FC Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan no longer comments on MLS refereeing

FC Cincinnati can’t control if it gets tangled in other arbitration trials and controversies the rest of the 2022 regular season, but he can control how much he fuels the debate publicly.

On Thursday, FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan indicated that he would not lend his voice to past or future referee-related discussions.

Hell is the real game:FC Cincinnati coach calls Columbus goal-in-play decision ‘an embarrassment to our league’

Noonan met with members of the media after training Thursday at the Mercy Health Training Center ahead of Saturday’s home game against Charlotte FC, and when Last weekend’s controversial 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew emergedhe brushed it aside.

Noonan: “I’ll say this: I’m done talking about it”

Asked what kind of feedback FC Cincinnati might have received regarding the Professional Referee Organization’s (PRO) post-game statement that camera angle views were inconsistent in the review system, Noonan said, “We had a dialogue. I’m going to keep that inside.”

“I’ll say this: I’m done talking about it,” Noonan said. “We’ve spent enough time discussing these things that it’s not going to be a topic of discussion for us in the future, just for you to understand this because you certainly have questions… regarding, you know, the comments that I did but we had a good dialogue and we will move on and focus on things that are not refereeing.”

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Noonan was distraught after the 2-2 draw with Columbus at TQL Stadium. The perception of an accumulation of officiating errors against the FCC appeared to boil over after Crew were awarded a goal that potentially would have been scored from an offside position in the 74th minute.

After the game, Noonan called the goal “an embarrassment for the league”, among other things.

Noonan reflects on FC Cincinnati’s performance against Columbus Crew in Hell is Real game

Asked about his latest thoughts on FC Cincinnati’s overall performance against Columbus, Noonan gave a mixed review.

He added that the club had specifically talked about how they closed games, an area they had been missing for months. FC Cincinnati have conceded the second most points in MLS wins (24) and 14 points in the last 13 matches alone.

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“It was a strong, very strong first half,” Noonan said. “I think I said it was probably one of our best 15-minute streaks with our defensive pressure and the way we go through on goal. We had some really good streaks. I talked about that, then we talked about the second half, a bit jerky with fouls and such, taking a bit of the pace away.

“We talked a lot about how we see games and decision-making and how we can be a bit more aggressive to defend up front, a bit further from the goal. Just some good talk about how we defend the box, how we close spaces and so, that was a good review… We compared it to other games where we were seeing games, the challenges of deep defense and I don’t mean pass in protection mode but just trying to keep everything in front of. How can we do this more efficiently.”

March 26, 2022;  Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Charlotte FC midfielder Jordy Alcivar (8) kicks the ball against FC Cincinnati at Bank of America Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg - USA TODAY Sports

FC Cincinnati focus on next game against Charlotte FC

After covering Columbus’ game in full earlier this week, he’s now focused on visiting Charlotte, which is another vital game with playoff implications.

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Charlotte (10-16-2, 32 points) and Cincinnati are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at TQL Stadium. The clubs met in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium in March, with Charlotte winning the match 2-0.

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