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Making a Statement

Posted by chrisrosa on May 19, 2009

Boston Breakers Coach Tony DiCicco

Boston Breakers Coach Tony DiCicco

BOSTON, Mass. – It’s no secret that Breakers coach Tony DiCicco has not been thrilled with the officiating this season.

  • At various points through his post-match press conferences, the Breakers’ coach has regularly hinted at his dismay with WPS match officials.

  • But after seeing Kristine Lilly and Kelly Smith – two of team’s best players – get thrown around like rag dolls during the team’s 1-1 draw to Washington Sunday night, DiCicco went off.

  • “I’m willing to take a fine to make a statement on the refereeing,” said the DiCicco. “That’s why I’m talking about it right now because I don’t want to see my players get hurt.”

    DiCicco has reason to be defensive about his players’ safety. Lilly and Smith often appear for post-match pressers sporting fresh bumps and bruises.

    “The refereeing is getting scary,” said DiCicco. “The playing is getting better, the coaching is getting better, but the refereeing is losing ground.”

    When asked to elaborate on the quality of the refereeing, DiCicco, who’s never been shy to offer his opinion, did not mince words.

    “It’s just not good enough,” said DiCicco. “They’re in over their head. The refereeing has to get better at this level, especially when it’s becoming a safety issue.”

    DiCicco pointed to the fact that his star striker, Kelly Smith, has suffered an alarming 20 fouls through five matches.

    “Every time she has the ball, they’re at her heels and she’s not going to dive,” said DiCicco. “She’s the most fouled player in the league even though she’s played one less game than every one else.”

    He added that for the young league to attract fans, it has to keep its showcase players safe.

    “You have to protect the creative players because the fans don’t just want to watch any odd player who can kick a ball around,” said DiCicco. “They want to come out and see good players. But if they’re kicked out of the game, we all lose.”

    When asked what the league needs in order to address this issue, DiCicco was direct.

    “Better refereeing. Right now, I don’t think the league is doing a good enough job to address the refereeing concerns.”

    Knowing full well the repercussions following his criticism of the officiating, DiCicco quipped about the fine the league may levy against him.

    “What do you think it’s worth?” asked DiCicco. “500 bucks?”

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  • One Response to “Making a Statement”

    1. Sally Holec said

      It is outrageous that the WPS has fined DiCicco for telling the truth about how bad the referring has been. Does somebody need to become seriously hurt before they do something about it? Oh wait, Daniella was already seriously hurt and the WPS still let’s bad tackles happen. OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!

      I’m in your corner coach DiCicco.

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