TFC’s Nelsen fined for criticizing refs

Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen. (Neil Davidson/CP)

NEW YORK — Major League Soccer has fined Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen an undisclosed amount for criticizing the officiating after Toronto’s 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Friday.

Nelsen was upset with a straight red card given to defender Steven Caldwell for a high tackle on Sporting’s Antonio Dovale and with a penalty awarded to Kansas City late in the game.

"If they gave Steven a yellow, nobody would have blinked an eyelid, nobody would have worried about it," Nelsen told MLSSoccer.com after the game. "But because (referee Baldomero Toledo) has set a precedent throughout his refereeing career that he always likes to influence games, he decided to give a red for what was really a yellow card."

Nelsen also complained about a penalty assessed to Toronto defender Doneil Henry late in the game, which Kansas City converted to take a 2-1 lead.

"In all honesty, there’s not one person who has seen the replay that said that was a penalty," Nelsen said. "So when you’re down to 10 men, in the 84th minute, you have to be 100 per cent certain that it’s a penalty. One hundred per cent certain. The referee will watch the replay and he will say to himself ‘It’s not a penalty."’

The league’s disciplinary committee also warned the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders for violating its mass confrontation policy in a 2-2 draw on Saturday. Additionally, the committee fined Vancouver midfielder Pedro Morales for contact to the head of an opponent and Seattle forward Chad Barrett for escalating the incident.

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