After giving a terse “no comment” when asked about the red card given to Leandro Gonzalez Pirez in the minutes following Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Montreal, Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino shared some thoughts about the controversial decision on Wednesday.
The team hasn’t heard from MLS if the red card will be rescinded . Teams typically hear about appeals on Wednesday. The decisions are announced on Thursday. Atlanta United declined to say on Sunday if it had appealed .
The card given to Pirez for a tackle of Matteo Mancosu in injury time in the first half was the third received by an Atlanta United player in just the season’s sixth game. The first was given to Carlos Carmona in the inaugural game against New York Red Bulls when it appeared that he attempted to step on a player. The second was given to Yamil Asad in the 2-2 draw at Toronto for violent conduct that appeared to be Asad simply using his arm to move around a player who was obstructing him.
“Usually when a team has accumulated a bunch of cards then you need to have a discussion with the team about how to handle that,” Martino said through a translator.
“In our case, at least in the last two red cards, in my opinion we were punished for maybe things that shouldn’t have deserved cards, so it’s hard to have that conversation with the players.”
Martino added: “Not just for us, but for the league, maybe there have been some excessive red cards this season trying to stop attacking players.”
Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said something similar after Tuesday’s training.
“I think the red cards are a league-wide objective,” he said. “They want the refs to be more aware of what’s going on. Yamil’s was borderline play, objective decision by ref.
“I think eventually the bug bites everyone.”