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Originally published Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Sounders FC sees red in rough 1-1 draw with L.A. Galaxy

In a match plagued by rough play and questionable officiating, Sounders FC lost a player to a red card but hung on for a 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday at Qwest Field.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Mike Magee plays in the perfect city for the Hollywood act he displayed Sunday afternoon at Qwest Field.

Magee, a midfielder for the Los Angeles Galaxy, feigned being punched by Sounders FC defender James Riley after the two got into a scrum in the 57th minute. Magee hit the turf hard, and the end result of the phantom blow was Riley's ejection.

It was the best example of several questionable calls -- and non-calls -- in a match that resulted in a 1-1 draw and saw referee Tim Weyland become the story of the game.

Weyland -- already having drawn the ire of both Sounders FC and its fans for not calling for a penalty kick late in the first half when forward Nate Jaqua was taken down in the penalty area -- originally gave Riley a yellow card following the scuffle between he and Magee. Weyland then changed it to a red card after conferring with an assistant, and Seattle had to finish the game with 10 players for the second straight week.

The crowd of 29,025 went berserk, as did Sounders FC players and coach Sigi Schmid, and the Mother's Day match morphed into a drag-it-out, physical caution fest in which Weyland flashed nine cards (five on Seattle) and called 27 fouls (16 on the Galaxy).

"They were very content to tie the game and just to take it to 90 minutes," Schmid said of the Galaxy. "Disappointed in the ejection. Disappointed in the refereeing."

Asked to elaborate, Schmid said he has a history with Weyland, who was not interviewed after the game.

"I've known the referee for a long time, and when I was coaching in college, we were allowed to list a couple of referees who would not be out on your games, so he hasn't refereed many games that I've coached, let me put it that way," Schmid said.

The coach thought Weyland, who handed out three red cards in a Galaxy match earlier this season, ignored the advice of the fourth official to give Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter a yellow for snatching away the ball on what was to be a Seattle free kick in the 56th minute. That incident, Schmid said, led to the situation between Riley and Magee.

"On Mother's Day you want to have a better result, and I'm sure my next phone call to my mom, she'll have something to say," Riley said. "It's a day game when the pitch is dry and you have a team that's sitting back, so we're just trying to get the ball and keep it up tempo."

That's how the melee began.

"There's never any intent for me to strike any player ever in a game with my hands," Riley said. "Probably just trying to grab him [Magee]. ... He [Weyland] tells me to back off, I do, and then it gets changed and then obviously I have to suck it up and take it on the chin."

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The Jaqua non-call came as the first half was coming to a close. Jaqua had worked himself into the penalty area with the ball when the Galaxy's Dema Kovalenko took him down. Kovalenko raised his hands immediately trying to show he was innocent, and Weyland didn't blow the whistle.

A penalty kick at that stage could have given Seattle (4-2-2) a 2-1 lead going into the second half, after Sebastien Le Toux scored his first goal of the season in the 22nd minute and Alan Gordon tied it for Los Angeles (1-1-6) in the 35th with a header.

"That one I did see on replay," Schmid said. "Looked like it could have been, should have been, maybe."

Jaqua said Kovalenko tripped him up. "To me it felt like a PK," he said. "I was expecting a whistle, yeah."

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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