Seattle Sounders Vs. Portland Timbers, Cascadia Derby: The Jair Marrufo Effect

Posted In Features - By Kevin McCauley On Friday, May 13th, 2011 With 0 Comments

I am concerned about the upcoming Cascadia Derby between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. Both teams have some entertaining players an the atmosphere at Qwest Field will be awesome, sure. And sure, I’m looking forward to watching the game in stunning HD on my gigantic television. But what I’m looking forward to might not happen. A 90 minute slugfest between two teams of 11 men who badly want a win for their adoring fans is what we’re all hoping to see, but we might not get the opportunity to see it.

Hating on referees for being crap has gotten really, really old. It’s not something I like to dwell on. However, when someone told me yesterday that Jair Marrufo was going to be the official for the Cascadia match, my heart sank a bit. The standard of refereeing in MLS isn’t that high, and even fantastic referees have ruined games with bogus penalties or red cards, but Marrufo has really taken the cake so far this season.

There was once a time when Terry Vaughn was once the most hated man roaming the MLS sidelines, but that time is no more. Marrufo, and to an extent, Baldomero Toledo, have taken the torch from Vaughn and run off to a wonderland of insanity and dodgy penalties.

Obviously, there are some things we have to get straight here. No, I do not think I could do a better job than even the worst MLS officials. Their job is really, really hard. I also don’t think I could be a rocket scientist, but that doesn’t mean I have no license to bitch when a space shuttle goes kaboom. My criticisms are less about the lack of ability of Vaughn, Marrufo, Toledo, and others and more about MLS and US Soccer’s failure to improve the standard of refereeing. Also, this is not a personal attack. If anyone who knows any MLS officials reads this, I bet they are very nice people who try very hard at their jobs. I just happen to think their job performance is less than adequate. Sorry if anyone is insulted.

The other thing we need to get straight: This is, in fact, a regular season game. Despite the level of importance that the general public has placed on this game, it is just a regular season game. As a result, it doesn’t get the ‘best’ crew, it gets whatever crew is drawn to that game for that week. Though, if it is going to be the most intense and most watched game of the week, both on TV and in person, can’t we assign the guy who we think will do the best job to this game? Edvin Jurisevic was awesome on the Galaxy-Red Bulls game last week, can we please put him on Sounders-Timbers?

No, that would probably be unfair,  but I can dream. Right now, I’m just picturing an absurd, unwarranted red card being shown to someone in the 10th minute of the game. Then two more being shown. Then a couple of penalties. Okay, now I’m exaggerating, but still, I can feel the controversy coming. I mean, this is a dude who was once suspended for poor performances in the same season that a player handed him his jersey after a game.

I really hope I’m totally full of it.

About Kevin McCauley - Kevin McCauley is the Editor in Chief of The Allocation Order. He is also the world football editor at SBNation Soccer.

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