called nine penalties in 11 games in Major League Soccer.

Yet Gamble whistled a penalty on Beltran when the ball caromed off RSL's Chris Schuler and grazed Beltran's arm as he slipped and fell in the box. The contact did not seem to impact the play, but Brek Shea wound up burying the penalty for FC Dallas, just the same.

"I’m going to have to see it again to really comment on it," Beltran said. "But just from what I thought happened during the play, I cleared it off of somebody and it came back and barely grazed my elbow. I was pretty disappointed with the call at the time. There is really no chance for me to get out of the way of that ball."



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