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Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen fined for criticizing referee after Kansas City loss

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Ryan Nelsen's comments about MLS officiating have cost him.

Major League Soccer confirmed Wednesday that the Toronto FC manager had been fined for his comments on referee Ted Unkel following Toronto's 2-1 home loss to Sporting Kansas City on July 26.

Toronto's list of complaints included a no-call in the 23rd minute when Unkel waved play on after Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin, chasing Brazilian striker Gilberto, appeared to clip the Brazilian's leg.

Gilberto, who had a clear path on goal, went down with Toronto expecting a red card for Collin. Instead the French defender went unpunished.

"Collin should have been sent off. I mean an under-12 ref can pick that one,'' Nelsen said after the game. "That's pretty basic.''

Nelsen said later he expected to be fined for his criticism.

But star Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley escaped league sanctions for his post-game comments.

"It's by no means an excuse, it was the same for both teams, but the referee was absolutely awful,'' Bradley said in the locker-room. "The people at the MLS (head) office in New York, when they talk about wanting to improve the league, the first thing that needs to be improved is the refereeing, bottom line.

"That shouldn't come across as sour grapes because that's just the reality. And it was bad for both teams and I'm sure they're sitting in their locker-room saying the same thing to themselves but they've got three points with them and that certainly makes it a little easier to swallow.''

Unkel issued eight yellow cards, including five to Toronto. Kansas City was reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute when captain/defender Matt Besler got a second yellow.

Nelsen was also fined by the league in late May for criticizing the officiating after Toronto’s 2-2 draw at Sporting Kansas City. Nelsen was upset with a straight red card given to defender Steven Caldwell for a high tackle on Sporting’s Antonio Dovale and with a penalty awarded to Kansas City late in the game.

The league did not detail the amount of the fines.

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