Referee Baldomero Toledo looked on solemnly as Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers players rushed in to separate Kyle Beckerman and Fanendo Adi.
When the commotion settled, he motioned them both over. They walked side-by-side to meet him. Toledo showed them both red cards.
Within an hour of the match ending in a 4-1 RSL win at Portland, Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel had already filed an appeal for Beckerman’s red card.
“I’m curious as to why Kyle got a red card,” coach Mike Petke said after the match. “I don’t want to say too much, but I’m very curious to see. I’m going to go back and look at the tape. I’ve already talked to people in my organization, people here who have seen it. They don’t understand why he got a red card. It was frustrating to see that. We were just talking about keeping our composure.
“Aside from that, I think the guys kept their composure. I think they got a little too goal-happy the last 15 minutes, and I think we left ourselves a little bit exposed at times. But besides that, they kept their composure well.”
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The incident between Beckerman and Adi resulted in just two of three red cards issued in Wednesday’s match. Toledo booked 10 players in all.
From the last nine minutes of the first half, when Toledo gave out three yellow cards in quick succession, the match quickly spiraled out of the referee’s control.
he chaos peaked in the 55th-minute Beckerman-Adi confrontation.
As Beckerman dropped back to cover Adi, it looked like he clipped him in the side with his left elbow. Adi threw his hands down and motioned to Toledo, asking him to call the foul.
The whistle blew, and Toledo pointed at Beckerman. Adi turned and charged the RSL captain.
Adi took five long strides to him and knocked Beckerman to the ground with his chest. As Beckerman fell, Adi came down on top of him. He continued to yell in Beckerman’s face until their teammates pulled them apart.
It’s not clear if Beckerman said anything to provoke the Timbers striker, or if Adi was just upset by the contact.
Beckerman said he received no explanation from Toledo for his red card. The official reason was violent conduct.
After being shown the card, Beckerman walked off the field with a blank expression. His teammates Albert Rusnák and Sunday Stephen threw up their hands in disbelief at the call.
RSL went on to score two more goals, concede one and claim three points on the road.
Per RSL communications, the team expects to learn the result of its appeal by Friday, ahead of its Saturday home match against Sporting Kansas City.