One ESPN writer gave it “the award for Goalkeeping Ineptitude in a Leading Role.”
However, Saturday’s play which allowed D.C. United to equalize 2-2 in the 68th minute at Lincoln Financial Field should never have stood in the first place.
United forward Jaime Moreno hovered around Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who was holding the ball in his box and preparing to launch it forward. The Bolivian striker took full advantage when the netminder suddenly dropped the ball.
Watch the disputed play HERE.
MLSsoccer.com spoke to U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Development, Paul Tamberino, about the incident and the former MLS referee says that a free kick should have been whistled instead.
“By law there can be no interference, no fakes, no head attempts, nothing that interferes with the goalkeeper’s ability to release the ball within the six or seven seconds,” Tamberino said. “The goalkeeper needs to be free of interference and he can do whatever he wants in those six to seven seconds.”
In his postgame comments, Seitz confirmed that Moreno’s presence was a distraction.
"I went to clear the ball, he took a jab at me, stepped in front of me, and I was caught between two lines," Seitz told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The ball dropped and things happen ... and I'm happy my team was able to pick up the pieces."
Sebastien Le Toux scored the eventual game-winner with 10 minutes remaining for a 3-2 Union home opening victory.
Moreno is the league’s all-time leading scorer. Not only should he have one less goal, but Tamberino also confirmed that the Bolivian should have received a yellow card for his troubles.
“FIFA states that the referee must issue a yellow card on interference plays,” he said.
Tamberino explained that referee Terry Vaughn saw the play when the goalkeeper had just dropped the ball, which is why he did not rule against Moreno.