Let's start with the facts: In the 83rd minute of Saturday night's match between D.C. United and Real Salt Lake, United striker Charlie Davies set off into Real Salt Lake's half on a breakout, with fellow in-game substitute Fred alongside. Davies dribbled into the Real Salt Lake penalty area, where defender Chris Wingert decided to put in a challenge for the ball. Davies hit the deck, and referee Terry Vaughn, after a brief hesitation, awarded United a penalty. The whole sequence can be viewed on video here:
Reaction was predictably swift in this day and age of Twitter. The Washington Post's Steven Goff passed judgement immediately, tweeting "Charlie Davies should be ashamed of that flop." Goff then followed that up with a Twitter ticking off of the CSN crew of Dave Johnson and Thomas Rongen, saying "Nary a word of criticism from DCU announcers. Come on, guys."
For what it's worth, my SB Nation colleague Martin Shatzer has his take up over at Black and Red United. Also, for the sake of comparison, here's the penalty Davies won against the Los Angeles Galaxy back on April 9 at RFK, which some would call marginal.
And here's Real Salt Lake's own penalty, which led to the opening goal of last night's game. Again, a debatable call.
I'm frankly not in the mood for another tedious debate about diving in soccer (and that's exactly what Davies did, before we forget) and who should be blamed and what should be done. All I'll say about this aspect of the match is this: Terry Vaughn had two big calls to make Saturday night, and he got both of them wrong. A draw probably was a fair result, but this is one of those rare instances in soccer where a 0-0 draw would have been more palatable.