May 26, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; An Orlando City fan chants while marching to Orlando City Stadium before the game against the Chicago Fire. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando City coach Jason Kreis apologized in advance for any “snide” comments he might make during his post-match press conference,
He was frustrated after the Lions’ 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire, and the coach took aim at the officiating after the match.
A few critical calls went against Orlando City during the match. The first was a free kick awarded in the 12th minute after Orlando City left back Mohamed El-Munir brought down Fire midfielder Diego Campos in a dangerous area. El-Munir was booked for the challenge.
Aleksandar Katai buried the free kick in the back of the net and the Fire went up 1-0.
“Disappointed, as well, with the referee today,” Kreis said. “Very disappointed. The first decision that awards [the Fire] the free kick they score the goal off, for me, was ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous. So we shouldn’t be behind in that game.
“Unfortunately, the decisions keep racking up against us. I can’t remember the last time I would sit here and tell you and thought we got the benefit of the doubt. It’s been a while.”
In the 89th minute, with Orlando City looking for an equalizer after falling behind 2-1, midfielder Sacha Kljestan was kicked in the face in the penalty area by defensive midfielder Mohammed Adams, who was sent off with a red card. The red card came after an initial foul on Kljestan, which he received a yellow card for.
“This is where I guess I’ll have to plead my soccer ignorance,” Kreis said. “Because going into tonight, I know a specific conversation that was had in the offseason, perhaps it was about a year ago, with the head of referees and with the technical committee — that’s the on-field technical committee — we were discussing red card violations that happen during dead balls.
“It was specifically told to me — maybe I mis-remembered — but I think it was specifically told to me that any red card that happens during a dead-ball situation, where that red card violation is, that’s where the foul is awarded. So, form my point of view, if there’s an ejectionable offense, it happens in the penalty box, it’s a penalty.
“Otherwise, I can just imagine scenarios. Imagine a scenario where the ball is out with a player for corner kick and a player hauls off and strikes a player in the penalty box, wouldn’t that be a penalty kick? I don’t think you should be allowed to do whatever you want on the field because the ball is dead.”
Kreis said he was told that because Kljestan fouled Adams first and received a yellow card, that “that was it.”
“Seems odd to me,” Kreis said. “But again, I could be wrong. I don’t know all the rules through and through, I guess.”