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UCSB versus Cal Berkley – Referee Red Card Decision

This one is completely off topic, but I wanted to share a video of an incident during the UCSB versus Cal Berkley game that took place this weekend (full recap). Most of you probably know, but I played my college career at UCSB and still follow the teams every game.

In the video below, you will see two players go into a challenge, only for one player to get knocked out via a blatant punch – right in front of the referee. The UCSB player, Luis Silva (in the blue jersey) ends up getting a red card, while the Cal player Servando Carrasco (in the white jersey) only receives a yellow. Really? How does the referee come to that conclussion when he is standing right beside the play? Shocking decision!

What makes the incident even more unbearable is the fact that there will be no follow up repercussions for Carrasco or for the referee. The NCAA does not have a referee rating system in place, where coaches can give their evaluations of a performance. What makes this a joke is the fact that the Sunday League I play in HAS a referee rating system in place! What am I missing on this one?

The main reason I wanted to share this video with you is this: There is no place for this sort of malicious behavior in soccer – if you are in a similar situation don’t fall into the trap of retaliation, take the foul and get on with the game. You will be a better player for walking away and you will be showing a high level of respect for the game. Use this video as an example of what not to do.

I am keen to hear your thoughts on the incident, so leave me a comment below.

About Bryan Byrne

The mastermind behind the revolution that is SoccerCleats101. Bryan started this website back in 2008 and has been testing boots on a daily basis ever since. Check out our About Page for more details on Bryan and the website.

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20 comments

  1. that call should go the other way around. yellow card for the slide tackle if is deemed as such and the red card to the cal player. that's just bad officiating and the linesman should've called the ref over and made the correction.

  2. I agree with D. Jaime. How can you call the play like that when you are standing right there?

  3. I was at the game and absolutely couldn't believe my eyes when the referee pulled out the red card on Silva. A shocking decision, especially as Silva had to be helped off the field after the incident and Carrasco, the Cal player involved, went on to score a late penalty kick that took the match to extra time and an eventual win. This was the worst of a number of bizarre decisions. NCAA needs to appoint neutral refs who have someone to answer to.

  4. I agree with you. I think there is no place for retaliation, and it's ridiculous, especially at that level, with so much to lose. However, as much as I hate saying this, you just have to accept whatever decision the ref makes and get on with it. We've all played games with idiot referee's, unfortunately that's become part of playing soccer, is that you have to just deal with the ref that is given to you. Look at England vs. Germany in the world cup, when they scored that goal! Ridiculous! But as much as it sucks, they still went out and Germany went on, and twenty years from now nobody will remember that horrible call. It's in times like that when a team REALLY needs to step into overdrive to win the game. Letting a call like that get into your head will only bring the team down. But I do agree that it was a bad call, and totally blatant.

  5. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that refs ever actually watch or have physically played the game themselves. It was literally about 5 feet away from him and there was no crowd to affect the decision (at least no where big or loud enough). Horrendous, in a just world the ref and the Cal player would be fined and banned at the very least.

  6. Bryan,

    What years were you at UCSB? A few guys I played club with/against ended up down there (Nate Boyden and Jon Apilado). Great players, for sure.

    As for the foul, I'm not sure I see one from the UCSB player. Perhaps a two-legged tackle (can't really tell from the camera)? Depending on the fouls the UCSB player committed, I would give a yellow or a stern warning. As for the Cal player, he would have received a yellow card (or red, depending on the fouls he had committed up to that point of the match).

  7. I was at the game and have to say it was one of the most backwards calls I've ever seen. Not only was the initial foul call questionable but the official pulled out the red card straightaway and appeared ready to show it to the Cal player before he fell to the ground, magically injured. By the time the trainers had cleared the field, the ref had changed his mind and given the red to Silva.

    I totally agree, there is no need for retaliation like this, but if refs handle it in the way this one did, then players seem to think it's okay. This official had zero control in the game, there were several points where most of the UCSB coaching staff should have been sent off and his lack of control was demonstrated at the end of the game when Gaucho players came running after him.

    There were plenty of questionable calls by the ref and you know it's bad when Vom Steeg comes into the press conference ready to pay the fines for criticizing the NCAA and the official. It's really too bad that this had to go down the way it did, which seems to be a trend in NCAA Tournament soccer, especially for the Gauchos.

  8. If they don't have a rating system or even any systems at all what's stopping teams to bribe the referee, I can't think of any other reasons, referee was right there watching the incident.

  9. Dee,

    That is a great point! As far as I am aware to really is nothing to stop it from happening!

    As an update, there is an extended version of the play now online, for those who want to see more check out

  10. Ref was unqualified

    Referee should never have been allowed to officiate the game:

    By MARK PATTON NEWS-PRESS SENIOR WRITER

    Mark Patton

    November 23, 2010 5:36 AM

    UCSB's Cup won't runneth over for the Gauchos after several questionable decisions by an inexperienced referee cost them dearly in Sunday's 2-1, overtime defeat at California in the second round of the National Championships.

    The NCAA should have paid to bring in a top referee. How Mike Kampmeinert of Sacramento ended up with Sunday's officiating assignment has both baffled and infuriated UCSB officials.

    Their check of game summaries this season shows that Kampmeinert has served as the center official in just a couple of NCAA women's games. He's worked only the sidelines in two Division 1 men's contests.

    That fact shows that the Pac-10 assigner who got Kampmeinert to officiate the match violated this portion of the NCAA's own 2010 handbook:

    "Policies and Selection of Officials. For the Division I men's soccer championship, an official is required to work a minimum of six regular-season Division I men's soccer games in order to be eligible to work any round(s) of the championship."

  11. Cal was just frustrated with Silva's skill because he's a beast on the pitch!

  12. I don't think this incident has to do with the inexperience of the Referee. Any inexperienced referee would give the player who punched the other player a red. This is just an example of a bias referee. Whether he graduated from Cal, or the coach paid him off, he knew what team he wanted to win.

  13. Not gonna lie, a quality ref pretty is hard to find these days. Remember Italy (my heart belongs with them) vs South Korea back in 2002? Not gonna lie, I cried when the game ended.

  14. Haha I just noticed that I said "Not gonna lie" twice.

  15. I was not at the game, so I can only comment on the video itself.

    This is a perfect example of why there needs to be a ratings and reviews for all referees. I don't know if the school itself is aware of who their referee is prior to their games — but this knowledge would give the school ample time to review each referees qualifications, etc.

    Once you get into bracket play each game is so important, status of winning, money that is brought to their schools, players that are being recruited, etc.

    The fact that an obviously bad call can call wipes them out of bracket play is horrific, and the fact that the school cannot protest, or question the ruling and the call can’t be over turned is wrong. Even football has the right to challenge the officiating.

    I know for a fact that their is always 1 NCAA official representative at each bracket play game. Why, did he or she not step in and correct the injustice of this call.

    Why isn't NCAA being held accountable for the refs’ actions?

    Punching or pushing a player to the ground in retaliation is a red card according to the NCAA rules. Why hasn't NCAA issued a red card to Carrasco?

  16. It was not a punch, but a push in the face / body. A punch is different than this. However, I have seen much worse go unpunished and Refs are not held accountable. This does not excuse the behavior of UCSB players after the game. there is a system for complaints and the Ref always has the final word. I believe the Coach and PLayers of UCSB have finally had their number caught as they are a very dirty team at times and their coach is known for his bully tactics. What goes around comes around, so stop crying and realize you have to beat the Refs too. Cry, complain, make excuses, but do not make the 3 red cards acceptable. I hope all parties get examined as it was a terrible example for young players to see the supposedly top level college players behaving like that. get a grip or get out of the game – and anyone who has played has the same story in their time as this one here. I think the gauchos are just mad as it meant much to them as the Championship is at their home. Still, Cinderella shall go to the ball – just not on the dance floor !!!!!!

  17. Tony

    You completely missed the point

    Why are you still defending the indefensible?

    Cal player put his hands to another players face aggressively

    Cal player should have beef red carded. Period

    Then it would have been a 8 vs 8 – 8 bs. 9 for most of the entire game

    Ref was unqualified by NCAA's own rules

    Game needs to be replayed. Period

  18. Tony, You are missing the point, the referee wasn't qualified by the NCAA own standards. He needs to have been involved with six men's games. He was only involved with two women's games..The NCAA should be sued. If a college does something wrong they are Punished with sanctions and probation. The NCAA should be held accountable for this..You can't blame the players for playing their hearts out, only to be cheated by some body who was probably paid of by Cal..

  19. Striker, If the NCAA gave a red card to Carrasco, it would be admitting that the NCAA F—ked up, You know the NCAA would never admit to messing up. They don't care what is right, only doing their agenda.

  20. I was at the match and I saw this as a tackle that was two footed and cleats up with possible malicious intent. It was also evident that the UCSB player got the ball. In that I didn't agree with the red card for the Gaucho player, he did allow the ref to make a decision and based on the cleats up tackle the ref decided to go red. I thought it was harsh at the time and I think it was harsh after seeing the video. I saw the Cal player as shoving the UCSB player, not punching. IMO, the ref was too harsh – yellow card both ways and the game stays 11v11.

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