Tuesday night wasn’t a fun night. It was a stagnant USOC match where FC Dallas couldn't manage to break down a 10 man SKC match. There wasn’t any urgency in the attack, a lack of any semblance of a first touch and absolutely no composure in front of goal. Even with FCD dropping a major turd last night, Maxi Urruti’s yellow card seems to be the lightning rod from the evening.
For those of you who were living under a rock last night, Maxi attempted a bicycle kick inside the box, catching Ike Opara in the side of the head, knocking him unconscious. Urruti was given his second yellow of the night, leveling the teams at 10 men apiece. Twitter was aflame with opinions from both sides on whether it was foul or not.
Before we dive into what is and isn’t a foul, Opara’s health is way more important than a silly game we all enjoy for entertainment sake. Luckily he looks like he is doing better and has been released from the hospital.
Maxi looked visibly upset and even went over to the SKC locker room after the match to check on the condition of Opara. Luckily Opara is alright because it was an all around bad situation.
Now with that out of the way, let’s look at the play and figure out if Maxi deserved a yellow or not. First off, the answer shouldn’t and doesn’t have any effect on whether Opara was knocked out on the play. Instead it basically comes down to if it is deemed a dangerous play or not.
Looking at the FIFA rule book, law 12, it’s pretty straightforward what is and isn’t a foul in regards to bicycle kick.
The rule book clearly states, that, “a scissors or bicycle kick is permissible provided that, in the opinion of the referee, it is not dangerous to an opponent.” Kicking a player in the head is without a doubt a dangerous play.
The biggest issue people had with the play was that Opara shouldn’t have tried to play the ball since he might get kicked. However, he had just as much of a right to the ball as Maxi did and in the process ended up getting kicked in the head. It’s similar to two guys going up for a header and one guy accidentally catching the other with an elbow. If it makes contact with a player’s head then he is to be cautioned.
Also, the fact that it was a yellow card and not a straight red, shows that referee saw it as a dangerous play but with no malice in it. Players can get yellow cards for accidentally hurting other players. Again go back to accidentally elbowing someone in the head. It’s called all the time, there isn’t any difference. Just because Maxi didn’t mean to do it, doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve a yellow.
Referee Younes Marrakchi on Maxi Urruti’s 2nd yellow card: "The foul was reckless”— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) July 12, 2017
Urruti very, very emotional after the incident. #SKCvFCD
Yes, it was frustrating, but it was the right call. In all honesty, FC Dallas should have put the game away an hour before any of this happened. If they score one goal, this game is over. For whatever reason, they just weren’t on their ‘A game’ last night. The team will now have a small break before they get back to action.
Hopefully they are able to bounce back and forget about this match. There is a good chance we see this team again come November, so hopefully we are able to be a little sharper then.