Former Blackburn Rovers defender and Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen has been fined a disclosed amount by Major League Soccer for criticizing the officials after a frustrating 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Friday, according to reports.
The spark point for Nelsen came when his defender Steven Caldwell was given a red card for a high tackle on Sporting's Antonio Dovale, which led to a late penalty in the game.
Speaking after the match, he complained. "If they gave Steven a yellow, nobody would have blinked an eyelid, nobody would have worried about it," Nelsen told MLSSoccer.com post-match.
"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 wasn't done there, as he also had harsh words to say about the penalty given to Toronto late on that allowed Kansas to go ahead 2-1.
"In all honesty, there's not one person who has seen the replay that said that was a penalty," Nelsen added. "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 former Blackburn Rovers defender wasn't the only one disciplined, with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders punished for violating its mass confrontation policy in a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
Additionally, Vancouver midfielder Pedro Morales was punished for contact to the head of an opponent, and Sounders forward Chad Barrett, for escalating the incident.
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