BRONX, N.Y. — Dome Torrent has said enough.
It was an incident that left Taty Castellanos bloodied and the fans incensed.
Torrent, meanwhile, was tight-lipped.
“I don’t want to talk about the referees,” he said. “After what happened [against the] Red Bulls, I promised you, I promised my players, I promised myself never again I want to talk about the referees. The media can complain about that. Just I said to the linesman explain to me the reason why he didn’t review, the VAR.”
On the play in question, Castellanos chased down a loose ball in the Toronto FC 18-yard box and tugged the jersey of defender Chris Mavinga, who swung his arm backward, making contact with Castellanos’ face.
Both players went to ground and when Castellanos rose, he was bleeding heavily from his nose.
Penso called Castellanos for the initial foul, which stopped play. That, according to the officials’ response to a pool reporter’s question, is why a penalty kick couldn’t be awarded. But considering the injury to Castellanos’ nose, did Mavinga deserve a red card for violent conduct instead of the yellow issued for unsporting behavior?
“The action by Mavinga was reckless and disregarded the danger to or consequences for, the opponent,” the officials wrote. “Mavinga did not use excessive force or brutality when swinging his arm.”
Torrent blasted officials after the New York Red Bulls were allowed a quick throw-in when an assistant referee Corey Rockwell pointed to the corner flag and was overruled by referee Alan Kelly. Danny Royer went on to score what proved to be the winning goal in a 2-1 Hudson River Derby victory July 14.
But this time he held his tongue.
“I don’t like to talk about that. Sometimes it’s for New York City, sometimes it’s for Toronto, sometimes it’s for Orlando. It is what it is,” Torrent said. “I say many times, the level is the level and I accept that. That is the best way to play, to be focused on the opponent, the next game, forget about it the referees. I said to the players I don’t want to talk about the referees in the media. Forget about it, focus on the next game and the next game is San Jose.”
Rare penalty kick double
Sean Johnson said he didn’t glean anything from the first penalty kick Alejandro Pozuelo took, which he slotted to the right of the goalkeeper who dived the other way.
But he admitted the situation — facing Pozuelo from the spot for a second time in the game after Ben Sweat was ruled to have handled the ball in the box following video review — was somewhat surreal.
“It was kind of instinctual, to be honest,” Johnson said. “It’s rare that PKs are given in a single game and then at that two taken by the same guy. I can’t remember the last time I had that happen. A retake, maybe, OK, but two separate occasions, it’s difficult. I just wanted to get a jump on it and just stay as calm as possible in the situation, try to keep the team in it.”
This time, Johnson was the duel, diving to his left and getting his right hand on the attempt.
“If you get a good jump, obviously now it’s just reading,” Johnson said. “Is it a low strike, is it a high strike? It was just in that range where I had one hand maybe covered low. I just used my top hand to see it out. I don’t use my top hand often, especially in those situations, but it’s just what it called for.”
Struggles without Maxi
Maxi Moralez’s worth to NYCFC is evident — he’s a leader on and off the field and he leads MLS with 18 assists.
Moralez sat out Wednesday night’s game due to a yellow card accumulation suspension, which extended NYCFC’s record without the playmaker to 0-5-2 since a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy August 12, 2017.
“It is a lack of respect if I speak about Maxi Moralez, [Maxime] Chanot, Alex Callens or Héber. That happens in soccer, I am sure if we were able to win the game, nobody would tell me about Maxi,” Torrent said. “I’ve said it, not today, but how important he is for the tempo. Sometimes we play fast and we lose the ball in two seconds. When you have these kinds of players you play comfortable, because our style is, sometimes, recover the ball and play quickly if you’re able to play quickly because it is the first option. If not, you have to kick the ball, and he has this quality.”