Adrian Heath had a pretty off-brand request in his postmatch news conference Saturday. Instead of giving his opinion on three possible penalties, the Minnesota United coach gave the power to the free press.
“The referee’s performance is something I would want other people to speak about,” Heath said. “Write what you saw. I’m at a loss for some of it.”
New York defender Damien Perrinelle seemed to have back-to-back hand balls in the 26th and 27th minutes, once when defending United forward Christian Ramirez and then again off the resulting corner, but referee Hilario Grajeda said neither was “judged to be a deliberate action.”
Then in the 67th minute, New York defender Michael Amir Murillo brought down United winger Miguel Ibarra in the box. Grajeda said this was “normal contact, at a level expected with the ball in the vicinity of play.”
“At first, he was in front of me. I swept around him, and I thought he had clipped me a little or pulled me,” Ibarra said. “I didn’t get the call, unfortunately. I don’t know if it was or not. I haven’t seen the replay.”
United defender Brent Kallman drew a yellow card for dissent in the 53rd minute, meaning he’s suspended for Saturday’s match with D.C. United at TCF Bank Stadium.
Heath said instead of chastising his captain, he’d rather look at “what led to the yellow card. Just look at the tackle” that the referee deemed a foul.
“They don’t need any help, by the way,” Heath said of New York. “They’ve got a really good coach and really good players.”
Finally, a debut
Scottish winger Sam Nicholson and New Zealand defender Michael Boxall made their United debuts after missing most of this week sorting out their visas in Canada.
“I’m trying to find a nice way to put it other than using expletives,” Boxall said of the paperwork headache. “It wasn’t ideal. … But I guess it can only get better than today.”
Nicholson, meanwhile, said this was the hottest match, at about 90 degrees, he has ever played in. He said the average summer temperature in his homeland is around 60 degrees.
“I think Sam Nicholson thinks he’s in the Sahara,” Heath said. “He’s never seen weather and conditions like this in Scotland in his life.”