Home > Referees, Tournament Statistics > The Alleged Bradley-Larrionda Tunnel Incident

The Alleged Bradley-Larrionda Tunnel Incident

ESPN’s Grant Wahl reported this morning that FIFA is investing an alleged incident in the tunnel between Michael Bradley and Jorge Larrionda following the U.S. victory over Spain.

We’re not party to any inside information, but if Bradley did express his frustration, it is understandable.  Over the short life of this blog, it has covered the U.S. red cards from a variety of angles.  To help you find what you need, here’s a quick list of the evidence suggesting Larrionda (and perhaps his colleagues) unfairly targeted the U.S. in this tournament.

  • Jorge Larrionda red carded two U.S. players in the 2006 World Cup, providing a one-man advantage for almost half the match to Italy, the only team to commit a serious foul — meriting a multiple game suspension.
  • Larrionda’s red card, like the red cards of Pazo and Codjia/Busacca, directly benefitted a team from Larrionda’s region (Brazil).
  • Larrionda has issued 3 red cards to the U.S. in the last three of our matches that he has officiated.
  • The U.S. is the only team in Confederations Cup history to receive 3 straight red cards.  Only one other team had received 2.
  • The U.S. is only the second team in FIFA tournament history to receive 3 straight red cards.
  • The U.S. is the only team in FIFA history to have three players from the same position receive red cards. (Id.)
  • The U.S. was the only team at the Confederations Cup 2009 to receive a red card for a non-handball offense.  (Egypt received a straight red for a handball at the goal line to prevent the game-winning score.)
  • The U.S. is the only team in Confederations Cup history to receive more than one red card when all other teams combined for either zero or one red cards.
  • Bradley was red carded for his first foul of the match.
  • Two American midfielders were red carded for their first fouls of the match and both were in the second half of matches that they started.  (Id.)
  • Based on the cards issued, the U.S. is (inexplicably) one of the dirtiest teams in FIFA tournament history.
  • Based on its tournament history from the past 5 years, the U.S. had a 0.3% chance of receiving 3 red cards in its first 4 matches.
  • Based on the referees’ history of issuing red cards, there was only a 1.4% chance that the three referees who issued red cards would all do so.  So, there was a 1.4% chance that in the same tournament, Pozo, Busacca, and Larrionda would each issue at least one red card in their matches (to either opponent.)  The chance of one team getting all of the cards is significantly lower.  (Id.)
  • Based on our opponents’ history of drawing red cards from their opponents, there was only a 0.3% chance that red cards would be issued to Italy, Brazil, and Spain’s opponents and not to Egypt’s opponent.  (Id.)
  • In FIFA tournaments over the past 15 years, the U.S. is 3x more likely to be red carded than in tournaments hosted by other entities (i.e., Copa America, the Gold Cup).  (20% versus 7%)  (See comment from mlb_bobcats near bottom)
  • In FIFA tournaments over the past 15 years, the U.S.’s opponents are half as likely to be red carded as they are in tournaments hosted by other entities (25% versus 12%)
  • The U.S. averages one fewer yellow card and one more red card per match now than it did four years ago.  After the Brazil group-stage match, the U.S. averaged 1.40 yellow cards and 0.8 red cards per match over the past three years.  In the preceding 11 years (’94 to ’05), the U.S. averaged 2.40 yellow cards and  only 0.05 red cards.  (One yellow per game has turned into a red card.)  In that same span, its opponents’ rates have not changed nearly so significantly (2.05 yellow cards compared to 2.40 yellow cards; 0.10 red cards to 0.20 red cards)
  1. August 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Great blog you got here…keep up the good work.

  1. June 24, 2010 at 7:24 am

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